Do you have deaf parents that use sign language?
Have you had experience of helping your parents to communicate with hearing people or translating information for your parents?
Even if you are deaf or hearing – it means you have done what is called ‘language brokering’
Language brokering is something that children do to help their parents with communication, for example, if the family has migrated from another country and the parents don’t speak the language. Children can learn new languages more quickly than their parents, which is why they will help their parents to communicate in different situations.
Research has shown that children in the UK who speak a different language at home with their parents, like Chinese or Polish, often broker for their parents in different situations, like at the bank, the shop, at school or at the doctor. They can also broker by telling their parents what letters say, or information brochures, or help them fill in forms. This research has also shown that children who broker for their parents have different feelings about it – some feel good about it, some feel not so good about it.
We know that hearing and deaf kids who have deaf parents that use sign language also do this ‘language brokering’. But we don’t really know much about where it happens or why, and how the kids feel about it. We also know that even when people are grown up, they still broker for their deaf parents.
So this is a new project to find out about sign language brokering in the Deaf community in the UK. We want people to tell us about their experiences.
The project has different stages – we have already done a survey of 240 deaf and hearing Codas from 14 different countries and found that many of them began brokering as early as 4 or 5 years old. They also said that they broker in different situations, like other kids with spoken languages. We have also interviewed 11 people in Australia, ranging from 13 years old to over 50 years old, who have talked to us about their language brokering experience.
For the next stage of the research we are holding an artwork competition – so you can draw a picture, take a photo or make a short 5-minute movie to show us how you feel about your sign language brokering experience. We want deaf and hearing kids and adults to submit your artwork.
All the submissions will be judged by a panel of deaf and hearing people that have deaf parents or are involved in the Deaf community.
There will be 9 prizes of a £50 gift voucher for one person in each age and submission category. Winners will be emailed with a voucher.
Each piece of artwork will be analysed to get an understanding of how people feel about their sign language brokering experiences in the Deaf community.
So that children, deaf parents and other members of the Deaf community, hearing professionals that work with deaf people, and interpreters can benefit from this information, we would like to share this artwork with different audiences in different ways: like on a website or at an artwork exhibition. We will only show your artwork with your permission.
1. This competition is only open to UK residents.
2. There are three age categories: Under 13, 13-18, Over 18
3. There are three artwork categories: (1) Draw/ paint a picture, (2) Take a photo, (3) Make a short movie.
4. Movie submissions should be no longer than 5 minutes long and should ideally be provided through a link to a YouTube or Vimeo clip. If USB sticks or DVDs are posted, they cannot be returned.
5. Deadline for competition entries is MONDAY 30th JUNE 2014.
6. Entries can be posted or sent by email
7. All entries must include a submission form. If no form is included it will not be entered into the competition.
<<Click here to download the artwork competition submission form>>
<<Click here to download the Artwork competition poster>>
This project is being managed by Jemina Napier, who is a sign language interpreter and researcher and also teaches interpreters. Jemina is hearing and grew up in a large deaf family in London, so has used British Sign Language all her life.
This project is also being carried out with support from key organisations who represent the Deaf, sign language interpreting and Coda communities, including: CODA UK & Ireland, the Association of Sign Language Interpreters (ASLI), the Scottish Council on Deafness (SCOD), Deaf Parenting UK and the British Deaf Association (BDA). It is vital to carry out this project in collaboration with the Deaf community, deaf parents and sign language interpreters in order to ensure that the communities can directly benefit from the research findings.
To see more information about the project in English and International Sign: << Click here>>
If you have any questions please contact the project manager Jemina Napier by email – firstname.lastname@example.org and she can answer your questions by email or arrange a skype conversation if you would prefer to talk in BSL.
Author: Jemina Napier