Now we move on to look at teaching methods. As a basis, this project collected curricula that has been taught so far from various universities and adult education institutions and colleges across the world and completed an analysis of signing curricula in order to identify the teaching methods being used. I will explain each method in brief and then, if you would like more in depth information, you will find the references that we provide will guide you to selected texts that contain further details of the various methods.
The first method we will look at is called 'the communicative approach' or 'communicative language teaching'
(CLT for short). This approach we identified as being a strong basis for the Vista College curriculum and we found that many curricula are following the CLT approach. We also found that in Holland the CLT approach is being used a lot in the teaching of sign language. This method uses a particularly functional approach to teaching and is underpinned by the theory of how the language is used. Also, the communicative aspect of this approach means that it is based on everyday issues and general topics of conversation are taken and combined with the functional basis of language teaching to develop into communicative language teaching.
This approach is seen to be positive by some people but is more suitable for beginner levels of sign language learning and this approach needs to be reduced later on when learning becomes more advanced and different methods need to be employed. Remember - no curriculum follows only one method of teaching but is influenced by teaching methods and that is why the CLT style of teaching has been identified as influencing the two samples, the Vista and the Dutch curricula, but the research that we have carried out so far suggests that other curricula across the UK are not influenced by this approach.
However, the recently established BSL Academy's curriculum shows some influence of the CLT method. It does not use it fully but does make some use of it and, in fact, you will find that all curricula are underpinned by some influence from this approach. It may not be explicit but the way that the language works and everyday topics come together to form the basis of sign language teaching.
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