Teaching Methods part 7
Teaching Methods part 7
We have seen some examples of the teaching methods that this research has identified and we have also looked at the direct method and included that too. Now we will consider some other methods of teaching that teaching method theorists have identified. Of course, researchers will have looked at the general field of language teaching and there are some similarities that match this to what sign language teachers do but there are still some issues to consider. One problem is that up until now there has not been any in depth research in the area of sign language teaching methods.
A huge amount of research has paid attention to speaking, writing, listening and reading skills and the teaching methods best suited to each. For many years, there has been a vast amount of ongoing research and writing and there are many, many PhD theses that have stimulated a great amount of debate in this area. People have offered different perspectives and debated various methods of teaching spoken languages.
This has not been replicated in the area of sign language teaching methods due to difficulties and, therefore, this project is an attempt to bring information regarding both fields together to demonstrate what has been achieved so far. In future years, there needs to be time and appropriate money found to enable research into sign language teaching methods and what is most effective for students' learning. There really is a need for appropriate funding to enable research in this area and to open up discussion and debate of different perspectives. In future years, this would lead to the same amount of academic texts in libraries for sign language teaching as there is for the teaching of spoken languages. They would contain the various theories and perspectives on the teaching of different languages and we would see a much needed growth of research and texts in this area.
There have been attempts to encourage this over the years and there has been occasional research in the field but this now needs proper attention. This would not be easy and we recognise that it would present challenges. We would need to question whether adopting the theories and principles of spoken language teaching methods is suitable for research into visual language learning. In some areas the two fields may be able to work together but in other areas it would not be appropriate and some of the spoken language teaching methods would not be able to be used due to not being suitable for sign language teaching. This is one example of why there needs to be more academic investigation in this field.
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