The British Deaf Association (BDA)'s project is to train British Sign Language (BSL) teachers to attain more advanced levels of teaching skills and to address the national shortage of BSL teachers. This project also addresses the main issue namely there are very few teachers who are currently at the level who could be trained to teach others to teach; and that they are based all over the country. We addressed this issue by creating an e-learning environment using the latest technology to enable teaching material to be in sign language. By the end of the project (June 2005) the aim is to fast track 24 teachers currently at Basic and Certificate Level to reach Diploma level and in addition teach 12 of them advanced teaching skills so they are able to teach others how to teach. BDA research has found being taught in English through an interpreter is one of the main barriers to progressing to more advanced levels. The majority of potential teachers are trapped at the lower level with only basic teaching skills. This project will intervene to break this cycle. One critical success factor is the use of technology so teaching can be delivered in sign language in a video-streamed format, via web cams and via video conferencing. The BDA and Communication Services for Deaf (USA) provide distance learning over the Internet in sign language. The teaching can also happen in real time by both student and teacher viewing the pre-recorded teaching material and discussing it via web cam. Tutorials can be one-to-one and face-to-face although at a distance by using web cams. A class of students with their Tutor trainer will also be able to come together over the Web by video-conferencing. Students will be able to email their Tutor with questions while watching the lesson on the Internet - Web streamed material will have integral email functionality. This e-learning approach means anyone, anywhere who wants to improve their skills, can learn from home.
|Translated title of the contribution||BSL Tuition in the Hands of Deaf People - a BSL Academy|
|Title of host publication||International Symposium on Instructional Technology and Education of the Deaf, Rochester USA|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|