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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Deafness & Education International

For a Special Issue on
Sign Language in Mainstream Education in Asia

Abstract deadline
14 February 2023

Manuscript deadline
30 September 2023

Cover image - Deafness & Education International

Special Issue Editor(s)

Gladys TANG, The Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
[email protected]

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Sign Language in Mainstream Education in Asia

The trend of inclusive education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students emphasises their integration with hearing peers and access to a full curriculum with the support of assistive hearing devices. This trend has received increasing acceptance in recent decades, especially with the advancement in cochlear implantation, resulting in many implanted students being placed in mainstream schools regularly, and individually. Depending on the system, some may continue receiving educational and communication support, but most are expected to access information in the mainstream classroom using their hearing devices. Meanwhile, research has also shown the potential benefits of sign language and sign bilingualism in raising and educating deaf and hard-of-hearing children when they are exposed to a visual language during the early stage of child development. Sign language is no longer seen as a last resort when all else fails but as an effective hinge for success in deaf and hard-of-hearing children’s language, cognitive, educational and sociopsychological development. While schools for the deaf favouring sign language continue to play a pivotal role in promoting sign bilingual education, alternative modes of deaf education involving sign language in a mainstream setting are worth exploring to support deaf and hard-of-hearing students and to maintain the transmission of sign language and Deaf culture. There have been various attempts to incorporate sign language in mainstream education for the deaf. Two common approaches are recruiting sign interpreters to sustain informational accessibility in the classroom or itinerant teachers who can sign to provide in-class or out-of-class support to deaf and hard-of-hearing students’ learning. Other approaches are also found. In some countries, one way is establishing a specialist classroom with sign language support alongside a regular mainstream system, which allows deaf and hard-of-hearing students to receive education in both an inclusive and a specialist setting. Another way is co-enrollment, a form of educational arrangement that integrates a critical mass of deaf and hard-of-hearing students and hearing students in a mainstream classroom. Just as there are diverse forms of sign bilingual education, co-enrollment education varies in terms of the number of deaf and hard-of-hearing children being placed in a mainstream classroom, the extent of adoption of sign language and the varieties of signing, the inclusion of Deaf teachers, and pedagogical activities.

While a lot is happening in other parts of the world, little is known about how sign language is used in the mainstream classroom to support deaf and hard-of-hearing students’ education in the Asian context. This special issue aims to address this topic. We welcome reports on empirical research or discussions on deaf education programming that attempts to bring sign language into mainstream education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Researchers and practitioners intending to contribute their findings and observations on this topic are encouraged to submit an abstract to this special issue.

Submission Instructions

Special Issue: Sign Language in Mainstream Education in Asia

Abstract proposal requirements:

  • Max 400 words
  • The abstract should indicate the type of paper to  be submitted, an empirical study or a report on deaf educational programming
  • For empirical research: Include the objectives, research questions, methodology, results, and implications
  • For a narrative on deaf educational programming: Include the objectives, background situation, educational and pedagogical framework and practices, observations, and implications for future development
  • Deadline for abstract submission: February 1 2023
  • Results: February 28 2023
  • Deadline for manuscript submission: July 1, 2023

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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