The Concept of Inclusive Education: Teacher Training and Acquisition of English Language in the Hearing Impaired
Kangethe, R .K. W.
Wamae, G. M. I.
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Three languages are widely used in schools in Kenya – English, Kiswahili and Kenya Sign Language. Many pupils with hearing impairments are taught separately from the mainstream, in specialist settings. The fact that most of the formal teaching, assessment and examination processes in Kenyan schools rely upon spoken and written English compounds the separation of these pupils from the mainstream of education and, potentially, from the mainstream of society. In this article, Gertrude Wamae, graduate assistant in the Department of English and Linguistics at Kenyatta University, and Rachael Kang'ethe-Kamau, lecturer in the Department of Special Education at Kenyatta University, discuss the relationships between language, hearing impairment and inclusion in the Kenyan context. The article suggests that the use of signed exact English would enhance opportunities for inclusion for those with hearing impairments and that programmes of teacher training need to take account of persuasive research in this area. The article closes with a plea for further research, carried out collaboratively by educationalists, linguists, teacher trainers and practitioners, to develop policies and practices suited to more inclusive futures. The article is based on a paper presented to the International Conference on Inclusive Education run by Maseno University in September 2002.