Since 2007, I have been a lecturer at King Abdul Aziz University, in the Program of Educational Graduate Studies, Special Education Department, Deaf Studies Division.
My work placement at special and inclusive primary schools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing children reinforced my interest in introducing the concept of sign bilingual education with a particular focus on literacy for Deaf children in a girls Deaf school in Saudi Arabia as well as in introducing, for the first time, Deaf assistants into the classroom.
In 2012, I graduated from the University of Nottingham with a Masters in Special Education. My dissertation focuses on comparing self-esteem scores of Deaf students with hard of hearing and hearing students, taking into account student age and degree of hearing loss. In May 2014, I completed MPhil degree in Deaf Studies at the Centre for Deaf Studies in the University of Bristol.
I have now joined DCAL as a full-time Ph.D. candidate, under the supervision of Professor Bencie Woll and Professor Jim Kyle. My research aims to understand how sign bilingual education can be applied in deaf education in Saudi Arabia and to discover positive effects which might be applied throughout Saudi deaf education.
After eighteen months of working on the thesis, we set out the factors which currently impede the development of the sign bilingual approach and consider the ways in which impact might eventually be measured. In fact, there is much to be learned for language and education research in terms of programme implementation in this different cultural environment.
E-mail: Najwa Abood Basonbul