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Teachers Guide of Deaf Role Models - Teaching Sign Language to hearing adults


About this course

The development of the Greek Sign Language (GSL) Teaching Guide aims to become a tool for training Deaf adults as professional language modelers for teaching GSL as a first language to hearing parents of deaf children.

The Guide is intended for Deaf adults, members of the Deaf community and Greek Sign Language (GSL) teachers who are to be trained as Deaf models to support hearing adults to teach GSL. It aims to provide theoretical and practical knowledge to Deaf people to promote their professional and personal lives.

Aims of this material and how it can be used

Because by the age of 5-6 years most Deaf children of hearing parents (95 % of all Deaf children) do not have access to GSL, they are at risk of early language delay. Therefore, in order to facilitate the normal language development of Deaf children, it is necessary to create language readiness material for GSL to meet the need for early language teaching and assessment of a first vocabulary in GSL. The language readiness material will be used both as a teaching tool for language development and as an evaluative, educational material for the teaching of early concepts. In particular, it consists of a set of 600 first concepts which are presented to infants in GSL through organized activities, along with the use of supplementary visual material, pictures, photographs, abstract sketches, sketches of GSL signs, videos, etc. The rendering in GSL of the vocabulary and sign texts used in the materials was done by qualified and experienced native signers, members of the Deaf Community, with a strong Deaf identity, who meet all the criteria for Deaf Role Models.

The categories of concepts included in the language readiness materials

The categories of concepts include objects in the child's environment, animals, clothes, toys, furniture, rooms, food, drinks, actions, everyday and other activities, qualities of people, relationships, emotions, quantitative and temporal expressions. Specifically, the teaching material is structured in 12 sections each of which consists of 3-5 subsections. The twelve modules are grouped into three broad themes:


  1. My face
  2. My body and my senses
  3. My dress
  4. I am nourished

  6. Pets
  7. Animals of the forest and jungle
  8. Weather and time

  10. At school
  11. In the family
  12. In the neighbourhood
  13. I get around by transport
  14. My environment

Who is the course aimed at and who can use it?

This course and materials can be used by:

  1. Deaf Language Models (DLMs) who undertake the teaching of first language concepts to Deaf children or train hearing parents/guardians/caregivers in the relevant vocabulary to establish a communication with their Deaf child.
  2. By parents/guardians/caregivers who want to learn the first basic concepts in GSL and then communicate them to the Deaf family member.

For this reason, the word "the adult" is used in the descriptions of the activities to denote the above persons. The activities as described may involve parents/guardians/caregivers with the Deaf child, siblings and the Deaf child, small group with peers and the Deaf child, etc. In the description of the activities these are referred to as 'the participants'.


Prior knowledge of Deafness, Deaf Role Models and Sign Language and completion of the course " Deaf Role Model Guide: From the Deaf for the Deaf" is suggested. Join us and become part of the Sign Links chain.

Course Staff

Course Staff Image #1

Spyridoula Karipi PhD.c

Spyridoula Karipi is a Special Educator with language proficiency in ENG. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Western Macedonia with research interests in Greek Sign Language (ENGL) and its teaching to deaf students. Since 2008 she has been working at the Special Kindergarten for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Argyroupolis, where she is the head teacher. In 2015 she published 2 educational multimedia materials for a) the development of language readiness in preschool children and b) the learning of ENGL in the 1st and 2nd grade, in collaboration with the Institute of Educational Policy. Since 2017, she has been developing the educational materials for ENGL learning for the third grade. She has participated in several national and international conferences and has publications on teaching ENG to preschool and primary school children.

Monitoring and participation

The course is FREE for everyone to attend and with your participation you get access to all course materials (videos, texts, articles, exercises and assignments).

Confirmation of participation and attendance

On successful completion of the program, you will receive a certificate of attendance. Successful completion means completion of all course requirements of independent study and completion of the 4 Assignments at the end of the module. Υour final involvement average must be greater than or equal to 60%.

The independent study requirement is at least one of the following: The participation in the Internship Workshops, Signing Books and materials for parents, the Final Conference, the development of the “Learning my First Signs” for your country or field work of your choice that is agreed with the course staff.