This year at KAE we’re all about being more! There are many things that could help you ‘be more’ one of these could be by gaining a new skill through a qualification.
This month we decided to speak to Keith French one of our British Sign Language (BSL) tutors. Not only does Keith teach BSL for us but he is also deaf himself. Keith was born bilaterally profoundly deaf as a result of birth trauma. Keith undertook speech and language therapy when in school and most of the time relies on lip reading to gain full information and understanding from those who can’t sign.
Let’s get to know Keith a little better.
Favourite Food:Gurkha cuisine
Favourite Hobby:Collecting rare Northern Soul / Motown music
Favourite word or phrase to sign:Jumping for joy.
What do you do when you don’t teach for KAE?
In his spare time when not teaching Keith enjoys many hobbies and interests. One of these is to embrace the ‘scooter’ lifestyle. From Vespas to Lambrettas and the lifestyle and culture that comes with them. Keith has an avid interest including art inspired by this subculture as well as its rich history.
“Our tutors are normal people just like you, there's no feeling of 'going back to school' with KAE.”
As someone that is deaf, Keith also takes an active interest in deaf culture and deaf history learning as much as he can. This can then also impact and add to his teaching. Keith also worked on a project last year, in his spare time, which taught deaf people to learn English and IT skills to improve and gain confidence in finding employment.
What do you enjoy about teaching?
“I enjoy organising opportunities to enable learners to develop their own personal and professional development, whether this is BSL or social work. I like to put theory into practice with techniques and thoughts such as: cognitive constructivism or critical reflection for example.
I like to test out the 7 characteristics posited by Rogers (1986) relating to adult learners to see if presuppositions are correct or not so expectations from the learners and myself as a tutor”.
What made you go into teaching?
“I enjoy the interaction with learners and to be fully engaged in their continuing process of growth throughout BSL and social work courses. I was keen to use an interesting journey to learn different teaching styles and methods so I can provide quality teaching, coaching and mentoring skills and confidence to be the best that I can be”.
What do you like about teaching for KAE?
“KAE have been very supportive to me over the last 8 years to encourage me to develop as a BSL tutor through good supervision and feedback from my programme manager (past and present) within observations, training opportunities and enrolment on to a PTLLS Level 4 course”.
What would you say to someone thinking about taking a sign language course?
“I would say that understanding a BSL course will enable a learner to not only develop signing skills, but gain knowledge and awareness of deaf people, their unique culture and customs as well as knowing that they are an oppressed linguistic minority group that are not fully understood by society. Going on a BSL course will seek some redress to be able to communicate and support deaf people“.
Do you have a favourite student experience?
“A few of my learners have managed to change their career by moving on to higher accredited BSL courses or have improved their communication and attachment skills with deaf members of the family or have become associated members of the deaf community “.
What do you think makes a good tutor?
“A good BSL tutor should be knowledgeable and passionate in teaching the language of deaf people through well planned lessons to demonstrate that effective learning has taken place, taking into account anti-discriminatory/anti-oppressive practice. A good BSL tutor should have a good grasp of BSL meta-linguistics, deaf culture, deaf history and deaf social constructionism to understand how they are portrayed in the world of social work, media, advertising, literature, films and TV (past and present) and how this has shaped people’s views, as well as to challenge their own ideas and understanding”.
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