Let me share a story.........
The other day there was an unusually big noise outside classroom. This attracted the attention of everybody in the class except Tunde who kept to what he was doing. The big mango tree in the school garden had been uprooted by a rainstorm. Tunde did not do what others did because he did not hear the noise or the discussion in the class that the noise generated. He has problems with his ears. The ears are often stuffed with cotton wool. If Tunde was unable to hear this noise, then you can imagine how he ever hears the teacher whose voice is less audible.
The fact is that we have many "Tundes" in our school system today. Many have failing hearing in small unnoticed doses. The impact of full or partial hearing loss on language is inestimated because they are normal physically, intellectually and emotionally but deviate from the general population in terms of speech and language. It is important you are aware of these issues so that you can use your creative mind to think about what to do to help children who have differing levels of hearing loss.
Meaning of hearing impairment
Hearing impairment is a term used when referring to the reduced functioning (disability) of the ear. What leads to this reduced functioning (usually called auditory disorder) is the various diseases affecting the ear.
The reduced functioning of the ear has something to do with language development which is essentially an auditory (hearing) - oral (mouth) interaction. One has to hear a word before he learns its meaning how it is used, how it is pronounced, etc.
Thus children with little or no hearing in the first few years of life do not learn language in the natural, informal way. The child may never have a good knowledge of his/her native language, or clear oral speech, or understanding the clear speech of others.
This child is considered to be educationally deaf. On the other hand, if a child has a significant hearing loss but is able to learn language in the usually way, he is regarded as hard of hearing person.