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The Documentation of Ho Chi Minh City Sign Language and The Wellbeing of Deaf People in Viet Nam

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Title: The Documentation of Ho Chi Minh City Sign Language and The Wellbeing of Deaf People in Viet Nam
Authors: Woodward Jr, James
Nguyen, Hoa
Issue Date: 05 Mar 2017
Description: While education for deaf people in Viet Nam began in 1886, there was only one school for deaf people in Viet Nam until 1975. While there was some usage of sign language in the southern part Viet Nam in the early history of deaf education in Viet Nam, by the latter part of the 1900’s almost all education was oral only; the highest grade taught to Vietnamese deaf people was 5th grade; and the difficulties of using a tonal language only to teach deaf people normally meant that it required at least 8 years for deaf students to complete 5 grades. By 2000, it was clear that deaf people in Viet Nam had maintained three distinct, but historically related sign languages underground: Ho Chi Minh City SL, Ha Noi SL, and Hai Phong SL. However, only Dong Nai Province in the southern part of Viet Nam, expressed a willingness to allow sign language research and the use of sign language in an experimental educational program. By June 2000, a program was underway in Dong Nai Province, to train fluent adult Deaf users of any sign language in Viet Nam in language documentation and language teaching. Since Dong Nai Province is in the southern part of Viet Nam, the primarily focus was on Ho Chi Minh City Sign Language. Deaf trainees then taught certified hearing teachers how to sign, and then the hearing teachers taught the Deaf adult trainees junior high school, senior high school, and university education, resulting in the first Vietnamese Deaf graduates of junior high school, senior high school, and university. This presentation will include information on the content and length of the training in language documentation and language teaching provided to Deaf people; the teaching handbooks and companion dictionaries developed as part of the project; the results of Deaf people teaching their sign language to their prospective hearing teachers; the content, length of training, and results of Deaf signers compared with their hearing peers in high school and university education; and comments from users of HCMCSL and other sign languages in Viet Nam on their sense of wellbeing as a result of their participation.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/42059
Appears in Collections:5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)



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