University of Edinburgh

SSC Course 10: How do deaf children develop sign language?

Presented on Monday, 24th October 2016

Course evaluation summary

Number of Participants: 29
Number of Respondents: 28

Overall Assessment:

How would you rate the following: Excellent = 1; Poor = 5

Enhancement to your expertise


Content and supplementary material


How will you use what you have learned today?

To explore options for my pupils, especially in terms of assessment.
Has affirmed my questions around the use of other signing used in schools (Signalong) in terms of meeting needs.
At work to look at acquisition of BSL skills in school children.
Will look at some of the assessments online and look into Specific Language Impairment (SLI) more for a few children in service.
Research how to approach reading. Discuss Signalong versus BSL in school. Made me realise how much I am failing my pupils.
More awareness in interpreting situations with children.
I will be able to use and apply the information I learned on teaching methods for deaf children with hearing parents.
Help me to be more aware of the possibilities of SLI and aware of the assessment tools available.
No BSL users at the moment, but may have in future.
Try and get school to use BSL (maybe in pipeline). Learn BSL.
Access DCAL (Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre) as I am aware of different valuable assessments.
Pass information on to Teach of the Deaf (ToD) colleagues and mainstream - important everyone has the same high expectations.
Use it to build upon what I already know about teaching the deaf.
Check out website and tests and hope to use some.
To help diagnose a child with SLI/assess receptive/productive skills.
I will continue to do what I'm doing in my work environment, but also maybe use more video work as suggested to aid children's learning.
My expectations of the different children I work with have been changed. New ideas for assessment of deaf children. Better understanding of how background affects different children I work with.
Impact in class teaching and understanding.
Cascade to staff. Use what I've learned to assess pupil's BSL skills, check for "normal" development.
See about using assessments suggested. Feed back to team.
I will look more closely at how I wait for a response from pupils in my care. Also consider how the pupils produce signs, re hand shape, orientation, etc.
Better understanding of the factors that lead/contribute to SLIs in deaf children.
Will look into BSL assessment tools and how to use.

How would you rate the following: Excellent = 1; Poor = 5

Clarity of presentation


Pacing of course/event


What was best about the course/event?

Examples from real life, e.g. videos of Ava. Also, analysis of morphology - hand shape, etc.
Language development and SLI info.
New info about acquisition of BSL.
Confirmation that acquisition of language before age 5 is crucial, whatever that language may be. Parents and children need to be given an option of BSL if speech is not developing.
Very knowledgeable presenter. So refreshing to listen to an expert.
Learning common hand shape mistakes in young children.
Knowing now how difficult it would be for a deaf child growing up in a hearing family with an additional language at home.
Presenter very clear.
Whole course was excellent.
Delivered by a knowledgeable deaf person and could link to her own experience and research.
Learning about similarities between spoken and signed language acquisition.
The clarity of the speaker.
Confirmation I'm on the right path - always good to know when you're dealing with young lives! Meeting colleagues. Information about assessments and assessment centres and types of tests to be carried out.
Very well presented/wealth of ideas assessments which will help against using inappropriate tests for deaf kids.
I enjoyed this course because it linked to the job I do everyday and helped reassure me that what I was doing for children was right.
Lots of opportunities to ask questions. Information from first hand experience.
Wide experience of presenter.
Discussions and questions. Clear information.
Development of BSL - what to look for. Assessments to use to assess BSL.
Friendly approachable presenter, videos.
Revisiting morphology - from previous study (BSL).
Getting a chance to see the videos.
Video demonstration of BSL in a deaf family, seeing the difference aged 2 and 5 years.
Useful links and further resources. Interesting about development of BSL and comparison with deaf children.

What, if anything, could have been improved about the course?

Maybe too much time after lunch promoting BSL - preaching to the converted?
How to approach teaching deaf children or children with SLI.
Insight into how we, as teachers, overcome the barrier of children coming to school languageless.
More discussion or activities to reduce listening time.
I personally think the first part could have been quicker and more time spent on SLI versus delay. Knowledge of where assessment might be available within Scotland or resources/methods to be used after diagnosis.
Examples of assessment being utilised/short clips.
More time on what "normal" development in BSL is - what expected to see at different ages. Development of hand signs, etc. Less time on why we should use BSL - audience all agreed with that to start with.

How did you hear about this course?

Course Info Email from SSC: 13
Co-ordinator/Line Manager: 8
Colleague: 4
SSC Website: 2

What other CPD training would you like the SSC to provide?

Specific sources on supporting literacy in pupils with BSL.
Tools to support children after results are gathered of assessments.
Auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder awareness.
More courses linked to deaf education would be very beneficial.
Teaching phonics.
Perhaps the 3 day course running in London at DCAL to be trained to test deaf children in Edinburgh.