Instructional Strategies

Deaf Culture

Informational Chunk: culture model

Luetke-Stahlman & Luckner suggest that when teaching culture in your classroom, you need to utilize a systematic model. They gave a good example of a possible one to use. In this model, the first 5 stages you would direct, and the last 3 would be student directed. The model goes as follows:

Stage 1: Identify a cultural theme. These are emotionally charged concerns or issues that can motivate students.

Stage 2: Presentation of a cultural phenomenon. These are presented to students via pictures, displays slides, transparencies, videotape etc. The target language (sign) is integrated into these presentations.

Stage 3: Dialogue. You and your students focus on your perceptions of the phenomena being presented. You engage in an analysis of thematic features and reaction to the situation in terms of cultural patterns. Guide the students with questioning techniques.

Stage 4: Transition to language learning. Students might now be able to examine the language needed to learn more about the unit theme.

Stage 5: Language learning. The needed language is now supplied so that students can practice dialogue in context of the unit theme.

Stage 6: Verification of perceptions of the two cultures. Here you would be talking about the hearing and Deaf cultures. Having sufficient command of the necessary target language, students would now be ready to verify their initial perceptions of the theme by examining materials made available to them. Changes in the perceptions of both the target (Deaf) and native (hearing) cultures are noted specifically and described, as are positive and negative reactions.

Stage 7: Cultural awareness. Students work to summarize their findings. This stage is one of generalizations, and is an important component of effective instruction.

Stage 8: Evaluation of language and cultural proficiency. Students engage in a culminating activity for the unit and use the target language to demonstrate their understanding of the unit theme (354-356).

Luetke-Stahlman, B. & Luckner, J. (1991). Effectively educating students with hearing impairments. New York, NY: Longman.


I think this model is very helpful. I have been thinking a lot throughout the course of my studies about how I would bring Deaf culture units into my classrooms. After reading this model, I began thinking of some good ideas for themes. I would like to work on famous Deaf people, job opportunities for the Deaf, technology for the Deaf, the history of A.S.L., and such other things as these. With those kinds of themes, I could really implement this model easily. I agree that using a systematic model is a great way to bring Deaf culture into your classroom. It keeps things organized, and it keeps you and the students on track. With this model, language can be integrated also, which is very important.