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Using ethnography and 'real literacies' to develop a curriculum for English literacy teaching for young deaf adults in India

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>16/11/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education
Issue number8
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)1140-1158
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date21/03/19
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper reports on an international collaborative project working with deaf learners (19-28 years old) of English literacy in five locations in India: Indore, Vadadora, Comibatore, Pattambi and Thrissur. Indian Sign Language (ISL) was the language of instruction. The project drew on a social practices view of literacy. Deaf peer tutors were trained in creating lessons using authentic materials: texts collected from students’ everyday lives. Tutors and students shared content via an online teaching resource. In the paper, we draw on notes from the training, tutor and student data, to clarify the strengths and challenges of this approach. Real literacies were used fruitfully, but authentic texts could be complex and grammar lessons were often unrelated to these texts. This challenged our assumptions about the applicability of the real literacies concept to pedagogy. Nevertheless, the study confirms the value of an approach that privileges ISL, peer tuition, and online materials.