Pragmatics and Deaf Children International Research Group


Pragmatics and Deaf Children International Research Group

This group of international researchers shares an interest in the development of pragmatic skills in deaf children and young people. Pragmatic or social communication competence involves the coordination of social, linguistic and cognitive development. As their pragmatic skills develop, children learn the expectations of social interactions, use language with a variety of partners, and develop sensitivity to the perspectives of others. The development of social communication skills is significantly impacted by a child’s opportunities for interaction and their social and emotional life experiences. While many deaf children have strengths in this area, others experience delays. Our research group is dedicated to building an understanding of why this occurs and to developing more effective ways to support pragmatic development in young deaf children.

Join us!

Interested in participating in this collaboration? Please reach out to


Two students playing with toys

Dr. Amy Szarkowski

Director, The Institute at CCCBSD

Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School


Professor Dianne Toe

Deputy Head of School/Director of Professional Practice

School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Education

Deakin University, Australia


Members of this research group contributed to a supplement exploring aspects of pragmatics in deaf and hard of hearing children for the journal Pediatrics, published in November 2020.

Learn more about this collaboration and view this open-access resource at our SPOTLIGHT: Pragmatics.