Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

The Need for and Benefits of Sign Language Interpreters in Education


Kleeping??? Hey guys it’s Ra here again for
another video, Um…sorry about the weird buzzing in the
other video. I don’t know what happened
to the microphone. Um…I’ve just been testing the audio
on this camera, and I think I’m gonna have to just use the
camera microphone alone, so I’m sorry about that. Um…anyway, let’s get on with the video! Now, what do I want to do this time? Oh and if you think the wall behind me is different,
it’s not, it’s just another wall in my bedroom. Yeah. Just ignore…that. Now, I do actually want to sign
and talk at the same time, but unfortunately sim-communication
-simultaneous communication is really really difficult if you’re doing it for
minute after minute, so I’m just going to like drop sign language-signing and
just talk. Um so I hope you guys
are okay with that. Um…but don’t worry,
this video will be captioned. Um…so as you know,
I went to a like- if you’ve seen my last video, I went to a…mainstream
school up until I was 14 (well, 13). And that was really good academically. Socially it wasn’t but that
will be a whole different video. So I went to a mainstream school. I just had general teacher aides, um…they were good but they didn’t know
sign language, and I didn’t know
sign language either. Um…’cause I went to school
when I was 5, um…because everyone around me
was hearing and no one signed, I eventually just dropped signing. Um…yeah. ’cause it wasn’t really sign-proper sign language, I um…because… …it was “home sign”. Yeah that’s what they call it,
it was home sign. Um…so I just basically
signed to mum, and it was like-we were using
sign language as a pathway to to developing spoken language. Um…and I’m not going to
go into that in this video, that’s like a whole different topic. And I am aware that is very controversial, um…people’s opinions on that, so I’m not gonna go into that. I mean, you think what you want to think
but that’s-I’m not going to go into like whether that was good or bad. Um… so it’s like, not the point of this video. So anyway, I went to a mainstream school(s)
from 5 until I was 13, and then, when I was thirteen we
found like-this guy came from the Deaf Education Center. He was trying to find
all the deaf students that weren’t actually under
the Resource Teachers of the Deaf, and I’ll go into this
a little bit because the Resource Teachers of the Deaf, what they do is they
go out to the regions, ’cause like the students in the cities
are ok, reasonably, because you know, you’ve got offices of
the Ministry of Education or whatnot in the cities. I’m just rambling.
Just trying to explain it all. The Resource Teachers, their job
is to um… and this is only from what I understand, this might not be the actual
definition of a resource teacher in New Zealand. Well, a Resource Teacher of the Deaf. So what they do, is they go out,
they might teach students in class for a little bit, and then they go away. So it’s not like they’re with
students everyday, So the Advisors of the Deaf, they go out to schools, and sit in
on IEP meetings, and just make sure that
the hearing aids are working, and the students have enough batteries, and
just generally make sure things are going okay. Um…so I was under an
Advisor of the Deaf for my region. It was just one person who
came out to see me. I think later on I found out there were more Resource Teachers of the
Deaf and Advisors of the Deaf who covered my region. I was literally the only one within my region kind of
inside the region that was the deaf student
in school. so… Anyway, this guy came from the
Deaf Education Center. He was trying to find students who
weren’t really touchbasing with Resource Teachers of the Deaf
or Advisors of the Deaf, and trying to put us all like on a register and make sure, I
think, that we were okay. I was like, 13 at the time, so it’s a really long time ago,
and I’m not actually sure what the meeting was like,
even though I was in the meeting. So he came and met me and explained all about how the Deaf
education center worked what it was like, and that you could actually board there. …I think I should’ve put this in my last video… So…I was like “what??”, then my mum and I talked you know, and we decided you know what?
Let’s just go and have a look at it, so we went up there we had look, and so I decided to
board there. Education-wise it was interesting,
because the guy was actually asking, sort of like trying to find out why I
wasn’t under a register or anything, or the Resource Teachers of the Deaf, and we kind of came to the unofficial conclusion – this is like anecdotal,
it’s not like an official kind of statement that was on
any papers or anything. But we kind of came to the conclusion
that it may have been because although socially I did struggle,
I was doing really, really well academically. Except for maths, which is like “normal”, but we didn’t realize until many, many years
later that I actually have dyscalculia. Everything else was pretty good, so there was that no major
cause for concern to actually bring in someone to teach me
one on one for like, an hour or two. Sorry if you can hear that noise,
that is the rain, it’s just literally started raining really hard. So I went to the deaf school,
and from I think when I was in Year 11, that was when
I was 15, that was when I really
started seeing the seeing the benefit of interpreters and
teacher aides in education who know sign language. The example I gave in my last video of having a classmate who I had
a lot of English classes with That was really interesting having a teacher
or an interpreter in the classroom because if the teacher was walking around, and I’ve already said I hate that. I really, really hate that. If they’re just walking around
the classroom and just, you know, talking and klee- keeping an eye on students. That was like, really difficult in the past, because I would have to sit at a desk
and basically turn around, and follow the teacher
so I could read their lips. And although you know,
most teachers were pretty good, just like,
trying to keep an eye on students and you know,
standing in the front of the room. But if they have a teaching style they really
like and you know, are already used to, like, they like to move across the room
in the front or, like, just zip to the back of the room,
and stuff. You can’t sort of help it,
because that’s… they’ve probably been teaching like that
before the deaf student was even a teacher or- a student of theirs. Some people, I’ve realized later on, used to call deaf students “bobble heads”. I am not joking.
They used to call some of us “bobble heads”, because we would like, have to move our
heads all the time just to keep an eye on the teacher or someone
at the back of the classroom and they were speaking. We had to turn
and look at them. While everyone else just
kept writing, or looking at the front at the
teacher-watching the teacher’s reactions. Yeah it was
really great. So having a teacher aide
or an interpreter in the classroom who knows
sign language was brilliant because it meant that
a lot of those tiny, tiny issues like that, or barriers for
deaf students, that was eliminated. Um…and so…the teacher or interpreter
would be signing and what the teacher teacher was saying if the teacher was
in the back of the classroom It was brilliant. Like, it’s small, small things like that, which I never thought of
before going to my high school. Small, small things like that which really made a big difference. I’m just gonna turn the light on
because it’s getting really dark in here. Better? Hopefully. My light’s literally right up there
so I have no idea if it’s better. Yeah it’s like small things like that
which really really like, it made the biggest differences in the long term. Now where was I? Interpreters in education… Yeah that was like, my experience,
and one of the most notable ones I can remember. I think there were probably
like hundreds of others. But how does it benefit deaf students? I think having teacher aides who
know sign language, or interpreters in the classroom
help deaf students – really if they know
sign language too – But-Because without the
interpreter or the teacher aide in high school, I would’ve been-got really behind work because- particularly from when I was was 15 to about 17, the work
was quite crucial in setting us up for tertiary study or um…
basically leaving school. Because we had to take
3 years of exams. So… And the first year doesn’t
really count much. But that’s not even
part of this video. So that’s just my thoughts on interpreters in education. I will say that I was also lucky
in the Deaf school, because there were students younger than me,
who I heard didn’t have enough interpreters or you know, teacher aides
because in my year or grade if you want, there was only me and one other person. So, we never really had
too much difficulty- I don’t know about the other person,
but for me, I know that I never really had much difficulty in getting
teacher aides or interpreters in class for me if I needed help. ‘Cause you know, I was in
a different year and so other like for the younger
students, apparently they had difficulty because it was like four or five of them. While it may not seem like a big number,
four or five students, funding wise it actually was a really big number, because to get funding to get teacher aides and interpreters who know sign language,
’cause you can’t just get any random off the street, the Deaf Education Center absolutely
would not have just gotten anyone off the street who wasn’t willing to
learn sign language or didn’t know some sign language. Um…I apologize if there’s any
kind of random cuts, I’m still trying to get the technology to work! ‘Cause um…the microphone
doesn’t work. So… But these 5 younger students,
they-it was difficult for some of them had to go to some classes like PE,
without teacher aides or interpreters. This is from my memory.
I’m not actually sure if that was actually the case. Oh, hi Pickle. Even though it was PE,
I think, and you know it’s all physical and not much like sitting down and
writing, they may still have missed out on crucial parts of class because
say the teacher wants people to be in groups or is giving instructions to
um you know, do exercises or run around the field or whatever,
the deaf students may miss out because they won’t be able to hear the
teacher from across the field. So anyway, that’s that one part of why
interpreters education are good, and teacher aides who know sign language
too, because they help… break down communication barriers. I mean, I don’t know about the past,
but now I’m in university, I do have interpreters. Although they’re slightly different
because they are there as communication assistants
(as opposed to being in a role similar to teacher aides), for me, the class, and the lecturers, if someone says/makes a joke
in the tutorials, classes, lectures or whatever, I know what they’ve said and
I don’t have to keep focusing on several people or turning my head around,
because I have an interpreter to assist me in communicating and that is really
good because it’s something small but in the long run makes you feel
like you know what’s going on and particularly for me personally I like to
know what’s going on. So yeah, all the things I’ve said in this
video, they’re not like a separate thing, they’re sort of all basically under
the umbrella of communication and why Deaf education needs to kind of
be looked at. I mean, there’s like a hundred of other issues
and I got to cover some of them, but in this one video, I can’t cover all of them. So you know, they’re coming.
They’re coming. And you know, like, that’s just
what I experienced and what I observed, There will be different situations for
other deaf students throughout the whole country and throughout the world. I can only really say from
what I know from my point of view. But I do think in the whole
scheme of issues in deaf education,
interpreters and teacher aides who know sign language pretty big one and particularly whether
deaf kids know sign language (or not). But that’s like another topic
for another video. I hope you guys
enjoyed watching, and if you want me to
talk about anything else related to deaf topics or just anything you’d be
interested in me talking about, drop a comment below. Thank you for watching
the video. I hope you enjoyed it. Keep an eye out for my next video.
See ya.

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