TEACHING HOW TO WRITE IN CATALAN: STRATEGIES FOR DEAF STUDENTS

N. Pérez Aguado, M.P. Fernández Viader

Universidad de Barcelona (SPAIN)
In modern-day society, written language is an extremely valuable means of communication which provides access to culture and employment. Deaf people often have difficulties learning to read and write, and many deaf people are functionally illiterate. In a social context in which hearing is crucial and the written form of a spoken language is a main source of information, the deaf population has a high risk of unemployment and marginalization.

All the textbooks and resources for written language teaching-learning are designed for listening student. It is habitual to forget the specific needs of deaf students. The didactic resources tend to be written documents, sometimes with phonetic transcriptions, sometimes supplemented by an audio resource, most without subtitles and without the Sign Language of the country. The statistics show that the resources available for teaching deaf people in most countries are adapted scantily to the people with hearing disabilities and that the rate of deaf people’s literacy is very low compared to that of their equal listeners.

The PhD thesis The literacy of Deaf adults in Catalonia: Strategies of the Deaf teacher, which is currently in its research stage, as part of the European Project DEAFLI (538750-LLP-1-2013-1-ES-GRUNDITVING-GMP) tries to identify and analyze the strategies which Deaf teachers use in the context of teaching Catalan language to Deaf adult people, all users of Catalan Sign Language (LSC). From DEAFLI two pilot courses of Catalan written language, with a total amount of 60 registered hours, have been carried out with the main target of exploring, detecting, observing and analyzing the different strategies used by the deaf teacher and to propose therefore, several recommendations for educational intervention.

Placement in the classroom; Communicativeapproach; metalinguistic, visual and text resources; Demand Planning Strategies and feedback are some of the tools used by the Deaf teacher in the classroom in order to encourage the development of Deaf adults' linguistic competence.

References:
[1] Fernández-Viader, M., Barella, G., Pérez, N., & Hilzensauer, M. (Junio, 2015). The Deaf Literacy (DEAFLI): A European project for young and adult deaf people e-learning. INTE15: International Conference On New Horizons In Education, Barcelona.
[2] Fernández-Viader, M., Barella, G., Pérez, N., & Hilzensauer, M. (Noviembre, 2015). The DEAFLI: A European project literacy for the deaf. ICERI2015: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, Sevilla.
[3] Pérez, N., & Fernández-Viader, M. (Junio, 2015). Deaf adults' literacy in Catalonia: Deaf teacher strategies. Edulearn15: 7th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, Bacelona.
[4] Pérez N., & Fernández-Viader (Julio, 2016). Deaf teacher strategies in the classroom. Edulearn16: 8th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, Barcelona.