SIGNED LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY AND WRITING SKILL OF DEAF CHILDREN IN SPECIAL AND INTEGRATED PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN ADDIS ABABA

Tesfaye BASHA LUDAGO

Abstract


The purpose of this study was to investigate the signed language proficiency and writing skill of deaf children in special and integrated primary schools in Addis Ababa City Administration. This study used mixed research methods to collect diverse types of data. The study contained administering Signed Amharic and English proficiency task, writing task, questionnaire, classroom observation and interviews. For quantitative data collection (n = 76) deaf participants were involved. A total of 20 participants were involved in the qualitative part of the study. The participant included teachers of the deaf, deaf students and school principals. The finding revealed that in teaching and learning process, limitation of sign language is prevalent problem of signing and writing. This shows that the schools are not linguistically rich to facilitate sign language acquisition for deaf learners. Furthermore, the finding of the study revealed that the contribution of Signed English and Amharic in the development of natural sign language for deaf children were unsatisfactory. The results also indicated that special schools deaf learners performed better sign language proficiency and writing skill than those of the integrated schools. Besides, the findings revealed that the high signed proficiency group demonstrated higher writing skill than the low proficiency group. This shows that signed language proficiency is highly associated with writing skill. To empower deaf learners in sign language and literacy early sign language and literacy skills development is fundamental. Keywords: signed language proficiency, signed Amharic, signed English, writing skill

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