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Preparing teachers for deaf students from linguistically diverse families Barbara Gerner de García Gallaudet University.

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Presentation on theme: "Preparing teachers for deaf students from linguistically diverse families Barbara Gerner de García Gallaudet University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preparing teachers for deaf students from linguistically diverse families Barbara Gerner de García Gallaudet University

2 Demographics of deaf children and youth, Approximately 45% of deaf children and youth are minority. 20 % Hispanic 4% Asian/Pacific >1% Native American 16 % Black/African American 1.5 % multi-ethnic and 1.6% Other 56% White (including Unknowns)

3 Language Minorities Language minority families: families whose home language is a language other than English. Language minority students are those from homes where the primary language is a language other than English. They include students whose first language is not English who may be US born or foreign born.

4 Limited English Proficient Students As defined by Title VII,students whose home language is not English, who may be immigrants, enter US schools without experience with the culture and uses of English, and are educationally disadvantaged are considered Limited English Proficient (LEP). Some, but not all language minority students, are LEP.

5 How many deaf students come from language minority families? 15.3% of Latino deaf children come from homes where Spanish is spoken. Statistics on other languages are not yet available. The question was asked on the Annual Survey for the first time in Possibly half or more of the Asian/Pacific deaf children have other languages spoken in their homes (In 1997,60% of A/PI in the U.S. were foreign born).

6 Blacks/African American include immigrants with diverse home languages such as Haitians, Cape Verdeans and Africans. There are over 360,000 speakers of Native American languages in the U.S., 148,500 of whom speak Navajo. Whites include recent immigrants from the former USSR, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Europe.

7 New demands on all teachers More teachers are responsible for the education of children from diverse backgrounds-- Children who know little or no English upon arrival at school, who may have had interrupted schooling in their home country, and whose families may have had little exposure to the norms of U.S. schools. The teaching force is not well prepared to help culturally diverse children succeed academically and socially, Pre-service teacher preparation programs have not offered sufficient opportunities for learning to teach culturally diverse students and many teachers have been learning on the job. Clair, 1995

8 Teacher Education Needs Pre-service preparation must include courses and experiences that prepare the students to work with linguistically diverse families and their deaf children. Professional development should be provided for teachers currently in the field. Teacher educators also need education in this area. Collaboration with colleagues and departments offering courses in bilingual/ESL education should be fostered.

9 Considerations in the preparation of teachers for LEP/LM deaf children The separation of deaf education/special education and bilingual/ESL education means the knowledge base for teaching LEP/LM deaf children has not been defined. There is a lack of models of how to best prepare teachers of the deaf to work with LEP/LM students and best practices in teaching deaf LEP/LM students.

10 Issues in the education of deaf/hh LEP/LM students Improving educational outcomes for LEP deaf, particularly Hispanic deaf which have remained poor for over three decades. Developing effective home-school relationships with language minority families. Defining the relevant knowledge base for teacher candidates and teachers of LEP/LM deaf students. Assuring compliance with IDEA and federal laws regarding LEP students which may be overlooked for LEP/LM deaf and hard of hearing students.

11 Services for deaf LEP/LM students Deaf students who fit the federal definition of LEP should be provided special services such as ESL and modified content instruction under federal law. If their English skills are limited compared to their deaf peers, and/or they lack knowledge of American culture, to the extent they have difficulties learning in classes with their peers, they should receive support. Specialized instruction might include ESL, instruction using a language other than English, cross-cultural training, and teaching of ASL (or sign system used).

12 Model Strategies in Bilingual Education: Professional Development In addition to the areas of professional strength required of all teachers, five special types of expertise are frequently cited in portrayals of effective teachers of LEP students: (1) using comprehensible input--content presentation methods that take into account students' language and experience; (2) eliciting students' use of target language; (3) taking advantage of students' language resources; (4) infusing language development into content instruction; and (5) reflecting critically on professional practice. U.S. Department of Education Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs 1995

13 Coursework Offered for Preparation of Teachers of Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students Second Language Acquisition Multicultural Education Bilingual Education Bilingual Curriculum Native Language Linguistics Literacy for 2 nd Language Learners Linguistics ESL Methods Bilingual Methods Course(s) in a Language Other Than English

14 Relevant CED/CEC Standards I. Philosophical, Historical & Legal Foundations of SPED A. Knowledge –cross cultural perspectives & their impact upon atypical children, their families & schools –cultural, linguistic, academic & social-emotional impact of educational placement options for d/hh children III. Assessment, Diagnosis & Evaluation A. Knowledge- influence of diversity on assessment, eligibility, programming and educational placement of atypical children IV. Instructional Content & Practice A. Knowledge - techniques for modifying instructional methods and techniques that reflect learner needs, diversity, and family dynamics.

15 B. Skills - develop/select assessment tools, interpret and use assessment data to design instructional programming (including appropriate technologies) that meet individual learning needs, cultural, linguistic and gender differences and to monitor children progress VI. Managing Student Behavior & Social Interaction Skill A. Knowledge - strategies needed to instruct the development and use of the social skills that are needed for educational and functional living environments and for preparing students to live harmoniously and productively in ethnically diverse settings. VIII. Professionalism & Ethical Practices A. Knowledge - one's own cultural biases and differences that affect one's teaching. B. Skills - demonstrate a commitment to developing the highest educational and quality of life potential of atypical children and a positive regard for the cultures,religion, gender and sexuality of students.

16 Laws that apply to language minority students 1964 Civil Rights Act: Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in the operation of all Federally-assisted programs Title VII - Public Law Limited English proficient students must be served appropriately Lau v Nichols. School districts must take "affirmative steps" to overcome educational barriers faced by non-English speakers. Deaf students, with some exceptions, are not served under Title VII, but under IDEA.

17 Equal Educational Opportunity Act. The failure to take appropriate action to overcome language barriers denies equal educational opportunity. Native American Language Act of 1990,1992. This federal policy recognizes the language rights of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and facilitates efforts to preserve indigenous languages.

18 Family support needs Translations of IEPs, required written notifications, and interpreters for IEP meetings Providing access to participate in school activities such as parent meetings, and sign language classes. Networking with community agencies and identification of resources is an important step.

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