Please click the links to read abstracts for the presentations or scroll down the page for further information.
the Language Table: A Discussion about the Working Practices of Language
Tutors with Deaf Students by Jen Dodds,
Lynne Barnes, Claire Haddon, Kath Mowe and Kyra Pollitt
Using eBooks to develop Deaf students' bilingualism by Steve Gibson
Care? by Ben Karlin
The Interpreter and Interrupting: Cultural and Group Dynamics by Steph Kent and Anne Potter
Education as dialogue: some implications for deaf learners by Wendy Martin
Should we modify English language for deaf learners? by Rachel O'Neill
Deaf People and HIV in Ethiopia by Alemayehu Teferi
Development Assistance to Deaf Communities in the Developing Countries
by Amy Wilson and Nickson
Supporting d/Deaf students in modern foreign language classes facilitated by Hilary McColl
Consumer perceptions of sign
language interpreting by Jemina
Abstract: Remarkably few studies have examined the effectiveness of educational interpreting. This discussion will focus on research efforts devoted to understanding (and improving) educational interpreting and interpreter education. Studies to be described focus on interactions of the characteristics of consumers, interpreters, settings, and their effects on student learning in the post secondary educational setting.
An introduction will describe previous research, together with the primary areas addressed by the National Sign Language Interpreting Project. A series of studies then will be discussed including implications for practice and for interpreter education. Findings support the need for more research by interpreters and interpreter educators that focus on outcomes as well as processes.
Variables of interest include (but are not limited to):
- Interpreting vs. transliteration
This abstract is available in British Sign Language. The English translation of the abstract is:
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has a well-established national and international reputation as a centre of excellence in the recruitment, retention and support of deaf students. The institution currently supports over 60 deaf and hard of hearing students and has the largest BSL-using student community in any university in the UK.
There is clear evidence that increasing numbers of deaf students are now beginning to enter the new universities (HESA, 2001/2). It is also evident that many of these students are under-prepared in terms of their literacy, numeracy, general study skills and, in particular, their ability to access/produce written English at HE level (c.f. Appendix 3 in Barnes & Wight, 2002). In short, many face an incredible language barrier; struggling to understand textual material and complete course assignments. For this reason, deaf students at UCLan are usually supported individually by a 'language tutor' (LT).
Taking the form of a discussion between a number of practitioners and theorists, this paper will address broader issues around inclusive educational practices, such as whether a minimal level of English should be required for deaf students entering university, as well as questioning the role(s) and investigating the working practices of LTs.
Discussion will be generated from a number of key questions; what is the definition of 'language tutor'? What constitutes good practice? What is the relationship of the LT and teaching staff? Discussions also centre on what actually happens in LT sessions, what constitutes appropriate training, and how LTs do, or should respond to the diversity of language fluency amongst deaf students. Finally, we will explore the subsequent translation issues that arise from this type of mediated work.
It is hoped that this paper will stimulate the development
of discussion and regulation in this field and that, by achieving a greater
understanding of language tuition, more appropriate training can be provided
for deaf students, language tutors and academic staff, and equity of provision
can be promoted.
Dynamics of the Interpreting Industry as Influenced by Video Relay Service
(VRS), and its Impact on the Deaf Community by Jacqueline
Using eBooks to develop Deaf students'
bilingualism by Steve Gibson
Abstract: Bilingualism has had an impact on deaf education in recent years influencing educators to attempt to implement an effective bilingual strategy.
British Sign Language and indeed all sign languages are not as easily 'repeatable' as written languages. However, using multimedia technology it is now possible to make sign language 'repeatable' and thus more useful for educational purposes. With eBooks as developed by DeafEducate, Deaf people can now access written text and see the sign language translation simultaneously and repeatedly. This will mean learners will be able to develop their bilingual skills. The writer will relate his experiences of using eBooks in literacy classes with Deaf learners.
Different reading strategies will be discussed, for
example scanning, using the structure of paragraphs to understand meaning,
using context, prediction, etc. These reading strategies will be explored
in relation to using bilingual BSL / English texts.
Should Interpreters Care? by Ben Karlin
Abstract: As part of the process of professionalization, signed<>spoken language interpreters' associations have adopted codes of ethics which have the effect of regulating their relationships with Deaf people. An examination of codes from a variety of interpreting associations uncovers their common foundation on a particular modern value: autonomy.
Adopting this cardinal virtue has been problematic for interpreters who continue their struggle to justify caring and helping responses in their work. This paper suggests a postmodern feminist value, caring, as a start to understanding interpreters' ethical relationships with Deaf people. This standpoint neither infantilizes or oppresses Deaf people, nor burdens interpreters - but empowers both communities. We look first at existing codes of ethics to show how they enunciate autonomy, and briefly at the culture associated with autonomy as a value. Following this, we present alternative structures of care, one oppressive and a second, valuing caring as a fundamental attribute. We consider the still-developing state of care ethics especially as it impacts signed<>spoken language interpreters.
Finally, we present a particular dilemma faced by interpreters, confronting audism, and how caring provides a solid ethical base from which to work.
Abstract: For years, members of the U.S. Deaf community
and interpreters have debated a model of interpreting that takes into
account the representational desires of Deaf people while also addressing
the practical challenges faced by interpreters. This paper explores the
interpreter's responsibility for noticing and addressing group dynamics
that may have a negative influence on Deaf and Hearing people's effective
communication with each other. Some patterns in Deaf criticism about certain
kinds of decisions that interpreters make (non-linguistic, or group dynamics
decisions) are compared with some patterns in reasons interpreters provide
about these moments of choice: in particular, deciding whether or not
to address an issue, and, if so, how. Tension and emotion experienced
by Deaf persons and interpreters regarding the outcomes of these decisions
suggest that this is an important and difficult conversation about understanding
and connecting across cultural difference.
Education as dialogue: some implications for deaf learners by Wendy Martin
Abstract: There is a growing recognition that Signing learners need access to high quality Sign Language in their education. My paper will offer some support for this from another perspective, that of a sociocultural approach to teaching and learning, based on the work of Lev Vygotsky.
Vygotsky suggested that language has two functions:
From this perspective, education is not a process of individual discovery and growth, but more a process of constructing knowledge through dialogue. Educational success or failure depends on the quality of the dialogue that learners take part in. We need to ensure that Signing learners take part in appropriate educational dialogues.
My paper will also explore what 'literacy' means.
I will suggest that literacy is not just about encoding/decoding between
printed and spoken/ signed language: it is also involves representing
knowledge and information in culturally shaped ways. Literacy is about
'ways of thinking'. Literate thought involves the ability to justify,
challenge and explain points of view, and it is possible to do this in
Sign as well as in written English.
From the late 1970s the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf (BATOD) gained concessions for deaf candidates in exams and this led to informal training of teachers of the deaf in how to modify exam questions. This paper examines the issues around language modification and puts the case for and against modifying or simplifying reading texts which are used in instructional and assessment situations with deaf learners.
It will be argued that many of the criticisms against
language modification (eg Israelite & Helfrich 1988, Solomon 1996)
are actually criticisms of inadequate modification. Nation's views (2001)
of teaching second language learners will be used to support simplification,
or 'roughly tuning the input' as Nation renames it, to make it a more
acceptable process for linguists to consider. Practitioners should make
more use of authentic texts in English teaching classrooms to develop
students' independent reading comprehension strategies (Schirmer, 2003)
but be aware that in mainstream vocational classes many deaf learners
are at an immediate disadvantage if instructional texts are not tuned
to their reading level.
Abstract: The National organization for the Deaf in Ethiopia is the Ethiopian National Association of the Deaf (ENAD) which was established in 1970 by deaf people with the encouragement and help of some hearing friends. Following this, regional branches were reorganized and recognized as members of Ethiopian National Association of the Deaf. The ENAD has 12 regional branch associations.
According to the 1994 Housing and Population Census of Ethiopia, there were 190,220 deaf and hard of hearing people in the country, who are mostly young. In the year 2004 the estimate is expected to reach 250,000 given the 2.9 percent annual population increase per year of which of which 87% live in rural areas where there are no schools for the deaf or where there is no Sign Language except whatever deaf people might improvise among themselves.
Due to the poor level of deaf education and sign
language the deaf in Ethiopia especially in rural areas are mercilessly
exposed to HIV/AIDS. Compounded with their disability, poverty and marginalization
the onslaught of HIV/AIDS threatens the extinction of the deaf community
unless adequate intervention methods are taken on time.
Abstract: It is estimated that of the 54 million deaf people living in developing countries throughout the world, less than 2% attend school and the majority are unemployed. Historically, deaf Africans who did attend school or received job training were able to do so through the generosity of American or European missionaries who arrived in their lands and opened schools and churches. Deaf Kenyans have been the beneficiaries of Northern foreign assistance but have had little to say in what assistance they received, how assistance was decided upon, implemented, managed, and evaluated. This qualitative study will discuss the experiences of 70 deaf adults from various regions in Kenya who shared with the researchers their suggestions and strategies for improving foreign assistance to Deaf communities in Africa.
Interactive Workshop: Supporting d/Deaf students in modern foreign language classes facilitated by Hilary McColl
Outline: Experience indicates that it is very difficult for foreign language (FL) specialists who have not previously worked with deaf students to fully understand the difficulties they face and to see how teaching strategies might be adapted to better suit their needs. Yet, against seemingly impossible odds, some deaf/hearing impaired students do succeed in achieving amazing results. How do they do it? And how are they supported in their efforts? There is a dearth of research in this area, but lots of anecdotal evidence of good practice which suggests that the key to success lies in effective collaboration between foreign language specialists and support specialists. Evidence also suggests, however, that time to engage in effective collaboration is rarely available. How can we facilitate effective collaboration? How can we collect, collate and disseminate good practice?
This workshop is an attempt to do just that: to turn the vast experience of conference delegates and their associates into a compendium of information and advice which can be used by teachers to improve FL provision for deaf and hearing impaired students.
The collection/dissemination technique used in the
conference has been used before, to good effect, in respect of students
diagnosed with dyslexia, but always in ordinary collaborative workshops,
never before online. It involves filling in, over time and as a result
of collaboration between teaching and support specialists, a matrix which
records in summary form (1) characteristics which impede learning (2)
the implications of those characteristics for foreign language learning
(3) strategies which can be adopted to mitigate the problems and maximise
the chances of success (4) the additional support required by student
and/or teacher in order for the suggested strategies to be put in place.
The completed matrix will be available to delegates to keep and use in
their own places of work/study.