Celebrate Leap Day! Every four years we add a day to the end of February to get our calendar back in sync with the seasonal and astronomical year--there are some exceptions. But did you know that this year Leap Day falls on a Friday which has happened only six times in the last two centuries? Happy Birthday to all the Leap Day babies!
The group Nego Gato gave a performance of the Brazilian martial art form known as capoeira on February 7 in Foster Auditorium. Using capoeira, Nego Gato’s website explains, “[enslaved Africans in Brazil] were able to practice their fighting techniques in full view of their oppressors. They became stronger and more accurate and were soon able to defeat an opponent with one well placed kick. When they saw a chance to escape, they took it. …They often escaped to free villages built by their compatriots located in the hills of Brazil.” Nego Gato uses capoeira not only as a form of entertainment but as a vehicle for education. Elements of music, fighting, dance, theater, history, and philosophy made Nego Gato’s performance a perfect complement to the many other activities in Gallaudet’s Black History Month celebration.
CLAST Interim Dean Isaac Agboola recognizes Dr. Barry Bergen, chair of the Department of Government and History, for 15 years of service to the University, and Dr. Ann Powell, chair of the Biology Department, for 30 years of service.
Following his February 13 presentation examining research on skills that can affect deaf readers’ word recognition and, thus, their reading comprehension, Dr. Leonard Kelly discusses the topic with Myra Yanke, outreach specialist for training and development at the Clerc Center. Kelly and Dr. Dragana Barac-Cikoja, research scientists with the Gallaudet Research Institute, looked at what is known about deaf readers’ knowledge of the relationship between the printed letters of words and the phonemes—the distinctive sounds—of spoken English. Kelly also discussed the existing research on deaf readers’ knowledge of English orthography—that is, their visual sensitivity to letter patterns, which can aid in word recognition. Subjects in the reported studies included young deaf readers, as well as adults; those who are relatively unskilled, as well as those who are skilled. Their main conclusion was that any approach meant to help the word recognition of deaf readers should be visually based rather than sound-based. Kelly said he and Barac-Cikoja will next conduct a study to determine whether an approach that focuses on morphology—dividing words into meaningful parts—is an effective method for developing reading skills in deaf learners.