Experiences of Teachers of Deaf and Hard- of- Hearing Students’ in a Special Needs School: An Exploratory Study

Kayi Ntinda, S’lungile K. Thwala, Bonginkhosi Tfusi

Abstract


This study reports on the experiences of teachers of the deaf and hard-of- hearing students in a special needs high school for the deaf in Eswatini. The study adopted a qualitative approach and was exploratory in nature. Participants comprised of eighteen (n =18) purposively sampled teachers of deaf and hard-of-hearing students. They participated in individual in-depth and focus group discussion interviews on the teaching and communication aspects with deaf and hard- of- hearing students. Data were also collected through documents review. Credibility and trustworthiness of data were established through member checks. Data were thematically analysed for important meanings. Teachers reported to experience gaps in professional competencies to teach the mainstream curriculum for which they needed further education. Variation in sign language impacting learner engagement hindered teachers’ communication with the deaf and hard-of-hearing students and their parents. Teachers reported to have in service professional training needs which included collaboration, consultation, assessment instruments and language skills. The findings have important implications for policy and practice in educating the deaf and hard- of- hearing students and for interpreting previous research. There is urgent need for the country to consider having a standardized sign language which could enhance positive teaching and learning outcomes as well as social integration for the future lives of these students. Understanding experiences of these teachers from the lived cultural milieu are important for the design and implementation of programmes for supporting the deaf and hard- of hearing learners, their teachers and parents.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v7i7.4274

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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