Factors affecting the use sign langauage in the learning of hearing impaired pupils in selected upper primary schools in Lusaka district
Kamukwamba, Kapansa Lizzie
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The study evaluated the factors affecting the use of Sign Language as a medium of instruction in the learning of the hearing impaired in upper primary schools of Lusaka District, Zambia. Working within the descriptive research design as it provides background data for a larger study. The study was based on Naomi Chomsky’s theory of language acquisition of 1977. Fifty-seven (57) respondents participated in the study consisting of twenty teachers (20), thirty pupils (30), two (2) Curriculum specialists, two (2) lecturers, two (2) advocators for the rights of persons with hearing impairments and one (1) Principal Education standard officer from the Ministry of Education. The study was guided by the following objectives, (1) to establish Factors affecting the use of Sign Language as a language of instruction in the learning of the hearing impaired pupils. (2) To examine how these factors have affected the use of Sign Language as a medium of instruction in the learning of learners with hearing impairments. (3). to suggest measures that can be taken to improve the use of Sign Language as a language of instruction in the learning of the hearing impaired. Research instrument that were used in this study included observation checklist, individual interview guide for teachers, pupils and key informants from ministry of Education, CDC, lecturers from University of Zambia and Zambia institute of special education and Zambia National Association of the deaf. It is against this background this study sought to establish the factors affecting the use of Sign Language as a medium of instruction in the learning of the hearing impaired learners in Zambia. The study findings revealed that, there was a variation in the use of Sign Language which participants believed to affect the use of Sign Language in academic work. The study conclusion recommended that, Sign Language courses for teachers should be long enough and more practical to equip teachers with signing skills. The harmonization of Sign Language training for teachers should be a priority step to be taken in order to improve the education status of hearing impaired learners and that Sign Language instructors should include adult hearing impaired as demonstrators.
The University of Zambia