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Unit 5 – SCORE WHAT What’s the score?

Introducing vocabulary and aspects of Deaf culture

The students will learn about aspects of Deaf culture associated with sport and how to sign the names of some sports.

Play clip 5.1. Ask the students to comment on the signs they have just viewed and work out what the sign is based on. Replay clip 5.1. Have the students sign along with the presenters.

Give a copy of worksheet 5.1 to the students. Have them complete the matching task individually or in pairs. Replay clip 5.1 for the students to check the accuracy of their matches.

Play scene F. Use the scene F transcript to help you discuss the content with the students. Ask the students to focus on the ways that Deaf people communicate visually when playing a game.

Set up an outdoor game or sport for your students to play. Choose one that needs a referee. Discuss with the students what a referee would need to do to communicate with Deaf participants. In Deaf sports, signals are communicated visually. For example, referees use flags, hand signals, and cards instead of blowing a whistle or firing a gun. Lights may signal the start of a swimming or athletics race. This task reinforces the students’ need to "turn their voices off" and enables them to experience relying on their eyes to communicate in a different setting.

Play clip 5.2a and ask the students to practise these sentence patterns along with the presenters. Hand out copies of the sentence patterns to your students and have them work in pairs to have short conversations about the sports they play, changing the vocabulary in the sentences as needed.

Use the following information on Deaf sports to make up some questions for the students to research. Some students may have experience of Deaf sporting events that they could share with the class. Arrange for them to work in pairs and bring the information to class in the form of a poster that they can present. Display the completed posters.

Team sports bring Deaf people together, providing them with opportunities to converse and compete on an equal level. The New Zealand Deaf Games (NZDG) takes place each Labour Weekend. The National Deaf Rugby Championships are held every Easter weekend. The national rugby team is called the Deaf All Blacks. The Deaf community or Deaf clubs organise competitions for sports such as interclub indoor netball, lawn bowls, tenpin bowling, eight-ball pool, and netball.

Players may be asked for proof their deafness as participation in Deaf sports is restricted to those who have a hearing loss of at least 55dB in the better ear (NZDG Bylaws, 2008). They must remove hearing aids and cochlear implant receivers when playing in a national or an international event.

The Deaflympics, based on the Olympics, is held every four years. New Zealand athletes compete in events such as badminton, basketball, karate, and athletics. In 1989, Christchurch hosted the first Deaf Games to be held in the southern hemisphere.

As each country has its own sign language, when Deaf people gather for international sporting events, they communicate using International Sign. This is not a complete language in its own right, but Deaf people can use it to discuss common concepts. It helps that many signs relating to sports look like the action they are referring to.

The circular huddle, a feature of many Deaf sports, is where all the players face inwards in a tight circle. It was invented by the American football quarterback Paul Hubbard in 1892. When Hubbard realised that players in the opposing team could read his hand signals, he had his team form a tight circle so that he could use sign language out of their opponents’ sight.

  • F

    On-court drama

    Duration: 00:01:33

Using numbers to give scores

The students will use numbers to give and interpret scores.

Play clip 5.2b. Ask the students to observe how the numbers are signed when giving scores. Did they notice that no dashes are used? English uses dashes, for example, when expressing the score 11–2. In NZSL, the numbers in scores are signed in different spaces to signify that there are two different scores, so you would sign 11 in front of you and 2 further to the right.

Ask the students to take turns to practise signing scores in pairs. Their partner works out what the score is each time.

Remind them that expressing scores includes expressing feelings about the score. When you are giving a score that relates to a team you are supporting, for example, when your soccer team has just won 4–2, you sign the 4 in front of your chest and the 2 further away from you. This signals a "me against them" type of thinking.

This way of signing can also be applied to a New Zealand national team playing against another team. For example, if your national team lost 10–14, you would sign this as LOST 10 (your chest) 14 (further out in front of you).

If you are watching a game being played and need to give the score, for example, to someone who has just arrived, you point to the team actually playing on your left and sign IX-2. Then you point to the team playing on your right and sign the score for that team. Also, when telling someone about the score of two teams that have played recently, you sign the name of the first team slightly to your left. Then, to give the score, you point to that signing space and sign, for example, IX-14. For the other team, you repeat the actions slightly to your right.

Class task: Select five students. Each student signs the names of five sports to the class, giving a score for each sport. The class members write down the name of the sport with its score. After each sequence, the students check the accuracy of their information with the signer.

Play scene F. Ask the students to identify the scores in the dialogue. Use your copy of the scene F transcript to check their responses. Replay the scene so that your students can sharpen their focus on how people converse naturally in NZSL about sport.

  • F

    On-court drama

    Duration: 00:01:33

Communicating likes and dislikes

The students will express their likes and dislikes in relation to particular sports.

Play clip 5.2c, in which the presenters express their likes and dislikes concerning some sports. Repeat the viewing with the students practising the signing. Replay this clip many times to ensure that your students are developing their accuracy along with their fluency.

Hand out a copy of worksheet 5.2 to each student. As they work in pairs, they use the dialogue on the worksheet as a guide to their conversations. Tell them to substitute the names of sports to make the conversation personal to themselves. Give them enough time to practise so that they develop accuracy as well as fluency as they communicate with each other.

This kind of task, where the students substitute particular words for other words, helps them to recognise that NZSL is organised in particular ways, which is foundation learning for beginning students.

The students now work in groups. Each pair from the previous task joins with another pair. The students then take turns to present their dialogues and gain feedback from the students who are watching.

Hand out worksheet 5.3, one per pair. This is a guided reading task. Using the dialogues they have just been practising, the students take turns to perform them in pairs before the rest of the class. The students who are watching also work in pairs and write the presenters’ names in the columns that match what they say. They check their entries with the pair who presented the dialogue. Tell the students to use different-coloured pens to record their entries for the different groups on the same worksheet.

From the information they have recorded on their survey sheets, the students can discover, among other things, which sport is the class favourite.

Pay scene G and scene H, challenging your students to pick out words and expressions they know to try and make sense of what they view.

Students need many opportunities to see the language they are learning being used in context in order to build good habits of viewing, make meaning from what they see, and sign in a way that others can understand.

  • G


    Duration: 00:00:52

  • H

    Winner takes all

    Duration: 00:00:52

Assessing progress

The students will assess their progress through a process of peer-review and self-review.

Use the scene F transcript and blank out words, numbers, and so on in the English translation, depending on the focus you and your students agree on. For example, you may want to select the scores as they occur throughout the scene.

Hand out photocopies of the altered transcript to the students and decide whether they will work individually or in pairs to complete the cloze task.

Ask them to watch scene F without writing anything on their worksheets. Play the scene. The students then write in as many of the missing words as they can. Repeat this sequence. Check to see how many gaps they managed to fill. Play the scene again, pausing the scene frequently to discuss with the students how they filled the gaps.

Discuss how they feel about this activity and what learning they gained from it. Was it sufficiently challenging? Was it too challenging? Their responses will help you to provide tasks and activities that sustain and progress their learning according to their needs.

Now hand out complete copies of the scene F transcript. Each pair or group now role-plays the scene. Tell them to alter the sport and the score as it suits them. Give them time to practise. Play this scene often to help them to model their signing and develop their conversational fluency using NZSL.

Remind the students of the assessment criteria.

The students perform their role-plays. Record this on a video (where feasible). As each pair or group performs, ask those watching to write down the sport and the score as they view the presentations. At the end of the role-play presentations, check to see how many students wrote these down accurately by playing the video and having the class check and discuss their responses.

Discuss with the students what aspects of their learning they think they need to improve, as a class and individually. Use each of the assessment criteria in turn as a basis for the discussion. For example, do they need to get better at asking questions using non-manual signals? Are they showing social awareness when interacting with others? How?

Play scene F again. Then replay the video recording of the students’ presentations. Give them some time to discuss with each other what they notice about their own and each other’s use of NZSL compared with what they see on the video clip. Have them write down in their workbooks two aspects of their NZSL learning that they need to focus on for their next-steps learning. Keep the recording as base-line data of the students’ achievement in NZSL.

  • F

    On-court drama

    Duration: 00:01:33

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