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Hearing Impairment and the Latin Classroom Experience: A case study of a Year 10 student with a hearing impairment learning Latin

  • Callum Carroll

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Hearing impairment and Latin are not usually something that we pair together, yet it could be seen as an appealing GCSE to a hearing-impaired student. On the one hand learning Latin as an additional language may be seen as difficult when the student is still trying to learn and develop their first language. On the other hand learning Latin does not have, nor require, any formal oral or aural assessment like most Modern Foreign Languages (MFL). My school is an 11-16 mixed comprehensive, where all pupils begin Latin in year 7 on timetable with the choice to continue in Year 8, from where it is taught as an off-timetable subject through to GCSE. Here I was introduced to teach a Year 10 boy who has congenital severe sensory-hearing loss in both ears and he wears two Nathos UP digital hearing aids all waking hours. I was immediately interested in his reasons for choosing to study Latin, especially as it is an elective GCSE timetabled before school and during lunch time. Prior to this encounter, I had recently attended a session on British Sign Language and the experience of Deaf and hearing-impaired students in school. Hearing about their experiences led me to think about the benefits of learning Latin, which consequently led me to investigate Kim's experience (name changed for confidentiality). I began focusing my observations on him and informally questioning his teachers; I was met by an array of praise stating that he proudly saw his hearing impairment as part of his identity rather than an obstacle. I started searching for information on teaching Latin to hearing-impaired pupils, but there was almost nothing specifically related to Latin. As a result, I saw this as my opportunity to collate my experiences and the experiences of the pupil and teacher to develop my research into something that may benefit other Latin teachers of hearing-impaired pupils.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

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Hearing Impairment and the Latin Classroom Experience: A case study of a Year 10 student with a hearing impairment learning Latin

  • Callum Carroll

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