Laboratory of Sign Linguistics


AB: I always have the opinions of two employees at the back of my head: the doctors of the Laboratory of Sign Linguistics of the University of Warsaw. On the one hand, no one learns the language on the prepared text, on the other – no one learns the language on the text on a few levels too difficult for him (laughs). What should a normal school teacher do? I choose and adapt the material.

I shorten it, I facilitate it (phrases, vocabulary), I add drawings, I show fragments of films. When I know that the student understands the subject of reading, when we can talk (most of the time in PJM, but I also have students who prefer to talk) about the problems raised, I go back to the original text. We read fragments that are not easy, at most with an auxiliary glossary. We practice general understanding of the text, but we also carefully analyze the phraseology, idioms and complex sentences.

BW: If there was a textbook for teaching Polish to the deaf, what should there be?AB: We have already mentioned that hearing impaired students are different. My dream is not so much a textbook, but a collection of materials for the teacher with permission to use and copy for students. A series of texts and exercises would be prepared for all (most) cultural texts required in the core curriculum.

Importantly, for each reading, the texts would be prepared at different linguistic levels, with different levels of abbreviations, facilitation and vocabulary at a different level. I once attended a training course on teaching Polish to immigrant children and found that such a collection of texts would be perfect for everyone (!) They don’t speak Polish fluently in writing. A deaf, hard of hearing, immigrant or dyslexic student reads the same story and can then join the lesson and discuss it in the same way.