Language Foundations Workshop

Language Foundations Workshop

Barrier-Free Education Workshop Description

Language Foundations for Children Entering School and Beyond

This workshop was specifically designed to provide educators with a professional development opportunity to strengthen their concept Deaf and hard of hearing students as having the potential to achieve academic success equal to any other student when they are provided with a barrier-free education environment – i.e. an environment where their education is through fluent language they can fully access.

This workshop was provided to educators in November and December of 2013. 


  • up to 100 participants province wide on each workshop day
  • classroom teachers and itinerant teachers working with Deaf and hard of hearing students
  • professionals supervising these teachers and itinerant teachers
  • individuals hired to provide English-ASL interpretation in schools
  • educational assistants working with Deaf and hard of hearing students
  • speech-language pathologists
  • special education consultants and coordinators

This workshop used a Model of Adult Learning to accomplish two overall goals:

  • to help classroom teachers and administrators conceptualize Deaf and hard of hearing students as capable learners
  • to provide information to classroom teachers and administrators that will result in understanding:
    • what Deaf and hard of hearing students need
    • who teachers can call upon to support the creation of an education environment where Deaf and hard of hearing students can experience Barrier-Free Education within their classroom and the whole school through accessible language
    • how teachers can assess their own ability to deliver education to Deaf and hard of hearing students through a language that is accessible to them


  • identify their own frames of reference
  • categorize the different types of student populations found under the heading “Deaf and hard of hearing”
  • explain why signed languages are considered “true” languages
  • explain the issue of Deaf education as one rooted in language accessibility
  • identify the key components of first language acquisition
  • identify prerequisites for English literacy development
  • articulate the implications of a student environment where students cannot access the language of instruction
  • design an inclusion model for signing students
  • propose possibilities for the education of late first language learners
  • demonstrate a re-conceptualized vision of Deaf and hard of hearing signing students
  • articulate their frames of reference in light of new information (presented during the workshop)

To make the workshop widely available to professionals, 21 offices of the Canadian Hearing Society throughout the province were utilized to present these workshops via video conferencing. English-ASL interpretation and captioning were provided upon request from participants. English-ASL interpretation and captioning were provided upon request from participants.