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Title: Sign bilingualism and Arabic literacy : using PVR with deaf girls in Saudi Arabia
Author: Basonbul, Najwa Abood
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 0264
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Despite many decades of educational efforts worldwide, Deaf people often do not develop spoken and written language satisfactorily. Now, harnessing the language that Deaf family members naturally develop promises progress in both sign language and community language literacy. Sign bilingual education (SBE) has developed in several countries but has not been applied formally in Saudi schools for Deaf pupils. This exploratory, sequential, mixed‐methods study introduced SBE, applying the preview-view-review (PVR) strategy as a bilingual approach for literacy in a Saudi school for Deaf girls. Five hearing teachers, two Deaf assistants and 17 Deaf pupils participated. Data were collected via a newly developed Arabic Reading Measure for Deaf pupils (ARMD), semistructured interviews, observations, documents and personal records. The first phase of the study was an ethnographic evaluation of teaching strategies for Deaf pupils and their reading levels, to identify the hearing teachers‘ level of sign language and to observe interaction in the school. The second phase was quasi-experimental, applying PVR to pupils‘ reading strategies and performance. This required the development of a new reading test in Arabic for Deaf pupils. The third phase examined how SBE could be applied in Saudi Deaf education and elicited teachers‘ and assistants‘ views of its application. Following the 30-week intervention, reading performance improved, but several factors were found to limit this improvement. Among themes raised by teachers were compartmentalised application of SBE and low expectations of pupils‘ performance. Deaf assistants recognised the importance of improved professionalism and commented on the competence of teachers, by whom they felt exploited. Classroom observation revealed the ineffectiveness of teachers‘ mixing of vernacular and formal Arabic. The findings suggest that Saudi Deaf education should more systematically apply methods supported by effective measurement of pupil performance. This study adds to knowledge of hearing teachers‘ relationships with Deaf people in schools and has policy implications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available