There are many deaf people who do not speak at all yet are still literate. Sometimes even more literate than kids who grew up being able to hear. Why? They use sign language. People learn by making connections. If your mother says the word "milk" every time she pours a cup of milk for you, you will begin...
Best answer: There are many deaf people who do not speak at all yet are still literate. Sometimes even more literate than kids who grew up being able to hear. Why? They use sign language. People learn by making connections. If your mother says the word "milk" every time she pours a cup of milk for you, you will begin to attach the sound of the word "milk" to the idea of actual milk. Each sense (taste, touch, hearing, seeing, and smelling) really works together to help you understand what milk is. It's not really any different if your mother signs the word "milk". It's just coded differently. One language is in sounds. One is in visuals. Consider that the "thumbs up" sign is not inherently positive. We just made positive connections and associations when people gave us a thumbs up. In Bangladesh, a thumbs up is an insult.
The formula for learning to read and write is actually not as structured as you suggest. Children often begin learning how to read before they understand basic grammar. "Me want to play," doesn't mean you don't know the giant "M" downtown means "McDonald's". Any exposure to "print" in real life actually increases children's reading skills. Whether it's a parent reading to a child or they saw the Avengers movie and the child knows the A symbol stands for Avengers. They still made a connection to sound of the word "Avenger" to the written letter A. Which is really just a few random lines. It really doesn't mean anything unless you keep connecting to something.
Now, when it comes to teaching a child to read—understand that the "sound it out" method doesn't mean a child understands what they've sounded out. It will ONLY help if the child can read it fluently enough to recognize the word. If a child comes across the word "dog" and has to stress each sound D...O...G, the child is spending more time thinking about the sounds than the meaning. Children also have to develop the ability to put sounds together. It doesn't matter if you clearly hear all the sounds to the word dog. That's just not something every 6 and 7 year old can do. "D...O...G" is much different than "dog" to them.
Furthermore, phonics (matching sounds to letters) is only a small part of teaching children to read. Phonics is really just for predictable words. Like "cat" and "dog" which follow the rules. Do you know how many words in the English language don't follow the rules? Too many too count. "The", "is", "said", and "you" don't follow the rules. These are taught as "sight words" in school. You just simply have to memorize them. There's actually an official list of a few hundred sight words called the Dolch Words.
To teach a child how to read and write, a mute person ultimately wants to do most of the same things a speaking person would. Reading to children promotes literacy skills, especially if the child is following along in the book. It doesn't matter if the parent speaks or signs the words. If the children listens to the same book enough, sometimes they can memorize the words. Often kids will "pretend" to read a book they've memorized. Which is actually great for their reading. This can help them connect their language to the print in the book.
Something I do with my school program kids is put out crosswords and word searches related to upcoming holidays (surprisingly they do them!). Now that their teachers are probably talking about Thanksgiving, they're hearing the word "turkey" more often, and now that they're probably learning about Native Americans and pilgrims... It's a good time for them to get Thanksgiving word searches and see words in print. Sometimes kids can't actually read the words they're looking for, so I say them out loud. A mute person could sign them. Same thing. Exposure and repetition is what helps children acquire literacy skills.
If your character does not use sign language or any kind of language, then it will be almost impossible for the child to learn. Helen Keller was taught a sort of touch communication. She went on to write very articulately and professionally. Now if you're thinking of something like white board communication, ultimately that's not an efficient way to learn the language. For a number of reasons. For one, it's faster to speak or sign. You're not going to write as much as you would speak or sign (consequently, less connections will be made). Two, babies can't visually focus that well. Thus delaying the learning process. Of course it'd be better than having no concrete language system at all.
3 days ago