The implementation and facilitation of the whole language approach with deaf learners : eight to twelve years old

Rutter, Lucinda (2003-03)

Thesis(MEd)--University of Stellenbosch, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Traditionally, schools for Deaf learners taught the language arts within a behaviouristic model with the result that language was broken down into parts and sub-skills and presented in a de-contextualised way. This approach to teaching was sequentially building from the simplest to the most complex form. In contrast to this, the Whole Language approach focuses on a holistic and integrated approach where all language forms are contextualised. Deaf learners need to acquire language as well as develop language before actively engaging in oracy and literacy. With the acceptance of Sign Language as part of the Total Communication philosophy, the medium of instruction is English/Afrikaans/Xhosa in the printed and written form. This necessitates a move towards an approach in which the teaching and learning of language is meaningful, as well as functional such as the Whole Language approach which includes aspects of constructivist theory, appropriate beliefs and effective practice. This research focused on the factors influencing teachers' acceptance and problems experienced as well as the literacy development of the Deaf learner during implementation and facilitation of the Whole language approach. The qualitative design accommodated the exploratory contextual nature of this type of research. The research methodology was a qualitative case study, consisting of three experienced teachers of the Deaf and twenty Deaf learners with varying degrees of hearing losses and mixed language abilities. The methods used during data collection were interviews, journal entries, workshops, and observations. Data analysis was done by using the procedure of open coding where manageable units of data were coded into categories and themes. These themes and categories were interpreted and correlated with the literature. The researcher facilitated the implementation of the Whole Language approach by providing the resource material, building trusting relationships and continuously consulting with the teachers involved in the study. The findings of the study shows that learners abilities such as confidence, risk taking, interest, power sharing, trust, motivation and active learning contributed to learners engaging in the language system - oracy and literacy whilst it extended and enriched the teachers' practices and teaching strategies.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Tradisioneel het skole vir Dowe leerders taal binne 'n behaviouristiese raamwerk onderrig wat tot gevolg gehad het dat taal in kleiner eenhede en subvaardighede, sonder 'n bekende konteks, aangebied is. Hierdie benadering is stapsgewys aangebied vanaf die eenvoudigste tot die mees ingewikkelde vorm. Hierteenoor staan die Geheeltaalbenadering waar klem geplaas word op 'n holistiese, geïntegreerde benadering waar alle taalfasette gekontekstualiseer word. Die verwerwing en ontwikkeling van taal is 'n voorvereiste vir die Dowe leerder se kommunikasie ("oracy") - en geletterdheidsvaardighede (lees en skryf). Met die aanvaarding van Gebaretaal as deel van die Totale kommunikasie filosofie, word Engels/Afrikaans/Xhosa die onderrigmedium ten opsigte van lees en skryf. Gevolglik is dit noodsaaklik om 'n benadering te volg waar klem gelê word op betekenis om sodoende aan die taalbehoeftes van die Dowe leerder te voldoen. Die Geheeltaalbenadering voldoen aan hierdie vereistes ten opsigte van die teoretiese begronding, die konstruktivistiese filosofie, toepaslike geloofsisteme asook die effektiewe praktyk. Hierdie navorsing is toegespits op die geletterdheidsontwikkeling van die Dowe leerder en die faktore wat die onderwysers se aanvaarding tydens implementering en fasilitering van die Geheeltaalbenadering 'n rol gespeel het. Die kwalitatiewe aard van die navorsingsontwerp het In verkennende en kontekstueel-beskrywende vorm aangeneem. Die navorsingsmetodologie het gebruik gemaak van 'n enkel gevallestudie waaraan drie ervare onderwysers en twintig Dowe leerders deelgeneem het en verskillende grade van gehoorverlies en taalvaardigheidsvlakke openbaarhet. Die metode van data-insameling wat gebruik is, is onderhoude, joernaalinskrywings, werkswinkels en observasie. Die data-ontleding was gedoen deur gebruik te maak van 'n cop koderingsprosedure, waar hanteerbare data-eenhede gekodeer is in temas en kategorieë. Laasgenoemde is met behulp van literatuur geïnterpreteer en gekorreleer. Die navorser het die Geheeltaalbenadering geïmplementeer en gefasiliteer, deur hulpmiddels te voorsien, sowel as om betroubare verhoudings en effektiewe samewerking tussen kollegas te bewerkstellig. Die bevindinge van hierdie studie het gedui dat leerders se vaardighede soos motivering, bereidheid om te waag, belangstelling, wedywering en vertroue 'n bydrae gelewer het tot h/sy inskakeling as aktiewe leerder ten opsigte van die taalsisteem (kommunikasie en geletterdheid) terwyl die onderwysers se onderwyspraktyk en onderrigstrategieë uitgebrei en verryk is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53647
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