Dramatic Expressions - Teaching personal, social and emotional skills through drama

Developments on the sofa

Posted on | December 19, 2011 | No Comments

Life on ‘Conversation Sofa’ has been going well. The child I have been working with is now asking her own questions, remembering to look interested, saying’ Uh-huh’ in the right places, and so on. She likes to decide which characters we will be and devising names for both of us. I like to pretend we are in a teashop, but that’s because I like drinking tea.

I’m aware that she may not yet be generalizing and so I encourage her to use the same techniques when we’re talking in other contexts.

I’m very aware that, in practice, – or rather in real life-  things may not be so easy for her. For a start she has background noise to contend with making listening very difficult. So, in addition to the usual conversational skills we have brought in ‘Deaf specific’ techniques. We have talked about how to deal with The Mumbler, The Back-to-You and The Different-Leveller. We’ve practised alternatives to ‘Pardon?’ and devised requests like,’ Please would you turn round and face me?’

The more Iwork in this field the more I feel that a major aspect of our role is in legitimizing self-advocacy skills and schooling deaf children to use them. As Julie Mather from the Ear Foundation has said recently, this is a whole alternative curriculum to be teaching the children.

The next task is to think a little more about this child’s diction. Staff at school think that this is also impeding her ability to converse at length. Hmmmm……..

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