Vol. 5, Issue 4 (2019)
Challenges teachers face in using the new breakthrough to literacy course to teach reading to grade one learners with hearing impairments
Author(s): Crispin Maambo, Maurice Moono, Maiba Rosta, Siamoongwa Phanety
Abstract: This study aimed at finding out the challenges that teachers encountered in using the New Breakthrough to Literacy course to teach reading to Grade One learners with hearing impairments. The study was guided by the following objectives: To find out the challenges Grade One teachers of the hearing impaired face in using the New Breakthrough to Literacy course kit to teach reading, to find out whether learners with hearing impairments break through to literacy in Grade One; and to find out Grade One teachers’ views on the suitability of the NBTL course methodology for teaching reading to Grade One learners with hearing impairments. In order to achieve the above stated objectives, respondents were purposively sampled and were drawn from selected schools and units for the hearing impaired. The sample consisted of fifteen (15) special education teachers for the learners with hearing impairments picked from Southern, Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces. Primary information was gathered using questionnaires for teachers of the hearing impaired. The study was both qualitative and quantitative in nature as it captured views and experiences of respondents from which numerical figures were derived. The content analysis method was used to analyze the data. The study found that the major challenges that teachers faced in using the NBTL course to teach reading were that local signs that the children came with to school when they were being introduced to reading were not similar such that teachers did not understand them, which made it difficult for them to apply the NBTL methodology. They also did not complete the sets in all the stages like the non-disabled since they learnt at a slower pace. The study also showed that there weren’t adequate instructions and teaching resources to sufficiently teach reading to these learners. This included specialized guidelines from the Curriculum Development specialists. The study also showed that the vocabulary in the NBTL course had limitations in sign language for some Zambian Language words. This made it difficult for teachers to teach. Arising from the findings of this study, various recommendations have been made, among which is that teachers in schools and units for the learners with hearing impairments should hold regular training workshops to discuss on how some aspects such as NBTL can best be taught.