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iSLanDS and partners win ESRC-DFID grant for literacy project

22 January, 2015

We are excited to announce that UCLan and Lancaster University have won a grant of £125,000 to study new ways of teaching literacy to deaf learners, alongside project partners including the Uganda National Association of the Deaf, Lancaster University Ghana, and the National Association of the Deaf in India. This one-year pilot project, led by iSLanDS, begins in April 2015 and includes experts in applied sign linguistics, deaf studies, TESOL, cross-cultural literacy research, and learning technology. The grant comes from a joint scheme run by the Education and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development (DFID).

The project aims to discover and explore new ways of teaching English to members of deaf communities in India, Ghana and Uganda. Instead of traditional language teaching, this project takes a learner-driven and ethnographic approach, exploiting a virtual/mobile learning platform and supporting deaf peer tutors to develop their own materials and strategies, including teaching through sign language. Learners will focus on functional aspects of English, which means using it to do everyday things such as sending texts. Led by deaf research assistants in the three countries, this will reveal new practices and interventions that policy makers can use to improve education, literacy and empowerment in deaf communities.

The project has been announced online by the ESRC and Times Higher Education.

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