Learning through movement and space
Books are effective for the motivated self-learner, but most students’ success depends on the quality of teaching in the classroom.
Unfortunately, the default method of teaching at present consists of chalk-and-talk with little time given to drilling and practice.
Momosign is an innovation in language teaching methodology that uses the visual- spatial qualities of sign language communication to engage and activate language learning.
momosign in action
Training for the Lao classrooms
EDF-Lao has conducted teacher training workshops in the methods of momosign. Schools are provided with monitors, androids, more than 500 videos and detailed coaching on how to incorporate the videos with rhythm, movement and pattern recognition. Workshops are conducted upon invitation from local administrators with advocacy expanding to the Teacher Training College and Ministry levels.
The program was designed in consideration of present conditions in Laos. Teachers are challenged of managing multi-grade or overcrowded classrooms. There are cases in which teachers don't have a common language with their minority language speaking students. Foremost, the majority of teachers are not competent in the English language themselves.
EDF-Lao is confident that this comprehensive package unlocks learning in unprecedented ways. after witnessing the transformation of hundreds of teachers through momosign.
Roots in Sign Language: visual-spatial communication
Q: Why sign language?
A: Language learning is not solely about grammar and reading texts. Human communication requires the understanding of visual and contextual cues. Sign language is the highest form of a visual-spatial language. In essence, the hearing can learn a lot from the Deaf.
Q: Is sign language universal?
A: No. All languages develop from communication within a defined group. Likewise, sign language will vary from country to country and region to region. Many signs are culturally based or have associations with the spoken language. For example, the sign for tea will refer to dipping a tea bag in one language, but refer to milk tea being pulled (teh tarik) in another.
Q: Aren’t the teachers and students being required to learn a third language as well?
A: It has never been an issue. It is not even necessary to tell students that they are using a sign language. Using ones hands is a natural component of language, communication, learning and play.
Q: How about the teachers? Isn’t it hard for them to learn signs from sign language?
A: Children are usually better at it. For this reason, videos support teachers in the classroom, providing consistent examples of signing and native-spoken English for students to hear Teachers are still the stars and can gain new confidence in their teaching abilities.
Q: What is in it for the student?
A: A positive learning experience in the classroom. Students become enthusiastic, motivated and focused. With the dominance of smart phones and devices in daily life, it is all the more important in early childhood development to encourage the use of eye contact, facial expressions and physical expression in direct communication.
Q: Why call it momosign and not sign language?
A: Technically, sign language has a specific grammar and a specific use. Gestures used in momosign use the target language grammar and is used for the hearing, not the Deaf.
Q: Can’t we invent our own signs then?
A: Sourcing an established sign language ensures better consistency for the teacher and the students. Sourcing a local sign language opens the possibility of communication between the Deaf and the hearing.
Q: What's the dream?
A: The use of signs and sign language become so widespread that communication barriers are broken down between the hearing and the Deaf.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Momosign is under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial- Share alike license.
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