New Sign Language may Help Deaf Students to Understand Science Better

by Medindia Content Team on  January 20, 2008 at 11:19 AM General Health News   - G J E 4
New Sign Language may Help Deaf Students to Understand Science Better
Teachers and language specialists in Edinburgh have created a new vocabulary of sign language that would revolutionise the way science is taught to deaf students in schools.

The new vocabulary incorporates more than 250 signs for scientific terms and can be accessed over the Internet by teachers, interpreters and pupils.

Terms like "photosynthesis", "density" or "bacteria" are explained by on-screen tutors using simple but descriptive gestures that helps in understanding them clearly.

Rachel O'Neill, a lecturer in deaf education at the University of Edinburgh said that deaf children needed such expressions.

"The scientific vocabulary for deaf children has developed simply because we needed it," Times Online quoted her, as saying.

"People realised that there weren't enough deaf teachers in schools and that finger spelling doesn't work for complex subjects. You have to be able to understand the English first and then the concept and that can all be very difficult.

"Problems can be compounded because, with little access to the spoken word, deaf children often have poor reading skills," she added. 

The onscreen gestures also carry written explanations and finger spellings.

The glossary also has its application in teaching mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics,

The researchers believe that the vocabulary would benefit more 3,500 children taught using British Sign Language.

Source: ANI

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