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A thesis concludes teaching written Catalan language to adult deaf students should be optimized

This thesis is framed within the European project DEAFLI.

This thesis is framed within the European project DEAFLI.

This thesis is framed within the European project DEAFLI.

This thesis is framed within the European project DEAFLI.

25/07/2017

Recerca

Natalia Pérez Aguado’s thesis defence –yesterday morning- in the Faculty of Education, La alfabetización de adultos sordos en Cataluña: Estrategias de la maestra sorda, supervised by Maria Pilar Fernández Viader, professor from the Department of Cognition, Development and Educational Psychology of the UB. According to the author, the thesis concludes that teaching written Catalan language to adult deaf students should be optimized in Catalonia. This collective registers an illiteracy index higher than 80%.


 

Specific teaching and learning strategies are necessary for the deaf

Pérez Aguado regrets there is not much research on the strategies teachers of deaf students use, and explains the idea of the thesis: “due a lack of training and instruction offered to this collective, there is now a pilot course on written Catalan language for a group of adult deaf students, to explore, detect, see and analyse the different strategies for deaf students teachers use and suggest several recommendations for the future educational intervention with this collective”.

The thesis concludes that in the case of the deaf, it is necessary to protect and guarantee four crucial factors: the access and recognition of the sign language and its cultural and language identity; a bilingual and bicultural education taking into account sign language as a communication and vehicular language added to the academic record; insertion of competent lecturers, with a great use of the Catalan Sign Language, who know how to guide students during the process of learning the written language according to their individual needs and differences, and last, the use of specific educational and learning strategies for this collective.

According to Pérez Aguado “we need a change of paradigm in the medical approach to the socio-anthropological model of deafness, which covers hearing loss from a human perspective, regarding deaf people as members of a minority language and culture community, characterized by a sociocultural, language, and historical tradition”.

A thesis linked to the European project DEAFLI

This thesis is framed within the European project DEAFLI, led by the Research Group Desenvolupament, Ensenyament i Aprenentatge de Persones Sordes I Sordcegues I Llengües de Signes (Development, teaching and learning of deaf and blind and deaf people and sign languages, APRELS) of the University of Barcelona. Pilar Fernández Viader, supervisor of the thesis and also DEAFLI main researcher, has dedicated her research task to the collective of blind and blind and deaf people for more than three decades, and has focused her task on studying the importance of communication for the cognitive development and learning. This made her a model researcher of this field in Catalonia.

Apart from the University of Barcelona, the following institutions have also participated in DEAFLI: Universität Klagenfurt (Austria), Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre of University College London (United Kingdom), and the Turin Institute for the Deaf (Italy). Literacy has been carried out through courses divided into fifteen 2-hour sessions, aimed at groups of five to eight people. The Catalan courses take place in LLar de Sords de Badalona.

Fernàndez Viader highlights that “we researchers in APRELS are proud to lead such a prestigious and distinguished European project” and she is convinced that the uploaded materials on the website of the project will be useful for teachers of deaf students all over Europe. In addition, she said they applied for the project DEAFLIUB2 in the last Erasmus Plus call “to give continuity to the project, open new research lines and widen the developed of the last three years, adding new sign languages and new written languages”.

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