Using ClipFlair to teach Sign Language learners and improve English language skills
This post includes some suggestions of ClipFlair activities for sign language and deaf and hard-of-hearing learners and thus highlights relevant aspects to be considered when designing such activities. The post has been written by Emmanouela Patiniotaki, Teaching Fellow at University College London. Emmanouela is interested in Accessibility, especially in Online Education, combining the fields of Audiovisual Translation and Assistive Technologies. She has been working as a language specialist and teacher of English and Greek since 2004.
The video chosen is called 'Timber (ASL
story)' and it was taken from YouTube (link: goo.gl/ssDleY channel: goo.gl/PGpczc).
It is educational, promoting sign language and raising awareness about
Since sign language learners can
be both (a) deaf and (b) hearing, it is important to design two types of
activities. However, the same video can be used for (c) signers who need to
practice their writing skills or (d) hard-of-hearing learners under speech
therapy, who want to improve their speaking skills.
Based on the above, four scenarios are discussed with the
use of subtitles and reverse interpreting
(SL being sign language and TL being English):
(a) In the case of deaf
sign-language learners, teachers can use the video and create a task whereby
they will be asking them to create subtitles or fill in gaps in subtitles in
order to check their understanding
of the content. In the same scenario, with timing, students can indicate where
a unit of meaning starts and finishes in an equivalent sentence in sign
language. In this case, subtitles should not follow the conventional guidelines, which determine that segmentation needs to follow English language grammar and syntax
rules. Focus is placed on identifying units of meaning and assigning them to
the right signs.
Example of gap-filling exercise.
(b) In the second scenario, apart
from the tasks suggested above, learners can also prepare "revoicing"
(reverse interpreting) for the video to test the same understanding.
(c) In the third scenario, an
activity can be designed for signers who will be asked to prepare subtitles
from scratch. In that case, teachers can test comprehension and writing
(d) In the last scenario, a
hard-of-hearing student who attends speech therapy sessions, can use the
activity to prepare revoicing either based on the subtitles or based on the
sign language in order to improve their speaking
It is obvious that the
flexibility of the platform allows for the same video to be used in multiple
ways. The above are only indicative and designed to give you an idea of the
various uses of language tools and the power of a video in education.
How about the opposite? You could
ask sign language learners to read a script and record themselves interpreting
the video with sign language. They can then upload the clips to your activity
and you can share it with the whole class!