Building deaf agency through the teaching and learning of ‘English Grammar Games’

Webster, Jenny orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6971-1455, Zeshan, Ulrike orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8438-3701, Pal, Nirav and Manavalamamuni, Deepu (2024) Building deaf agency through the teaching and learning of ‘English Grammar Games’. In: Social Justice through Pedagogies of Multiliteracies. Multiliteracies and Second Language Education . Routledge. ISBN 9781032567891 (In Press)

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This chapter examines data provided by two deaf master trainers and 12 deaf trainee tutors in India who were learning about ‘English Grammar Games’ (EGGs) in 2021. A common approach for teaching English to deaf signers is to explain the ‘rules’ of English in sign language. EGGs may facilitate this with a linguistic rationale that also builds the agency of deaf L2 learners and their deaf teachers. Each EGG starts with a ‘real-life English’ text. Players must find parts of it that match abstract grammatical structures given as prompts, and then create their own examples using the same structure (Papen & Zeshan, 2021). Following on from ‘Peer-to-Peer Deaf Multiliteracies’ (Webster & Zeshan, 2021a, b), the authors evaluate the reports and feedback from this training. They find that using EGGs enables deaf instructors without any background in English language to teach their deaf peers, because the materials and game choreography (Zeshan, 2020) provide an easy access point where formal knowledge of grammar is not needed. This points to the potential for democratisation of teaching and learning in this community through using EGGs. But instruction took more time than anticipated. A pedagogical model is needed wherein trainees share responsibility for creating EGGs.

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