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Study at AGU highlights Sign Language Learning among student

December 2, 2020
finance & economy

A scientific study that was recently conducted at the Arabian Gulf University (AGU) aimed to design a programme to teach sign language to gifted school students and to test the effectiveness of this programme in enhancing communication between ordinary school students on the one hand and students from the deaf category on the other hand.

Conducted by researcher Ms. Haya Sulaiman Al Omran, the study was titled “The Effect of a Programme Based on Teaching Kuwaiti Sign Language on Spatial Reasoning, Working Memory and Attitudes Towards the Deaf Among Gifted, Ordinary and Learning Difficulties Sixth Grade Students in the State of Kuwait”.

The study was submitted by Ms. Al Omran as part of the requirements to obtain a PhD in Gifted Education from the University. Stressing the importance of the study, Ms. Al Omran affirmed that the study focuses on the category of ordinary students in order to enhance their sign language skills to support their deaf counterparts, learn their culture and identify their problems and needs.

While discussing her study, Ms. Al Omran said: “Through this programme, we sought to help enhance the acceptance of the deaf community and correcting the negative image of the deaf category among students, as well as meeting the needs of students with learning difficulties, as the use of sign languages with them increases the possibility of improving their learning with regard to perception and response to commands that require organisation, especially for those suffering from attention disorders. It is also a good way to communicate with people suffering from language disorders.”

The researcher announced several recommendations, which included supporting the learning of Kuwaiti sign language in public schools in the State of Kuwait, as well as learning local sign languages in various countries of the Arab world, in addition to paying more attention to educating societies about the culture of deaf people and the ethics of dealing with them.

“This could be done through various informational materials that aim correct the misconceptions about the deaf community and raising awareness on sign language interpreters’ importance, as well as allocating programmes to teach sign language for children, establishing sign language education centres, providing universities with interpreters, creating deaf clubs and deaf associations, and applying educational strategies that take into account the different learning styles and individual differences between students in the classroom,” she added.

It is worth mentioning that the study was prepared under the supervision of Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics Professor in AGU’s Gifted Education Department Dr Alaaeldin Ayoub and Gifted Education Associate Professor at AGU Dr Fatima Ahmed Al Jassim, while the discussion panel consisted of Psychology Professor at the University of Bahrain Dr Ahmed Saad Jalal as an external examiner, and Learning and Education Psychology Professor within the Gifted Education Programme at AGU Dr Abdulnasser Theyab Al Jarrah as an internal examiner.