Schedule and Outcomes
The objectives for the Language Skills Erasmus Summer School are necessarily limited by its short duration. A great deal has to be compressed into a short time period. The primary objectives are therefore to provide a taste of a BSL‑led approach to English and to indicate how this might be transferred to use of own sign language in tackling English learning. This is to be supported by online materials available in advance of the summer schools. Presentations by students within the summer school will be critiqued by tutors and fellow students. By the end, we will see some progress in English, but also in the potential for different approaches to teaching and learning.
English Teaching Components
Writing English and Reading English are the main components the Deaf Studies Trust (DST) Summer School:
In this component, the students will be encouraged to express themselves in English in written (or spoken form) as appropriate to that individual student. This will be linked to a themed set book which will be used from the beginning of the Summer School. Students will be encouraged to keep a diary/report but will also be expected to present their ideas in BSL and English at a ‘mini-conference’ on “Deaf Culture & Community”. This may involve creating powerpoint presentations in English to support their 10 minutes of explanation. Each student will prepare material in advance of arrival at Summer School and will be guided during the sessions on how to develop this in English. The mini-conference will be attended by all fellow students and potentially members of the teachers’ workshop which is conducted in parallel.
2 Reading English
The focus of this component will be on comprehension of written texts relevant to general professional content. There may be some teaching of grammar but it is intended that more emphasis will be given to functional skills in comprehension. Reading will also be treated as a valid incidental activity where all sources of English, signs, advertisements and television subtitles, will be examined.
Content and Tuition
The content of teaching will be established depending on the level and interests of students. This may draw on academic texts as well as general texts on English. Primary tuition will be by bilingual Deaf teachers, fluent in BSL and English. There will be a set book and materials online and in hard copy. The extent of the tuition is constrained by the length of the summer school.
All students will be expected to have some level of skills in English prior to the start of the Summer School. Data on this will be collected in test materials distributed in advance and should be returned at least three months prior to the start of the summer school. The students will also be given some initial material in written English and comprehension. This is to be brought to the Summer School and will be used as part of the initial assessment.
The Summer School presumes that students have already progressed in Higher Education in their home country and have some competence in English in the professional or academic domain.
Deaf Studies Trust, The Vassall Centre, Gill Avenue, Bristol BS16 2QQ