[PS-1.9] Teaching Greek Sign Language as a First Language and Written Greek Bilingually to Deaf Students

Kourbetis, V. 1, 2 & Karipi , S. . 2, 1

1 Institute of Educational Policy
2 University of Western Macedonia

Over 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents who do not use Greek Sign Language (GSL) to communicate. Due to lack of exposure of most of deaf children to a natural language, SL is not acquired on time and properly.
The knowledge of a visual, accessible language, such as GSL, is directly related to the degree of knowledge and understanding of written language and literacy by deaf children.
Bringing research to practice, we have developed multimedia educational material for deaf students for 1st-4rh grades for teaching GSL as L1 and written Greek as L2. The educational applications include an interactive bilingual digital library which offers possibilities to archive and search through the uploaded GSL material and is interactive with the online dictionary and all written Greek language books and curriculum based assessment material. All GSL data is signed by native signers.
This is an ongoing research and development project, is the largest in the education of the deaf in Greece and the initial results from the implementation suggest a sound, cohesive and successful pedagogical practice for deaf children to learn grammatical structures of GSL as a L1 which will support them to learn written Greek as a L2.