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Language Therapy in British Sign Language: A study exploring the use of therapeutic strategies and resources by Deaf adults working with young people who have language learning difficulties in British Sign Language (BSL)

Hoskin, Joanna Helen; (2017) Language Therapy in British Sign Language: A study exploring the use of therapeutic strategies and resources by Deaf adults working with young people who have language learning difficulties in British Sign Language (BSL). Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Deaf practitioners, with varied backgrounds, training experience, roles and qualifications, currently work with d/Deaf children who have difficulties in their development of sign language. With the long term aim of improving practice, three questions were addressed: 1. How do Deaf practitioners (DPs) currently work with d/Deaf children who have language difficulties? 2. Can language therapy strategies and resources developed for spoken language be adapted for language therapy in BSL? 3. Can therapy strategy and resource use bring observable change to DPs’ therapeutic skills? The study had three phases. In Phase 1, questionnaires and focus groups asked DPs about current practice. In Phase 2, 4 DPs and the Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) researcher collaborated to deliver language therapy in BSL. Questionnaires, observation schedules and discussion gathered feedback from DPs. Phase 3, based on findings from Phases 1 and 2, comprised a training course for 17 DPs and SLTs. Theoretical information, with data examples from Phases 1 and 2, provided a basis for the training. Course participants provided information about their knowledge and confidence about language therapy in BSL before and after the course with their reflections on the usefulness of the information presented. In summary, the study confirmed that DPs have varying skills, knowledge and confidence. There are challenges for DPs, including accessing information on language disorder, language context, language mixing, and bilingualism. The roles of DPs and the availability of other professionals, such as SLTs, for co-working can make it challenging for practitioners to provide therapeutic intervention. DPs reported training and co-working aided their work. Participants identified a need for shared terminology to discuss language difficulties and intervention in English and BSL. A shared framework for assessment, goal setting, therapy and evaluation is needed. More accessible information, resources, training and supervision would support DPs and SLTs in this work.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Language Therapy in British Sign Language: A study exploring the use of therapeutic strategies and resources by Deaf adults working with young people who have language learning difficulties in British Sign Language (BSL)
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10022827
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