Sommer School 2019 (for teachers)


  • to prepare hearing teachers who may not be users of their ‘native’ sign language and who may have limited access to deaf community deaf culture and deaf approaches to learning.


  • To be able to determine the differences in experience and culture of the ‘deaf ‘ candidates for example, to manage mixed ability teaching of deaf vs hard hearing students; to manage course/curriculum aims where English is to be taught with/without voice; to maintain consistency with deaf culture and deaf experience in preparing lesson plans.
  • To understand the inter-language used by deaf people and to consider the potential role of BSL as a bridge to English competence.
  • To understand deaf attitudes to language learning.
  • To understand the advantages and disadvantages of using sign language interpreters in class.


  • All participants have current and continuing roles in teaching English to deaf students in the partner country.
  • Participants may have limited competence in their ‘native’ sign language but advanced competence in English.
  • The course for teachers is taught separately from that of the deaf students and in a different location, except for one session on the last day.
  • The course is to be taught in the University of Bristol with accommodation nearby. This is perhaps 3km from the student course location.
  • Sessions will be taught in English mainly by hearing tutors although there will be sessions in BSL with interpreters to English.
  • The course content is focusing on the teaching of English at a B2/C1 level appropriate to students who will travel and study in another country.

The planned course

This workshop is for sharing. It is not meant to be an off-the-shelf programme which partners can take away and apply. Each partner has much to learn about the particular situation of each other and the philosophies, research and constraints on their teaching.


All confirmed participants will receive a general information pack and separately a technical pack on the content of the workshop. 


15.00–17.30: Welcome, Introductions, Course aims, detailed timetable 


09.00–13.00: Deaf studies, deaf community, deaf culture, sign language – principles which guide our approach to deaf students and their language development
14.00–17.00:  Presentations from each partner about their student groups and their approach and consequently what we need to cover in our discussions


09.00–13.00: Sharing of existing materials (including Output O2 of the project), different approaches, shared experiences in face to face tuition; as well as online learning approaches (including Output O3 of the project); considering also the significance of the use of BSL online (the Output O4 of the project)
14.00–17.00: Deaf people’s experiences, competences and attitudes to literacy (input from deaf teaching staff on the students during this week)


09.00–13.00: BSL/English conference presentations from the students; these are meant to involve English support materials as well as the use of Live English in voice, text or handouts.
14.00–17.00: Continuation of the conference; Interpretation provided. Workshop participants are expected to make comments and ask questions of the students.


09.00–13.00: Model lessons taught by English teachers from partners’ institutions (briefing notes on this will be supplied in advance); feedback from the students and from teaching staff.
14.00: Discussion, observations, questions 
16.00: Finish – ongoing contact and development plans