An e-learning environment to improve
deaf people language acquisition
Maria Roccaforte*[email protected]
* Department of archival, philological, linguistic and geographical Sciences – University “Sapienza”, Rome
Prelingual deaf learners, experiences
difficulties in achieving receptive and
expressive skills in oral languages.
DELE – Deaf-centered E-Learning Environment
When addressing linguistic problems of
prelingual deaf people, research in the
field of deaf education has proven how
technology can enhance the quality of
content transmission and of student’s
writing experience (Caselli, Maragna,
Volterra, 2006).
The metaphor is a University-Campus story,
where users have to graduate as their storyspecific goal. Inside this story, several other
sub-stories (i.e. Home, University, Coffee, etc.)
are provided, building up a story-based path for
all learning activities. These will be adapted to
increase deaf people's comprehension and
interaction in the system through cooperative
E-learning allows reaching isolated groups
of deaf learners and address their
pedagogical needs through an immersive
and challenging learning environment.
In this presentation we will describe the
working framework of the FIRB-VISEL
project*, aimed at creating an interactive
e-learning environment (DELE- Deafcentered E-Learning Environment) where
deaf people (both signers and not
signers) can improve their linguistic skills.
DELE platform was created for the
promotion of literacy skills in young deaf
learners through cooperative activities,
visual easification procedures, visual
motivating educational games and Sign
Language videos.
DELE could be used for improve deaf
students ehnglish competence.
DELE also allows teachers to create
linguistic learning paths using an
integrated editor.
Linguistic structures are presented and explained using interactive "easification" tools, made of examples of
use, signifying images, sign language videos, comics, definitions, synonyms, short stories and whatever
else can be of any help to comprehension. "Easification" devices guide the reader through text, making it
more accessible.
Student also can underline a complex structur and make a question both by viedeo o written text
Clicca sulle parti di testo sottolineate per visulaizzare
i contenuti multimediali o sottolinea TU le parti difficili
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the
bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped
into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or
conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice
'without pictures or conversations?'
So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for
the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the
pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of
getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit
with pink eyes ran close by her.
There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it
so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, 'Oh
dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!' (when she thought it over afterwards,
it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the
time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a
watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried
on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she
had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a
watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the
field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a
large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
Linguistic structures are presented and
"easification" strategies, made of examples
of use, signifying images, videos, comics,
definitions, synonyms, short stories and
whatever else can be of any help to
STORYEDITOR in DELE: help educators
create online courses
"Easification" devices guide the reader
through text, making it more accessible
(Bhatia, 1983).
DELE provides a teachers with a storyeditor that allows them to define a learning
path simply by inserting materials, texts,
images, videos, animations, etc. which will
be automatically integrated in the
environment structure, producing the
intended learning “story”.
DELE provides teachers with a story-editor
allowing to create an open source
database by collecting materials produced
by teachers working with deaf learners.
This editor can be used also to specify
learning activities and co-textual in-depths
using the described structures and tools.
* FIRB-Visel “E-Learnig, sordità, lingua scritta: un
ponte di lettere e segni per la società della conscenza”
is a three yearso long project ifinanced by MIUR, in
which are involved: l’Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie
della Cognizione del CNR di Roma (unità capofila del
progetto), il Dipartimento di Scienze Documentarie,
Linguistico-Filologiche e Geografiche e l’Unità Pictorial
Computing Laboratory della facoltà di Informatica
dell’Università La Sapienza di Roma, l’Università per
Stranieri di Siena e l’Istituto Statale Sordi di Roma.
Bhatia, V.K. (1983). Simplification v. Easification - The Case of Legal Texts 4. Applied Linguistics, 42.
Caselli, M. C., Pagliari Rampelli, L. (1991). La competenza linguistica di bambini e adulti sordi nella lingua parlata e scritta. Scuola e Didattica, 11, pp. 66 – 70.
Caselli, M.C., Maragna, S., Volterra, V. (2006). Linguaggio e sordità. Parole e segni per l’educazione dei sordi, Il Mulino, Bologna.
De Monte, M. T., Tomasuolo, E., Capuano, D., Roccaforte, M. (2011). Developing E-Learning systems for deaf education.
The application of embodiement theories. IADIS international conference interfaces and human computer interaction 2011. Rome, 24-26 July 2011.
Johnson, M. (2007). The meaning of the body. University of Chicago Press.
Pennacchi, B. (2008). Metter nero su bianco la LIS, in C. Bagnara, S. Corazza, S. Fontana & A. Zuccalà (eds.) I segni parlano. Prospettive di ricerca sulla Lingua dei Segni
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Deaf-centered E-Learning Environment