Visual images, sharing the meaning

We have been thinking about shared images to support our training on the DOT Deaf project. We’re working to produce modules in four signed and three written languages so don’t often share a word or a sign for ideas but a picture really does help. Feedback on our draft modules has emphasised how much a picture can help discussion.  Understanding a picture by discussing it helps promote discussion of concepts.

I read a paper today about the complexity of deaf children’s language situations and whether the idea of  ‘communication mode’ is helpful (Hall, M. L., & Dills, S. (2020). The limits of “Communication Mode” as a construct. Journal Of Deaf Studies And Deaf Education, 1–15.

It made me think of some of the pictures we have chosen to use to show how we need to work together to understand a child’s language strengths and needs. Finding the pieces and completing the jigsaw – it’s what we try to do with children everyday.


Module development

Thanks to everyone who has given feedback on modules 1, 2 and 3. Work on developing the final versions of these modules in written English and BSL will start in June. Our partners in Spain and Portugal (with support from a team in Brazil) are trying out their modules at the moment. It’s great to have a training course that has involved ideas from so many people – Deaf and hearing.

Fantastic Deaf families

Thanks to some very generous Deaf families, we ae able to include video clips of children and young people using BSL in our module describing ‘Typical language development in sign’. These clips show conversations between children and their parents between the ages of 18 months and 10 years old.

These familes have enabled all family members to be involved in discussing the project and giving consent for the use of clips.

It’s much more difficult to find appropriate clips to use in the module describing atypical development. The ethical issues around consent and use of clips where children are struggling to learn language are challenging! We have Deaf colleagues who watch the signing of children, then reproduce this alongside a comparison of the adult version of the BSL. Not ideal but a good resource for beginning discussions about how colleagues can use language to discuss the language they see.