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Year 8 activities with The Hearing Impaired School

16 February 2016

Article by Mimi Tran Lam

During the last two days of the Dalat trip, Year 8 had the opportunity to meet children from the Hearing Impaired School, meaning we had to communicate through sign language. Before we interacted with our guests, the leader of their community gave us a brief lesson and taught us a few gestures. After a moment of practising, the fun began!

Half of the Year 8 group and the hearing impaired children participated in team building activities in which two of the activities required no talking and of course, a tremendous amount of teamwork. You could say this went well! Most teams successfully completed the games while others failed hilariously and ended up in a fit of laughter.

The other half of the Year 8 group and our guests enjoyed the challenging rope courses in which we wore a harness and were attached to safety equipment. We had to overcome our fears in zip lining, crossing the monkey bridge and the terrifying leap of faith!

When we found it difficult to use sign language, we used body language to try and communicate.  To my surprise, the children understood! - making this one of the many funny and interesting events throughout the course of our time with them.

Overall, we had an amazing time with the Hearing Impaired students and we made sure that they did to, which we are sure of because we ended the day with a dance show off just after lunch. I was very impressed by their breakdancing skills that I could never even dream of executing.

I almost forgot to give my two partners in the group the toys that I had taken with me on the trip as a small donation. I dashed up to the 16 year old student handing her the two stuffed teddies. A smile plastered across her face as she signed if the second toy was for the other 10 year old girl and I nodded. She signed a thank you and we finished the eventful visit with a hug, a memorable moment to never forget.

Article by Ashley Lee

Each year on our residential trips, we get a chance to work with different communities as part of our community project. This year, Year 8 had the privilege of working with students from the Hearing Impaired School in Dalat.

The Hearing Impaired School has a grading system different to BIS. Therefore, we met students of all ages ranging from 8 to 21. The teachers from the Hearing Impaired School showed us some simple signs to help us communicate with the students and then we were put into groups and did different activities. I was in the same group as three students, 2 of them aged 8 and the other was 21. They were all very friendly and smiley.

At first it was hard to communicate with them. Sometimes we would do the signs wrong and then the students from the school would understand it as a different meaning. However, soon we were able to communicate easily with them with our own sign language. Often they would teach us new words and the oldest students were quick to understand what we were trying to say and translated it for the others.

We were put into groups and sent to do activities but we also enjoyed playing with them between tasks, like catching pine cones as well as tag and many more. We preferred it that way. It was easier to communicate with them and much more fun. They were actually pretty good at sport especially catching. One of the things the students did was compare our appearance with them. It was hilarious when they awed at how much hair Campbell had on his arm. I think that we all learned that it is possible and really pleasant to communicate with people that don't speak the same language as us. We were different in a way but still the same.

All of the students in BIS and the Hearing Impaired School enjoyed being in each other's company. It was a great opportunity to work with them and have fun.

The Hearing Impaired School would like to say a big thank you to the PTG and school for their kind donation – this will go towards school resources for the New Year!