I am teaching one course in beginners' Spanish this semester at the university. It is my 13th year of teaching. (Lucky students!)
How can 13 years fly by so quickly??
Anyway... as of today, I have a deaf student in my class.
It's not the first time. A few years ago when I was teaching at the college, I had a deaf girl in my class. It was definitely a challenge having a student with hearing loss in a foreign language class, but I also found it hugely rewarding. She was dedicated and really, really wanted to learn it. I had to adjust my teaching style significantly and in the end, I ended up learning a great deal from her.
Before this term started we were having a Spanish teachers' meeting and one of my colleagues was moaning about having a deaf student this year. I piped up and said, "I've had one before. It's not that bad." Next thing you know, we were talking about him transferring into my class. My colleague just couldn't deal with it...She basically said, "Here... Take him! Please!"
She brought the student to my office today to meet with me and he's seems great. Unlike the girl I had at the college who took Spanish as an option, this fella needs the course for his degree in international business. He doesn't seem thrilled about having to take the class, but seemed hugely relieved when I was open to having him there.
He wears hearing aids in both ears and reads lips. Apparently, he was not born deaf, but lost his hearing at an early age and so, when he speaks it flows naturally... as it would with a hearing person. He says it is deceiving because he actually can not hear very much at all, but people think he can because he doesn't "talk like a deaf person".
As we were chatting he said, "I'm so lucky that you have experience teaching deaf students!"
I quickly countered with, "One! Only one. I am relying on you to help me figure out what will work best for you."
Anyway, we had a good chat and I think he'll be fine in the class.
Apparently, I have now gained a reputation as an expert in teaching deaf students Spanish. God help me. Experience with one student does not an expert teacher make!! Neither does two, as far as I am concerned.
However... I do feel more comfortable having done it once before. And hey, I still remember how to spell "Hola" ("Hello") in American Sign Language!
I wonder how you'd sign "Good luck!"? I may need it...