Practice and preferences of sign languages in the instructions of deaf students: some reflections on the mainstream secondary school of Botswana

LEKOKO, Rebecca N
MUKHOPADHYAY, S
Publication Date 
2008

The use of language for every day communication has been and continues to be an essential element of any teaching and learning environment. In this paper, the focus is on the teaching -learning communication in the education of the learners with deafness. While experiences indicate that some people in Botswana are showing more and more interest in Sign Language as a mode of instruction in the classroom, it is also true that many are far from understanding the "Deaf Culture" and to use sign language in the teaching and learning of deaf students. To a great extent, deaf people in Botswana are still disadvantaged and discriminated against, by their condition. A survey carried out in 2004 (1) revealed that some current practices in the mainstream secondary school of Botswana make it difficult for deaf students to progress. While, for example, participants preferred Total Communication; in practise, Signed English is used. Thus, this paper takes a stance that if practices conflict with preference, low performance should be expected. This is currently the situation at the mainstream secondary schools in Botswana, deaf students' inability to hear has become their inability to learn and progress in education. This could be avoided. In this 21st century, being unable to hear is not a barrier to learning, as we are aware that Sign Languages are there as full languages, for the education of deaf.

 

Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal, Vol 19, No 1

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