Writing in role: developing ToM in the written language of deaf children

Helen Chilton, Connie Mayer, Wendy Mccracken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While there is an emerging body of research investigating the associations between Theory of Mind and reading in both hearing and deaf children, little attention has been given to the connections between ToM and writing, and the potential for developing ToM through the process of writing. In a descriptive study, the authors focused on investigating the use of writing in role as a means not only of looking for evidence of ToM understandings in text, but of considering the utility of writing in role as a possible strategy for the development of ToM. The written samples of 43 deaf children (aged 7;2 years–11;11 years) were examined, and evidence of ToM was found in the writing of 81% (n = 35), with children demonstrating abilities across the spectrum of development. Implications for both research and pedagogical practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481
Number of pages495
JournalAmerican Annals of the Deaf
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Theory of Mind
  • deaf
  • writing
  • literacy skills


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