University of Edinburgh

Supporting Deaf Pupils in Secondary Schools

Presented on Wednesday 28 September, 2011

Kirsty Steele
Teacher of the Deaf
Calderside Academy

Teaching French


  • Have more than enough problems with English - should we introduce another language?
  • Give up base time?
  • Assumption they won't do well?
  • Unable to predict success at onset.
  • Pupils resentful at being denied opportunities available to their hearing peers.


  • More able pupil - dependent on pupil ability
  • Good use of amplification
  • Learning about cultural differences
  • Grammar and syntax awareness - learning rules of their own language through French.
  • Life skill - comprehension
  • ToD is a qualified French teacher.
  • Can achieve a partial award from SQA - reading and writing only.

Teaching style

  • Teacher-led activities
  • Pupil-led activities
  • Role-play activities
  • Through CD and Internet
  • Group work (confidence building), pair work and whole class activities
  • Songs, poetry, board games
  • Flash cards
  • Use of dictionaries and text books
  • Differentiated for support

Vocabulary - S1/S2

  • Acquired basic nouns, build to sentences.
  • Booklets
  • Advantage - first time really understood grammar, improved vocabulary and tenses.

Vocabulary - Standard Grade

  • Francoscope
  • ToD prepares vocabulary sheet for each unit - course is clearly structured.
  • Phrases given phonetically - un (an), deux (doo), trois (twa)
  • DVD produced to accompany -INVALUABLE!
  • time, quiet place - no bells, help from Technician, many hours used at end of school day.
  • DVD allowed Mum to help too.

Developing listening skills

  • Tried radio aids, loop system
  • Worked with Audiologist and Outreach teacher.
  • Watched Mainstream teacher - lipreading skills, becoming familiar with lip patterns - position of desk.
  • ToD would repeat if necessary
  • ToD also has transcript of tape - LIAISON is key.

Speaking exam

  • Passage would be worked on in class and gone over with ToD who worked on pronunciation.
  • ToD makes DVD

Exam arrangements

  • No DVD used - live presentation.
  • Quiet room
  • Apply to SQA for CD with extra time built in.
  • TOD read from script instead, incorporating timings.
  • Sit with clock - tap when to start again.