Sign Language in Education: Theoretical Perspectives

Course code EDUC6857
Available in 2016
2016 Course Timetables


This course will introduce signed language approaches to the education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH), with a particular focus on the theory and practice of bilingual education.


WebLearn GradSchool

  • Semester 2 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

1. Define the main forms of signed communication used in the education of D/HH students;

2. Describe the theory and practice of bilingualism and its applications to the education of D/HH students;

3. Describe the options for the delivery of sign bilingual education in a range of school settings;

4. Outline the programming implications for language and literacy development for deaf children who use signed language; and

5. Describe theoretical perspectives on the influence of signed language on the cognitive development of the deaf children.


Topics will include:

  • Overview of the use of signed communication in educational approaches for D/HH students;
  • Issues in first and second language acquisition of sign language;
  • Defining bilingualism and models of bilingual education;
  • Application of bilingualism theory and practice to sign-bilingual education;
  • Implementation of sign bilingual education models in a range of educational program settings;
  • Issues in cognitive development for deaf learners who use signed language;
  • Literacy skill development for students whose first language is a sign language;
  • Role of spoken language in the development of literacy by students who use signed language;
  • Curriculum development and delivery in bilingual programs; and
  • Roles of teachers and adjunct personnel (particularly interpreters) in various school settings.


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies programs (11008 or 12365) or Master of Special Education programs (10936, 12356, or 40014).

Assumed Knowledge

- Auslan Intermediate or equivalent. - All core courses in MSpecEd (D/HH) or demonstrated equivalent.

Assessment Items

Literature Review: Literature review and discussion facilitation

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Case Study

Quiz: Quiz

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Lecture: Attendance Requirement - Students must attend a minimum number of these sessions. - Attendance at the scheduled campus conference is compulsory.
  • Lecture: Auslan Competency - Students must demonstrate the required competency. - Auslan Intermediate competency.

Contact Hours

WebLearn GradSchool


Face to Face On Campus 12 hour(s) per Term

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 9 hour(s) per Week for 13 Weeks