University of Edinburgh

Bilingual Glossaries

Wednesday 23 June 2006

Sign bilingualism - policy into practice

Robin Ash
Senior Deaf Educational Instructor
Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children

What do we want young deaf people to achieve?

Sign Bilingual practice aims
Policy into practice –

a) British Sign Language

b) English

Challenge for the future

  • Maximise our children’s social, emotional and cognitive development through the use of BSL.
  • Expect our children to achieve fluency in BSL and literacy and age appropriate levels of attainment across the curriculum.
  • Develop high levels of self esteem and confidence in our children so they view themselves as successful, independent learners.

graph of policy

graph of practice

Philosophy into practice - BSL

1. Role of BSL

2. Role of deaf adults

3. Deaf Studies curriculum

1. Role of British Sign Language

  • Language and Communication Policy
  • National Curriculum is delivered through BSL
  • Staffing structure to reflect the equal status of deaf and hearing staff
  • Raising standard in BSL
  • BSL Assessment

2. Role of deaf adults

  • Native users of British Sign Language
  • Provide the children with positive role and language models
  • Empowerment of deaf people
  • BSL Storytelling

3. Deaf Studies curriculum

For deaf children:

  • to know their identity, culture and history
  • to know about Deaf community
  • to know about technology and communication
  • to understand social changes

Content of the curriculum

  • What is Deaf Studies?
  • Overview of teaching programme
  • Primary Curriculum/Secondary Curriculum
  • Sample of activity sheets
  • Assessment
  • Level descriptors
  • Resources

How Deaf Studies support children’s well-being?

  • To develop a positive self-image and sense of identity as a deaf person.
  • To be aware of the different ways in which deaf people communicate with hearing. people.
  • To recognise and learn the skills needed to use technological aids for communication.
  • To learn about Deaf community and their history in Great Britain, Europe and the world.

Philosophy into practice - English

  • Teaching English as a second language
  • Literacy teaching
  • Live English

Literacy teaching

  • assessment and target setting using developmental frameworks for reading and writing
  • working with the National Literacy Strategy

example of developmental framework

  • individual word files
  • colour coding for word classes
  • scaffolding sheets

Live English

  • Functional face-to-face communication between deaf people and English speakers.
  • ‘Live’ used to discriminate between written English and face-to-face communication.
  • Aim for all pupils in a sign bilingual setting to communicate to the best of their ability with English speakers in real life situations.

Challenges for the future

  • Inclusion – Role of the Special School
  • Meeting the needs of deaf children with cochlear implants
  • Raising standard in BSL

School contact details
Robin Ash
Frank Barnes School
0207 586 4665 (voice/minicom)
0207 722 4415 (fax)