Deaf Cyberspace and Situated Learning for the Deaf

By Maria Mertzani.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this paper I would like to introduce the concept of Deaf cyberspace in relation to situated learning within the field of Deaf education. Given that online Deaf communities are formed within text-based and sign-based video virtual spaces and, since cyberspace is a cultural space, Deaf cyberspace can be used appropriately for Deaf students’ learning. It can form a bilingual context that can help Deaf students’ learning. Based on recent research in Deaf cyberspace, this paper will outline how Deaf cyberspace can become a part of Deaf bilingual education. Specifically, I will address the issue of language acquisition through online interactions either in written form (e.g., English) or sign language (e.g., British Sign Language). For doing so, I will present some of the features that characterise Deaf cyberspace and which enable situated learning to occur for Deaf bilingual acquisition. Accordingly, I will point the influence of online negotiations among non-native and native users (Deaf and hearing) into students' language learning based on recent research in writen and signed languages.

Keywords: Deaf Cyberspace, Situated Learning, Deaf Education, Bilingualism, Sign Language, Written Language

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 11, pp.27-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 520.681KB).

Maria Mertzani

Phd Student, Centre for Deaf Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

I am a PhD candidate in Computer-Mediated Communication and Sign Language Learning at the Centre for Deaf Studies, in Bristol University, U.K. I hold a Master of Philosophy Degree in Greek Sign Language Teaching Methodology from the University of Bristol. and a B.A. Degree in Philosophy and Education from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. I was a Teacher of the Deaf but now I work occasionally as a Trainer of Teachers of the Deaf in Greece. I am the coordinator of the Greek Sign Language Program at the YMCA Foundation in Thessaloniki, Greece, which I have developed in September 2004. Since 2001, I am presenting and publishing papers concerning the teaching and learning of sign languages. My research interests include learning sign languages as first/second languages, teaching methodology and eLearning.


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