THE CHALLENGES AND PROBLEMS OF DELIVERING DEAF STUDIES CURRICULA AT THIRD LEVEL IN IRELAND: OUR ACHIEVEMENTS AND SUCCESSES

Nolan, B. and Leeson, L. (2012) THE CHALLENGES AND PROBLEMS OF DELIVERING DEAF STUDIES CURRICULA AT THIRD LEVEL IN IRELAND: OUR ACHIEVEMENTS AND SUCCESSES. [Conference Proceedings]

Full text not available from this resource.
Official URL: http://library.iated.org/view/NOLAN2012CHA

Abstract

In 2005, two Irish colleges of higher education, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown Dublin (ITB) partnered to create a unique elearning environment based on MOODLE for delivering Deaf Studies degree programmes at TCD. An innovative dimension of this partnership is the multi-functional uses of digital assets across the 3rd level curriculum. We have operated online delivery since then and, over the years, have built a considerable repertoire of digital assets including a corpus of ISL, the 'Signs of Ireland Corpus' which is one of the largest, most richly annotated in the world. This project now has its own website at http://www.deafstudies.eu/sif/ which details the significant research successes achieved to date under our collaboration and the Irish Government Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) Cycle II funding. The project has delivered programmes using blended learning, with innovative use of ICT in the teaching and learning of ISL. It is important to note that there are currently no other universities delivering Deaf Studies programmes with this degree of online content internationally. The programme, with the associated research, is also innovative in its philosophy, with its focus on linguistic analysis, Deaf Cultural discourse analysis and the use of rich media and digital content. Irish Sign Language (ISL) is recognized by the European Union as a natural language. It is an indigenous language of Ireland, separate from the other languages used in Ireland, including English, Irish, and, in Northern Ireland, British Sign Language. Over 5,000 Deaf people use ISL. Across the EU, the average Deaf person leaves school with a reading age of 8.5 to 9 years and, consequently, Deaf people are the most under-represented of all disadvantaged groups at 3rd level. This poses continuing challenges: 1) getting Deaf people into third level education; 2) presenting education in an accessible form; 3) describing, in a scientific form, the grammar of Irish Sign Language, in particular, the linguistic description of the phonological-morphological interface in ISL, and 4) understanding and describing the linguistic and cultural background of the Deaf Experience in Ireland. Signed languages are natural visual-gestural languages, which do not have a written form. Consequently, online content must be multi-modal with SL rich-media learning objects. This is difficult and there are several important challenges in achieving this including: 1. Universal design in an online curriculum for Deaf students 2. Identifying what aspects of ISL learning can best be supported and assessed online 3. Managing issues of assessment, including signed language interpreting skills, in an elearning context 4. Producing a detailed Irish Sign Language linguistic description of the morphosyntacticphonological interfaces 5. Understanding and describing the linguistic and cultural background of the Deaf Experience in Ireland 6. Investigating the potential for creating Irish Sign language Avatars in software We have had a range of doctoral studies linked to this project, initially focused on the deployment of digital learning objects for online delivery of Deaf Studies. Over the life of this project we addressed issues in 1) the actual linguistic description of the phonological-morphological interface in ISL and 2) the Deaf Experience in Ireland through a sociolinguistic research study of Deaf-hearing bilingual and bicultural interactions. This important sociolinguistic research explores the linguistic and cultural background of the communicational behaviour of ISL. This paper reports on research work and experiences focusing on achievements, research outputs and successes.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Additional Information: Nolan, Brian Leeson, Lorraine; Chova, LG Martinez, AL Torres, IC
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2015 08:38
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2015 21:43
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/3301

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year