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Publication Detail
DLSU RP 2000-01: A Descriptive Analysis of the Bilingual-Bicultural Approach in Teaching English as a Foreign Language

The study attempts to describe and analyze the Bilingual-Bicultural Approach used in teaching English as a foreign language to students with hearing impairment on the tertiary level. This philosophy of education teaches students with hearing impairment two languages: their native language plus another language which may be oral or written. Research on the relative effects of different kinds of communication systems on students with hearing impairment is limited and studies on the Bilingual-Bicultural Approach have also been relatively few because the latter is still in the experimental stage. These studies by Brasel & Quigley (1977), Strong (1988), Johnson et al. (1989), and Hammers & Blanc (1989), Neville, Wolkomir (1992), Kyle (1994), those cited by Hussey (1996) and Baker & Baker (1997) show that Oral/Aural approaches and Total Communication Approaches have not been relatively successful. In local studies, research on methodology in teaching those with hearing impairment is even more limited. A previous research on the use of the Oral Method in two schools shows that some students can be taught how to speak in English, although fluency and critical thinking still need to be developed. This study uses the classroom research method. The researcher observed and video-taped a total of 16 classes over a period of six weeks at the DLSU-College of St. Benilde School of Special Studies. She conducted a minute test in the classes she observed, distributed survey questionnaires and interviewed administrators, faculty and students. Three Deaf interpreters assisted her in transcribing the tapes. Her findings show that the medium of instruction/communication of both students and teaches is predominantly Filipino Sign Language (FSL), although other mediums like Simultaneous Communication (Simcom) and Sign Exact English (SEE) are used. The most pressing problem of the Deaf students is their lack of proficiency in reading and writing in English. They have not mastered the rules and structures of the English Language and their first language impinges heavily on the second. The School of Special Studies adopts the Bilingual-Bicultural philosophy of education and the teachers use visual, verbal techniques and a combination of both. In view of her findings, the researcher recommends that: 1. Support programs are needed such as: a) A pre-college intensive course in English grammar, reading and writing for selected students; b) A Writing Laboratory to supplement classroom instruction 2. More reading and writing materials and exercises and net-meeting activities are also needed in the class. 3. A pilot class in English with Deaf and hearing students who know how to sign and a hearing teacher who is also proficient in FSL is recommended in line with the policy of “inclusion”.

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