To fully understand maths a child must use many skills associated with literacy: speaking, listening, reading and writing. For deaf children attending a mainstream school this can prove challenging as their language skills may not be the same level as their peers. Often, the gap can be as wide as 3 years.
A big reason for this gap lies in the difference between spoken and signed language. While not all deaf children communicate using a signed language, an understanding of the differences can help teachers make maths lessons more accessible. It’s important to remember that signed languages are very different from English in terms of grammar (e.g. question words at the end of a sentence) and a lack of determiners (the, is, and). As questions are presented in English in lessons and tests, this can be problematic for deaf children.