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English teachers for deaf or hearing-impaired students in French schools: Needs, barriers and strategies

Abstract : This paper deals with English teachers who work with deaf and hard‐of‐hearing (D/HH) students. In France deaf students are required to attend foreign language classes – mostly English classes. The purpose is not to teach them British sign language (BSL) or American sign language (ASL), but written and/or spoken English. Indeed, sign languages are distinct from spoken languages and differ from country to country: there is no universal sign language. English teachers of the deaf are mostly hearing people. They work either in mainstream or special schools. Most of them have no specific qualifications. In this context, they are faced with the tremendous challenge of how to adjust their teaching to their students’ impairment and at the same time develop the latter's knowledge and skills in English. In order to analyse teaching practices in English classes, questionnaires, interviews and in‐class observations in several special and mainstream schools were conducted. Findings show that different teaching strategies are used in order to make English lessons accessible to D/HH students: teachers have to adapt their teaching language and also use written and visual supports to accommodate D/HH students. Obviously teacher training needs to be improved
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https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02333359
Contributor : Diane Bedoin <>
Submitted on : Friday, October 25, 2019 - 12:09:42 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 1:54:01 AM

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Diane Bedoin. English teachers for deaf or hearing-impaired students in French schools: Needs, barriers and strategies. European Journal of Special Needs Education, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2011, 26 (2), pp.159-175. ⟨10.1080/08856257.2011.563605⟩. ⟨hal-02333359⟩

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