Foreign Language Classes

Creating Access: Foreign Language Classes offers suggestions with substituting or modifying specific assignments and activities to allow a deaf student to demonstrate their mastery of a language.

Speaking is Not Essential to Learn a Foreign Language

One challenge is the common belief that listening and speaking the foreign language is an essential component of the course requirements. Implying that a student needs to be able to “speak” or “listen” to a language in order to meet the course requirements may be frowned upon by the Office for Civil Rights because it can be seen as excluding certain groups from partaking in an institution’s program. However, when institutions have taken creative approaches to accommodate deaf students, the students often thrive in learning other languages. One example is Tory’s Story and her journey in learning Arabic.

Equitable Alternatives

To determine the best route, accommodations or substitutions, start with the student to understand their comfort level with different types of communication modes. Careful consideration of the intent of the course objectives would help guide the discussion on determining a reasonable alternative. Options to consider with an equitable alternative:

Three young adults, an asian man, a white woman and a black woman, lean over a desk and smile.

Service Providers for Foreign Language Courses

Additional Resources

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