It is a common remark among the professionals in the fields of special education, that despite of the last years tremendous evolution of computer communication networks, Internet and its services and facilities, little has been done towards the direction of usage and penetration of these services within the domain of Linguistic Training for the Deaf people. The absence of material in the Sign Language and the difficulties of Sign Language adaptation into the existing e-learning systems are the main reasons.
The basic objective of the present project is the promotion of the English Language as a second language for the Deaf people. For this, we will use pedagogic methodology of distant Linguistic Training and test innovative instructive material suitably adapted to the special team. The whole process will include audits and evaluation of the linguistic faculties of e-student. The educational material will be separated in different levels depending on the knowledge of the student. The system will evaluate the student and set the pedagogic material at the correspondent level, using an intelligent taxonomy system. Particular importance will be given to the quality and innovation of the educational material of self-paced learning where we will extensively use new technologies of animation and digital video into the Sign Language of each partner.
The use of e-learning as a basic means of the linguistic training of the English Language as a second language of the Deaf people will enforce fighting against the Linguistic exclusion of the special team and will expand the results of the present Leonardo project “Distance and Life Long Training for the Deaf people in the E-commerce and New Technologies Sector via e-learning Tools”. Also, it will enforce the diffusion of the results of ‘‘D.E.L.F.E.’’ project to other countries of the European Community.
An important element of the proposed project is the promotion of the equality of the Deaf people via their attendance in the European Community. The English Language as a second language constitutes important supply for an individual professional re-establishment and integration in Europe. It is a common ascertainment that the Deaf people face problems of adaptation in their social activities in the European countries, where English is used as the main communication language. Also, the sector of information technology (www, commercial transactions) uses mainly the English language. The biggest percentage (90%) of information of the Internet is in English while the terminology used in the sector of economy and electronic trade requires the knowledge of English.
In the present proposal we aim at the following:
a)Development of an e-Learning environment for the Deaf People adapted to them via their Sign Language. The environment will be based on the usage of the advanced teleconference services of the Internet (network virtual classroom) and will offer a sum of facilities and services that will be able to support, via an easy and friendly way, education and training in the form of life long and continuing education and training for the Deaf People.
b)Design and development of electronic informative “adaptive” material for Deaf People in the Web. This informative material will include text and video (multimedia) and will be directed toward the aim of training of the English language. The material will be all translated in the Sign Language via Streaming Digital Video according to the e-content specifications of A.I.C.C..
c)Creation of a human network (forum) of specialists within the scientific domain of deaf people. This network will undertake the role of the information exchange from and to specilaists and deaf students. This network, via specific actions, will inform the specialists and students presented problems and will bear the feedback and demands from the Deaf community (students, professional) to industry.
d)Use of innovative e-learning methods for the Linguistic Training of self-paced learning. We will use processes of synchronous learning and collaborative methods of asynchronous self-paced learning. Finally, we will conduct introductive seminars for the training of teachers and students of e-learning and its tools.
e)Design and running of an application of life long and distant training of the English language. In this application, all the above mentioned actions and developments will be co-ordinated so that the desired outcome of training will be available in the community of the Deaf people, for application and evaluation that will lead to the final improvements of the central as well as the subsidiary design and developments. Taking into account the circumstances in Greece, deaf people do not have the proportional economic resources in order to be equipped with suitable material and technical systems for the use of e-learning. This being the case, the project aims at the creation of centres of distance training into the associations of Deaf/ Hard of hearing so that via the proportional material - technical equipment and parallel training of the teachers of Deaf people, the services of new society of information would be provided to the Deaf people.
Concluding the short presentation of this proposal, we underline that the main goals of this project are presented in the above paragraphs (a, b, c, d and e). It is also understandable that the main products and actions of this project will lead to the development of an infrastructure of English training for the Deaf people.