Scaffolded writing and early literacy development with children who are deaf: a case study

Bridget Scott-Weich, David B Yaden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This case study examined the effects that the processes of private speech and materialization (using line underscores as word placeholders) had on the emergent writing behaviours of one, six-year-old student who was enrolled in an auditory–oral deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) first-grade classroom situated on a large urban public school campus. Over the period of four months, this study examined (a) how the processes of private speech and materialization assisted emergent writers to become conventional writers, and (b) what changes occurred in children’s writing when they used scaffolded writing. Evidence demonstrated that scaffolded writing accompanied by the sociocultural tools of materialization, self-talk and adult assistance resulted in dramatic qualitative changes in the student’s writing and spelling. Implications include the importance of understanding individual psychogenetic development and the advantages of a sociocultural theory-based approach to emergent writing in the DHH classroom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-435
Number of pages18
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2017



  • Deaf and hard of hearing
  • emergent writing
  • materialization
  • private speech
  • Scaffolded writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics

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