Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


School of Education

First Advisor

Dr Mary Rohl

Second Advisor

Dr Amanda Blackmore

Third Advisor

Dr Paul Sloan


The purpose of this study was to develop the Concept Identification Instrument (CII); an instrument for measuring prelinguistically deaf children's concept identification, semantic and syntactic abilities in a reading situation. Analysis of the related literature suggested that isolation of some of the factors which contribute to the problems faced by deaf children in reading development, such as concept identification, may lead to improved chances of understanding, reducing or eliminating reading problems and improving reading outcomes for these children. The subjects were 21 prelinguistically deaf children who attended or had previously attended the Speech and Hearing Centre for Deaf Children (WA) Inc. The CII was developed from a testing instrument created by Sloan (1974). It was comprised of 10 sets of five declarative statements using the cloze form, which had an artificial word in place of the concept which was to be identified. The responses were scored to provide separate data about concept identification performance, semantic performance c.t both sentence and discourse levels, and syntactic performance. The validation of the CII was undertaken by calculating convergent validity with the Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) as a measure of reading comprehension and the Language Assessment, Remediation and Screening Procedure (LARSP). Both the PAT and the LARSP were found to correlate significantly with concept identification performance, semantic performance at both sentence and discourse levels as well as syntactic performance, as tested by the CII. Content validity was confirmed after consultation with four specialists in the fields of reading and hearing impaired teaching. Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha, testing internal consistency, was used to confirm reliability. The development of the CII as a reliable, valid measure of deaf children's concept identification ability, semantic ability at sentence and discourse levels as well as syntactic ability, makes it an important addition to the assessment tools available to researchers and teachers alike. In addition there may be important value in its use as a teaching aid.