Sign Lan­guage recog­nised as a home lan­guage

Public Sector Manager - - In Other News -

South African Sign Lan­guage (SASL) has of­fi­cially been recog­nised as a home lan­guage in the cur­ricu­lum as one of the ex­am­inable sub­jects for the Na­tional Se­nior Cer­tifi­cate.

“It is a mon­u­men­tal step for­ward that SASL has now, for the very first time in South Africa, been of­fi­cially recog­nised as a home lan­guage in our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem,” said the Coun­cil for Qual­ity As­sur­ance in Gen­eral and Fur­ther Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing, Umalusi, in a state­ment.

The an­nounce­ment by Umalusi fol­lows a re­port it re­leased on its re­search study on the in­clu­sion of SASL in the cur­ricu­lum.

The aim of the study was to pro­vide guid­ance to Umalusi in its role as the qual­ity as­surer for SASL-Home Lan­guage, with spe­cific ref­er­ence to school-based as­sess­ment and na­tional ex­am­i­na­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to the coun­cil, the scope of the study also en­com­passed un­der­stand­ing how deaf learn­ers are as­sessed, as well as the kind of re­sources and ma­te­ri­als re­quired for as­sess­ment, in­clud­ing iden­ti­fy­ing po­ten­tial na­tional mod­er­a­tors and eval­u­a­tors.

“Deaf learn­ers in South Africa no longer need to feel like for­eign­ers in their own land, and at last they can ex­er­cise their rights to be taught and as­sessed in their own lan­guage,” said Umalusi.

Re­flect­ing on the mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion, Umalusi chair­per­son John Volmink was up­beat.“To­day we can say to deaf learn­ers that the sys­tem has fully em­braced them, that their lan­guage is val­ued and re­spected, and that they now have the op­por­tu­nity to learn and study and be tested through the medium of their home lan­guage,” he said.

The full de­tails of the study are avail­able in the re­port en­ti­tled,‘Sign of the Times:The Qual­ity of the Teach­ing and As­sess­ment of South African Sign Lan­guage'.

The re­port is avail­able on Umalusi – web­site: www.umalusi.org.za

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