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Deaf literacy project participants complete initial training in India

13 July, 2015
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We would like to thank our research assistants and peer tutors for their hard work and dedication in a two-week training period last month in India at our partner institution, the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) in Kerala. This training marked the initial phase of our peer-to-peer deaf literacy project, and was led by Uta Papen from Lancaster University’s Literacy Research Centre alongside Sibaji Panda and Ulrike Zeshan from iSLanDS.

Trainees take part in a discussion group about teaching English

Trainees take part in a discussion group about teaching English

The ten trainees are deaf sign language users from across India, and from Uganda and Ghana. During the two weeks in June 2015, they were introduced to the concept of literacy practices and a bespoke online/mobile platform for learning English, and they worked on developing communicative competencies in English grammar and vocabulary, focussing on using this language for everyday purposes and training their deaf peers in reading and writing.

Uta Papen leads a workshop on everyday uses of written English at NISH in June 2015

Uta Papen leads a workshop on everyday uses of written English at NISH in June 2015

To continue their work on this project, one research assistant (RA) has joined our Ugandan partner organisation, the Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD), another RA has joined Lancaster University Ghana, three RAs have joined NISH and the five peer tutors have joined NGOs in India (at Thrisur, Pattambi, Coimbatore, Vadodara, and Indore) which are deaf-led. We are excited to have the opportunity of working with such a talented group for this one-year pilot project, which runs until June 2016 and is funded through the ESRC-DFID scheme Education and development: Raising learning outcomes in education systems.

The research assistants and peer tutors with training leaders Sibaji Panda and Uta Papen

The research assistants and peer tutors with training leaders Sibaji Panda and Uta Papen

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