TESOL Member Resolution on the Right of Deaf Learners to Acquire Full Proficiency in a Native Signed Language and Written and Spoken Languages (2009)
WHEREAS Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is concerned with individual language rights and an accessible, high-quality education for all learners of English, including Deaf students;
WHEREAS a goal of TESOL is to support and promote primary language literacy and mother tongue proficiency, which in the case of Deaf students often includes proficiency in a native signed language;
WHEREAS TESOL is also concerned about adequate support and resources being allocated for bilingual education programs, including programs for Deaf students that utilize a native signed language;
WHEREAS Deaf learners around the world often face impediments to their acquisition and use of native signed languages in education;
WHEREAS the learning of signed language and the promotion of the Deaf community’s linguistic identity are fundamental to Deaf learners’ positive self-image and engagement in the English learning process; therefore, be it
RESOLVED That TESOL shall be proactive in promoting teaching methods and materials that recognize Deaf learners’ right to become proficient in a native signed language and in written or spoken language(s), including English.
2009 TESOL Convention
Denver, Colorado, USA
Note: This member resolution was voted upon during the annual business meeting of the association in March 2009. Resolutions passed at the annual business meetings of the membership are not official policy of the association. The resolutions need a vote of approval by the Board of Directors.