Facilitating Exposure to Sign Languages of the World: The Case for Mobile Assisted Language Learning

Facilitare l’esposizione alle lingue dei segni del mondo: Apprendimento delle lingue attraverso dispositivi mobili

Il ricercatore ha cercato di determinare il livello di interesse per le lingue dei segni straniere tra gli adolescenti sordi insieme alle loro preferenze di apprendimento.

I risultati del sondaggio hanno indicato che oltre un terzo degli intervistati non si rendeva conto che l’American Sign Language non fosse universale e che i ragazzi sarebbero potuti essere interessati all’apprendimento delle Lingue dei Segni straniere, per poter viaggiare nel mondo e non necessariamente dal punto di vista scientifico, cioè studiare formalmente, Accademicamente, la lingua Segni.

Questi studenti hanno inoltre indicato che preferirebbero studiare una lingua dei segni straniera attraverso modalità multimediali, piuttosto di una tradizionale lezione frontale.

Becky Sue Parton
Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Foreign sign language instruction is an important, but overlooked area of study. Thus the purpose
of this paper was two-fold. First, the researcher sought to determine the level of knowledge and
interest in foreign sign language among Deaf teenagers along with their learning preferences.
Results from a survey indicated that over a third of the respondents did not realize that American
Sign Language was not universally used around the world. Another key finding from the survey
is that Deaf students are interested in learning foreign sign languages particularly from the perspective of a potential world traveler and not necessarily from the perspective of someone who
wants to formally study the language for college credit. These students further indicated that they
would prefer to study a foreign sign language through multimedia formats, including mobile
learning, as opposed to a traditional face-to-face class. Thus the second purpose of the study was
to design a prototype mobile app to provide foreign sign language learning opportunities for use
individually or as part of a high school enrichment program. An emerging technology tool,
AppShed, was used to develop the prototype, which is cross-platform. The prototype was designed to feature 25 words and phrases related to travel in four different sign languages. Video
clips from native signers were identified for inclusion. In keeping with best practices for mobile
language learning, an interactive component was also included in the prototype whereby users
could produce their own videos for expressive practice. Further research needs to be conducted
on the app’s features and potential integration into formal classroom settings.

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