The paper focuses on the area of teaching English to deaf and/or hard of hearing students and investigates whether and the extent to which these students in special primary education can be taught English. It presents a part of the research conducted within the framework of the postgraduate programme ‘The Teaching of English as a Foreign/International Language’ of the Hellenic Open University (Seliami, 2021). The research project was conducted in two phases with a combination of a qualitative and a quantitative approach. Specifically, during Phase 1 (observation phase), the study explored the methods that the teachers of a Special School in Athens, Greece, applied in vocabulary teaching, reading comprehension, and writing production. Diaries were kept for this purpose. In Phase 2, a questionnaire was completed –not only by the school teachers- but generally by teachers who specialise in teaching students with hearing impairment. For the purposes of the research, the findings from Phase 2 were analysed in combination with the results of the observation phase to create a syllabus for the teaching of English for deaf and hard of hearing students. However, this paper focuses on the Phase 2 results regarding teachers’ strategies and methods when teaching the particular group of students as derived from the online questionnaire. Teaching ideas for future reference are provided at the end of the paper which may give confidence to pre and/or in-service English teachers who usually feel frustrated and discouraged from teaching deaf and hard of hearing students to carry out this challenging task.
Keywords: deafness, hearing impairment, primary education, vocabulary development, reading and writing production