“I’ve been a sign bilingual teacher for over 10 years, working with SLCO to create a more diversified and inclusive community. I use sign language to co-teach at a secondary school alongside speaking teachers. The classes are made up of a mix of hearing students and deaf students, but all the kids learn to communicate with sign language. Through my work, I learned that deafness is not just a physical obstacle; many deaf children are prone to emotional issues and experience severe isolation, especially if not given the appropriate support and tools to communicate. That’s why I’m so passionate about using sign language education to help deaf children flourish; and to give them the best opportunities possible. Some people wonder why I chose to pursue this path even though I am not deaf myself, but I am a linguist at heart and see sign language as any other language. My hope is to use language to break down barriers and to bridge people. Compassion can be expressed through language; it’s really all about patient communication, understanding and connection.“
“Prior to joining SLCO, I taught secondary school biology for many years. I then went on to study linguistics, which was when I first stumbled upon sign language. I remember attending an orientation dinner packed with people; it was almost impossible to hear what anyone was saying as it was so loud with all the chatter. From the corner of my eye, I saw two people making hand signs at each other from opposite ends of a big dining table; they were having a full, animated conversation with sign language. I was completely mesmerised by this and found it so magical. That was the moment when everything fell into place - I knew I had to learn the language myself. Sign language is so beautiful and vibrant in that it marries body movement and facial expression; it is also fun in that it develops organically in different countries and is influenced by local slang and culture. Fun fact: did you notice that sign interpreters always tend to wear black? It’s so that their hands can be more visible against a dark background!”
“I have always wanted to become a teacher since I was a kid. Perhaps I was influenced and inspired by the many teachers that I had in my family; and also because I’ve always enjoyed interacting with young people. The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the kids grow from little toddlers to thriving teenagers and being able to accompany them on their journeys. It has been so fulfilling to be able to support them in their search of their own unique identities, by helping them navigate challenges to uncover talents and build confidence. One of my fully deaf students even went on to become a professional dance performer! You might wonder how she is able to dance without hearing music, but she uses other tools and senses to help her find rhythm and beat - it’s just so beautiful and amazing to witness. In my down time, I love to travel and experience other cultures, and of course attempt to communicate with different languages. I can speak English, Cantonese and Japanese, and am now learning Korean. I just love using language to connect things, places and people!”
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