News & events


Language and literacy acquisition and development among deaf and hard-of-hearing learners: No more compromising!

21 November 2017
12:30 - 14:00

Dr Cas Prinsloo, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Education and Skills Development (ESD) Research Programme

Prof Claudine Storbeck, Director of Hi Hopes* , and the Centre for Deaf Studies, University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) and  Ms Lynette Diederichs, Co-founder of Cued Speech South Africa**, certified Cued Speech Facilitator, and Head Teacher, Quest Model School (near Durban

Date: 21 November 2017    
12h30 – 14h00 
Venues: Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town, PE and Sweetwaters

Prof Storbeck will focus on the key role of Early Intervention for families of deaf infants and the preparation teachers of the deaf need in order to understand the role of South African Sign Language within Bilingual Deaf Education.

Ms Diederichs will introduce the role of Cued Speech in Bilingual Education as a mechanism linking South African Sign Language as semiotic communication to reading and writing.

Late identification, practical challenges and research gaps deprive deaf and hard-of-hearing babies of equitable, high quality bilingual learning and teaching. The presenters discuss solutions based on their recent and current experiences with a Model for Bilingual Education, and their expertise concerning the status and role of English, Cued Speech and South African Sign Language. The deaf and hard of hearing comprise 5% of the school population, with high and increasing attendance during the earlier years (7-15; 90%), but a worrisome decline thereafter (16-18; 68%) ***, signifying sub-standard foundational/general education.

The seminar intends expanding critical engagement on the role of South African Sign Language, English and Cued Speech within a bi/multilingual educational context. Key challenges in daily teaching and learning along with teacher training and research priorities will also be addressed.

* Hi Hopes is an early intervention partner for families of deaf and hard-of-hearing babies.
** Cued Speech South Africa is a voluntary association for promoting the use of Cued Speech.
*** From Stats SA’s General Household Survey of 2015.

 There will be a South African Sign Language interpreter at the presentation, which will be visible at all centres.

RSVP by 20 November 2017

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Contact Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail:

Cape Town: HSRC, Merchant House 116-118 Buitengracht Street Cape Town, Cape Town. Contact: Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004 or or Carmen August at

The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001 , Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or , or Hlengiwe Zulu at e-mail

Old Bus Depot, Mbubu Road, Sweetwaters Tel: 033-324 5000

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DST

Kindly note that seminars can now be accessed via the Vidyo link: