2015-16 Program Review
Best Practices Form
Instructions: Submit this form as a separate attachment with your completed Program Review. Programs often do something particularly well; usually they have learned through assessment—sometimes trial and error—what solves a problem or makes their programs work so well. These are often called Best Practices and can help others. Please share the practices your program has found to be effective. The contact information lets others know whom to contact for more information. For examples of Best Practices visit the Program Review Committee’s website.
Program/Department: _ASL Program/Foreign Language _ Name of Chair/Director/Manager: _David Neville ___
Email Address: _ Phone: _395-4683 _____
Best Practice(s)Deaf :The ASL Program employs Deaf students as SI Leaders in ASL courses.
The ASL Program has long struggled with providing necessary one-to-one instruction with large class sizes, 30 students, triple the recommended number by the American Sign Language Teachers Association and the Conference of Interpreter Trainers. When supplemental instruction was introduced to campus, the ASL Program embraced the concept and quickly placed SI Leaders in nearly every section. After only one semester, it became apparent that SI represented an opportunity not only for ASL instructors but for Deaf students as well. In the Fall of 2016, many of our SI Leaders are Deaf students who have successfully passed the course in which they are providing supplemental instruction. There are numerous advantages to this:
· Deaf students, when working with hearing instructors, bring a Deaf sensibility to the classroom. They contribute to student learning by
o providing a second and more authentic language model in the classroom
o monitoring visual noise
o conferring on regional vocabulary choices or contemporary language shifts
o compelling a sign-only teaching environment
· Deaf SI Leaders become more engaged in academics at a campus level.
· Deaf SI Leaders gain confidence and real-world, transferrable work experience.
Hearing students come to BC having studied 12 years of English. Deaf students rarely have any formal instruction in their natural language, ASL; furthermore, they usually come from homes in which their hearing family members don’t sign. As a result of this—and not deafness, per se—Deaf students are typically academically underprepared and either unemployed or underemployed, frequently discriminated against in employment settings. By serving as SI Leaders, Deaf students learn more about their language, share their knowledge with BC students seeking to matriculate, engage in gainful employment, develop transferrable job skills, and provide both students and instructors with authentic language modelling. The ASL Program is proud to be affiliated with an institution like BC where opportunities such as these can be extended to this very deserving and at-risk population.
It should be noted that the ASL Program extends SI opportunities to successful hearing ASL students as well. They are employed across all course levels, and are often used by Deaf instructors in ASL B1 courses where they can assist in ASL B1 with minor communication tasks and monitor talking aloud in sign immersion courses. Deaf and hearing SI Leaders participate in training with Eileen Pierce and are encouraged to work cooperatively for the benefit of all ASL SI Leaders—and all SI Leaders regardless of subject.
Embraced by faculty throughout our program, this initiative was spearheaded by Linda McLaughlin. We are excited by its potential and proud of its results. In this program, BC is providing a perfect model of equal access, cultural sensitivity, and focusing on students’ abilities.
Revised by: Program Review Committee (April 17, 2015)Page 1