Learning is difficult on its own and having a disability only makes the process harder, especially for children. To make the process simple, here are 5 innovative ways to teach hard-of-hearing kids; to ensure that they get the best education available to them. Each method will vary, as different kids will experience different levels of impairment to their hearing.

Sign Language

This method can be used for any hard-of-hearing kid, but tends to be used for kids that have a serious hearing impairment. Teaching using sign language requires a lot of effort, for both the kid and the teacher need to have fluent knowledge of sign language. If the kid has been impaired since birth, they will most likely already know sign language. What is good about sign language is that it is a universal style of language that any user of the language will be able to understand. There are no dialects or accents to potentially complicate things like there are in spoken languages, which is always a benefit.

Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

Simplify Communication

Simplifying your communication to your student or child is a method that can be used for kids that do not have a serious impairment. If they are able to comprehend words with their hearing, as it may be only slightly impaired, then this method may work. Shorten your points and get the message across using simple language. Using complex, archaic or somewhat uncommon language will only lead to confusion when the kid is trying to understand you. Using common phrases and words in short sentences will allow hard of hearing kids to understand you better as a tutor.

Express Mouth Movements Clearly

A lot of hard-of-hearing kids will use lip reading as a way to better understand people and the world around them. Due to this, your mouth movements will need to be expressed or amplified more than they usually are. Speaking clearly and letting the sounds of vowels and consonants project from you will always help. Be sure to use your mouth in a way that can be easy to understand via lip reading, as this will help those students that do lip read understand you a lot better.


This is a simplistic method of dealing with hard of hearing, but it certainly does work. Simply writing down what you are saying in clear, concise points on a white or black board will allow hard of hearing kids to take notes. If you are teaching a younger audience, writing out the main points of what you mean and giving them a copy to take with them is a good way for them to learn. They can then use this resource and read over it when they need to study.

Gestures and Expressions

Using a combination of gestures and expressions when teaching a hard-of-hearing kids is very important, especially when you are a tutor. Gestures can help convey feeling in the words you speak, as can expressions. It can also give the kid a better understanding of sentence context and the style of speaking that you are employing. For example, are you angry? Frustrated? Happy? Gestures and expressions help to convey this.

Annabelle is part of the Content and Community team at SmileTutor, sharing valuable content to their own community and beyond.


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