- Deficits in vocabulary have a negative impact on literacy and interpersonal interaction for deaf children. As part of an evaluation, an outcomes assessment was conducted to determine the effectiveness of a computer-based vocabulary tutor in an elementary auditory/oral program. Participants were 19 children, 16 profoundly deaf and 3 hearing. The vocabulary tutor displays line drawings or photographs of the words to be learned while a computer-generated avatar of a "talking head" provides synthesized audiovisual speech driven from text. The computer system also generates printed words corresponding to the imaged items. Through audiovisual reception, children memorized up to 218 new words for everyday household items. After 4 weeks, their receptive vocabulary was tested, using the avatar to speak the name of each item. Most of the students retained more than half of the new words. The freely available vocabulary tutor, whose characteristics can be tailored to individual need, can provide a language-intensive, independent learning environment to supplement classroom teaching in content areas.