School of Education

Language diversity and plurality in deaf education

Thinking Aloud

BATOD Conference Cardiff 2016

Cardiff was a lively place for this years annual BATOD conference. I was there representing Leeds University Deaf Education programme. It was a pleasure to have to  the opportunity to network with colleagues from The Ear Foundation, Mary Hare and Birmingham Deaf Education programmes, manufacturers, heads of schools and services and many Welsh colleagues.

A recurring theme for this conference was the importance of CPD for teachers of the deaf: This issue was underlined  by Sue Archbold in her keynote and further discussed  at the NEC the following day. This is an area that I am currently leading as part of the  BATOD working group and potential NaTSIP workstream.  Over the next year we hope to develop a manageable  CPD formative and summative tool that will enhance the profession by providing a framework  for the on going development and monitoring of ToD skills. As this work develops I will keep you updated on our blog.

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Deaf children’s bimodal bilingualism and education

A new State-of-the-Art article published in Language Teaching

This paper provides an overview of the research into deaf children’s bilingualism and bilingual education through a synthesis of published studies over the last 15 years. The practice of educating deaf children bilingually through the use of sign language alongside written and spoken language initially developed during the 1980s in Scandanavia, the USA and the UK. This approach developed as a response to concerns about deaf children’s attainments within traditional spoken language approaches and research demonstrating sign languages to be naturally evolving rule-governed languages.

Continue reading

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Translanguaging in deaf education – Qu’est ce que c’est?

Language use in the deaf education classroom

In our Teacher of the Deaf Programme at Leeds University we ask teachers to describe and analyse the way in which they use spoken and sign language in the classroom and reflect on how their language use influences learning. Increasingly teachers are finding that they are switching between and blending and sign and speech (and written language to some degree) to respond to the learning needs of the pupils and facilitate the right kind of interaction in the classroom to enhance learning. It is no surprise that deaf pupils also engage in this flexible and dynamic use of their two (or more) languages and modalities for learning. We therefore encourage the development of pedagogy which recognises the potential of this fluid and nuanced use of language and focuses on actual language practices rather than policies. Continue reading

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‘It’s complicated’ – Preparing ToDs to effectively mediate languages, communities, cultures and discourses in deaf education.

An ecological perspective on deafness and learning.

At Leeds University we encourage teachers of the deaf to take an ecological approach to their work rather than to compartmentalise aspects of deafness and learning into the separate entities usually presented in the literature (audiology, language development, curriculum, policy). An ecological model of learning acknowledges the complex set of influences on human development and we find this a useful way to envisage the learning issues associated with deafness and for planning learning interventions. Continue reading

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