This is discussion about Deaf kids speak English thanks to American study- abroad students in Spain.
This is a concept that is new to me: the difficulty of teaching deaf children, a foreign language. Immersing the American within the family structure is a fantastic idea and a learning experience for all involved.
thanks, Carol, for your comment! I was especially surprised to see how energetic and responsive American university study-abroad students were. This generation is actively seeking volunteer opportunities, so it was a really good fit to put them together with the program I already had established to help families of deaf kids. Have you had a related experience? Do you know anyone with deafness? Thanks again for your interest!! What are you doing? Dale
This is a wonderful and unique idea. What are your thoughts on how this could scale to a larger program? What would be the model to follow?
Hey Ravi, Thanks so much for your interest in this project! It is already scaling to a larger program due to the huge demand for English, via word of mouth and based on its success. Here’s a basic idea of the model to follow but if you are interested, please contact me and I am happy to discuss it further with you. First, I introduce this program to the Director of the Study abroad program in person, and then I place a free ad on their website. The student volunteers contact me by email and send me their details and availability to visit the families. I respond by email, or sometimes if there are many students from the university or it is new to the program, I go and present the program in person to the whole group. The families similarly send me their details on a survey monkey questionnaire before the semester starts. Then I match up both, and send each family/student a letter introducing them so that they can get in touch directly, explaining all of my expectations from both sides and getting a final commitment and start date. The details of the program are available on my website. Throughout the semester, the families and students post their experiences, pictures, activities, questions, etc. on the blog ihearyou.t-oigo.com and we share information. Have you seen the blog? The students who really want to get deeply involved and learn more about hearing loss in addition to motivating the child learn English, sometimes visit with the speech therapist or school. This semester we are going to do an event with everyone in the program, a talent show! Each family/student will perform a 2-3 minute act in English, and then we will have a typical American snack of brownies, cokes and hotdogs. I will be taping the event and sending out news releases to local press to get media coverage.
As far as rolling the program out, each semester I visit a new study abroad program and get new volunteers. The families also can indicate their preference to remain in the program, and explain how they think it can be improved. To roll it out to other cities, I will be contacting families, users from my website, t-oigo.com to get them to contact the study abroad programs there. Some of the study abroad programs are in several cities, so it will be fairly easy to roll out in Spain. What country are you in? Are you interested in starting a similar program? You can even start with a few students and see how it goes. Let me know if I can be of assistance.
This seems like a interesting, replicable project. What study abroad programs are you already partnered with and how will you expand to new schools?
Hi! Thanks for your kind words. This program actually is easily replicable. I have already partnered with 4 different programs, one of which is a consortium of study abroad programs that reaches 30 universities. This is the perfect example of how to grow the program because through just one contact, The Director, I can reach students to volunteer in over 6 different cities. The directors who I have worked with so far are actually offering me their contacts, since they all know each other, and that opens doors for me to contact new programs. I have also posted the information on my website so that both students who want to volunteer and new programs can contact me at any time. I hope that answers your question, but please write back if you want more information!
Can other people outside of Madrid follow the program online? Are you going to share the results with people who are not in the program? If I want to start a similar program in my city what should I do?
Hello, and thanks for your great question. People from all over the world can follow the program in English and in Spanish because the program participants blog about their experiences on a specifically created blog, ihearyou.t-oigo.com. I also write about the program from the main website, t-oigo.com and direct readers over to the blog. This week we are sending out press releases about our end -of -the- semester event, a Talent Show called American Oigo (after the famous show American Idol). The students and the families will perform short acts in English, and then we will have a celebration with American food, like hotdogs and brownies. It will be a great chance for everyone to share experiences in person. We are finalizing the appearance of a famous person to be the Master of Ceremonies of the event and hopefully that will draw the attention of mass media. So I know the word will get out. We will put the video and photos from the Talent Show online too.
As far as starting a program in a new city, please contact me via the web and I will help you. It is just a question of presenting the program to local study abroad programs and matching them with families in that city. I have a database of families and I can contact those in your area, as well as help you dentify and contact the local associations or groups. It's not complicated. Thanks again for your interest!!!
Estoy feliz porque hemos adelantado y sobrepasado todas nuestras expectativas! Acabo de finalizar un amplia campaña en medios de comunicacion incluyendo television internacional, periodicos, radio e importantes webs, todo partiendo de un evento espectacular con los niños sordos. Finalmente el Embajador de los EEUU nos hizo una gran recepcion la semana pasada.cuando yo escribí la propuesta, el proyecto tenía un éxito incipiente pero ahora ahora tiene una fama reconocida que va a garantizar su continuidad y expansión. De hecho me acaba de escribir una madre sobre mi web, t-oigo.com es "la referencia para las familias con sordera" en el mundo de hablahispana. Creo que el acceso que tengo a personas como el Embajador de los Estados Unidos y a los medios de comunicación, no es por mi, sino por el mérito del proyecto. Me parece esencial poder comunicarlo al jurado.
How will you identify new study abroad programs to continue to get volunteers?
I love your idea. How will you reach the 6th month milestone you describe, especially organizing the talent show and a media campaign? Doesn't that take funding?