BSL QED Research part 6
So being able to look at various curricula is very useful and very helpful to establish what is happening on the ground with regard to teaching BSL. This is both in respect of old curricula that has been used for many years, as well as more recently developed curricula. In addition, and of particular importance, is the ability to now be able to discuss grammar and how it is taught more openly, whereas previously there was a reluctancy to share materials and knowledge.
The project allowed us to collect resources openly and gave us the opportunity to examine what and how BSL was being taught.
It was found that some curricula recognised the importance of incorporating cultural information within the curriculum. This only applied to a few, not all curricula. The was also evidence of the use of visually appropriate materials which are clearly most conducive for BSL language acquisition. Visual teaching materials are very affective in helping the learner to avoid English dominance and produce sign language void of English words and structure. The learner can more easily think visually which in turn leads to better production of sign language.
Some courses taught learners the importance of going out and mixing with the Deaf community gaining language exposure which is of equal importance. Courses stipulated that learners should spend time with Deaf people because it was really the best way to acquire language. Social exposure also helps with grammar which has been learnt in the classroom. It is a way of putting into practice, theory and knowledge of grammar which in turns develops confidence in the learner and so it is importance that curriculum should incorporate both the theory and practice.
A variety of teaching methods were shown to be used rather than offering the same methods all the time. This variety included classroom activities and was seen as particularly important in maintaining the interest and enthusiasm of learners.
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