Learning Sign Language in Central America

Older Deaf students at Escuela De Educación Especial Y Centro De Rehabilitación Integral Edecri in Coban, Guatemala help the younger students learn the signs associated with the lesson. Students work together in small groups to review the information and to practice the signs associated with the Spanish words they learned in the lesson. The Deaf Schools Teacher Training Team work in partnership with the teachers to develop visual teaching materials such as word/sign cards, sentence strips, picture posters and lapbooks to help the students visually see the curriculum information in a variety of formats to facilitate better learning.


Can you find the Cow?

File folder games offer a wonderful hands-on activity for the Deaf students to practice the sign language associated with a particular theme (Farm Animals). Using a game format, the Deaf students work together to reinforce their learning of new sign language. The Deaf Schools Teacher Training Team and the teachers work together to determine what type of hands-on activities would be best for their students and discuss how to incorporate them into the daily teaching.




Mini spelling bee game

Most people think that there is a sign for every word but there are many words that you have to learn how to spell as there is no sign. Deaf children need to learn both the written letter and also the handshape of the finger spelled letter so they can spell words correctly. Working with the teachers, we try to find ways to make the learning fun. Using Scrabble tiles, the children learn to spell out words and then we practice how to make those letters with our hands.





Spanish has 3 extra letters

It was fun for our team as Spanish has 3 extra letters that we don’t have in English and the Guatemalan Sign Language letters are quite different from ours.  The children and the team did a mini spelling bee game and the children won.