Strategies for Italian Deaf Learners

This paper describes language teaching and learning methodologies adopted in the Italian founded FIRB-VISEL
project, aimed at creating a Deaf-centered E-Learning Environment (DELE). DELE is an interactive e-learning
environment where adult deaf people (both using sign language or not as their primary means of
communication) can improve their literacy skills. Existing research has revealed that many deaf people typically
have problems in the acquisition of written language and in the development of linguistic skills. The risk of
addressing the literacy problems of deaf people in a text-based e-learning environment is to lose the learner's
motivation during navigation, for which the knowledge of the written language is often a prerequisite. Therefore
the DELE we are working on aims to present language learning as an interactive and dynamic process in which
new knowledge is most fruitfully acquired when learners can explore materials and resources flexibly. For the
implementation of DELE, we have incorporated some concepts including CLIL, web accessibility, text
easification, embodiment and storytelling. In the original form, CLIL refers to teaching in content areas such as
science, history or math, to learners through a foreign language. In our environment we aim to improve the
linguistic skills of deaf people in their local language (Italian) focusing on the written language. The deaf users
are immersed in a virtual environment in the form of a university campus. In this environment, our CLIL subject is
"The History of the Written Language," presented as an academic course: the texts are the subject of the course
and there's a virtual final exam allowing the student to pursue the educational path. We will thus present the way
in which CLIL principles can be used to create innovative e-learning environments with increased visual facilities,
whose possibilities could go beyond deaf accessibility and learning.

Publication type: 
Contributo in atti di convegno
Author or Creator: 
De Monte
M. T.
ICT for Language learning, Firenze, 20-21 ottobre 2011
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ISTC Author: 
Elena Tomasuolo's picture
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