Communication Strategies Used by Physical Education Teachers and Coaches in Residential Schools for the Deaf in the U.S.

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The purpose of this study was to determine what communication and instructional techniques including coaching strategies were being implemented by coaches and physical education (PE) teachers working in residential or day schools for the deaf throughout the U. S. Further, to share this information with coaches and PE teachers in general education classrooms. Questionnaire was answered electronically from 32 coaches and PE teachers (38 % return rate). Topics in the survey included: a) types of sports/PE classes; b) mode of communication used; c) coaching and teaching techniques; d) coaching and teaching strategies; e) breakdowns in communication; f) advice to new coaches a teachers starting out in the field. Advice for new coaches, who had not previously worked with the individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH), six themes emerged: become fluent in ASL, remember to get the student’s attention before you start signing, use a lot of modelling, role playing, and videos (when needed), keep it simple, stress the fundamentals and insist on repetition until skills are mastered, and be flexible, each player will learn differently. Our results suggest that targeted and adapted communication strategies in PE and physical activities play important role for individuals who are D/HH.

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