Life in progress

Reading – #AtoZ Challenge


“Think about how the word sounds,” they say.

Phonics. They’re a wonderful thing, aren’t they? Unless you’re Deaf. From what I understand, a Deaf person learns words by recognition, sort of like how we see a picture of something and associate it with what it means. Yet it’s not as simple as you’d first think. For instance, we can see a picture of a house with the word “house” below it – easy, right? But what about the word “concept”? How do you explain that word with the definition of it, and expect anyone to remember it? Just the amount of memory it must take for a Deaf person to be able to spell words on sight is phenomenal!

We’re supposed to be able to teach our children the things we understand, especially the things we know most about. Words are my thing. And even though my son, Alex, is learning English, it’s as though it’s a foreign language to me. It’s frustrating that I have no idea how I could possibly go about teaching him how to read. I thank heaven that there’s a school and teachers who can do it.


My A to Z theme concerns the joys and challenges of being the hearing mother of my Deaf son, Alex. To learn more about his beginnings in life, click here to go to my first A to Z entry.

Author: Linda G. Hill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

13 thoughts on “Reading – #AtoZ Challenge

  1. The best teachers Linda are the ones who learn as they teach – as you are doing.


  2. It must be really hard to get concepts across.


  3. I’m studying to be an ESL/FL teacher and I’m realizing that there’s a lot of culture hinged on words. Joey above mentions color – well not all languages depict color the same. I always thought we used one color wheel (even though I was raised in a bilingual home).

    I can’t imagine the extra brain power needed to take the word, associate it with a definite concept but also the more elusive connotations linked to it. House = house = place we live = place where we feel safe, and so on.

    I mean I’d argue house and home aren’t the same thing (a home = positive, a la ‘home sweet home’). Try saying “house sweet house”. Doesn’t have the same flow, does it?

    Anyways, long comment – TL:DR wonderfully engaging post, Linda. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Thank you, Marna. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not too long at all!
      There are actually different signs in ASL for “house” and “home,” so the distinction is there, though a little different again. “Home” is where “I” live, “house” is where “you” live – so home is more a personal thing. The English language in all its forms is so fascinating, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ˜€


  4. I suspect there will be similar problems explaining feminism to President Trump. The difference is, I’m sure Alex will pick it up quickly, once he gets the hang of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Of course it much be hard… but you know he’ll get it all… he’s young still and he has great support behind him ๐Ÿ˜Š


  6. The kid’s going to be alright. Before you know it, he’ll be reading and writing all kinds of fun stuff, including words you’d prefer he didn’t learn until he’s older.


  7. Similar to trying to describe color to the blind, hm? I’m glad there are teachers, too.


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