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ERIC Number: EJ1056769
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0885-6257
The Challenge for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students to Learn Foreign Languages in Special Needs Schools
Kontra, Edit H.; Csizér, Kata; Piniel, Katalin
European Journal of Special Needs Education, v30 n2 p141-155 2015
Deaf and hard-of-hearing (D/HH) learners have the right to equal access to knowledge and information which entails equal opportunities in learning foreign languages (FLs). As part of a larger project, the present study aims at exploring how students in eight specialised institutions across Hungary perceive the challenge of learning a FL. Following the principles of qualitative research, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 31 14-19-year-old D/HH learners. A purposive sample aiming at maximum variety was selected from a cohort of over 100 learners with the help of a previously validated questionnaire that focuses on D/HH learners' FL learning motivations, strategies and beliefs. The interviews tapped into the following five topics: (1) the importance of learning a FL; (2) beliefs about the FL and about learning it; (3) learning modalities; (4) motivated learning behaviour and the use of learning strategies; (5) future goals and the envisaged role of the FL in the participants' future. Our results indicate that in spite of low levels of initial motivation, many of the interviewed D/HH learners aspire to work abroad, where they hope to use the FL learnt. A frequent source of difficulty seems to be respondents' perceived gaps in their own abilities to learn FLs; however, most participants claim that by seeking help and studying harder they can overcome these obstacles. It is also noteworthy that several of our participants find their knowledge of Hungarian inadequate for learning another spoken language. While producing and comprehending speech in the FL is a real challenge, learning to read and write is identified as an attainable goal. The use of Hungarian Sign Language for enhancing in-class communication seems both necessary and inevitable.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hungary
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A