Researching classroom processes of inclusion and exclusion
European Journal of Special Needs Education
The aim of this paper is to discuss processes of inclusion and exclusion in compulsory classrooms where both Norwegian and Norwegian Sign Language (NSL) are used. The Norwegian Education Act 1998, section 2-6, gives deaf pupils who have acquired sign language as their first language 'the right to tuition in the use of sign language and through the medium of sign language'. At the same time, participation in the local school is a key principle in the national policy documents for education. This
... introduces elements of uncertainty into classrooms where deaf pupils are educated together with hearing pupils. The paper uses data from an evaluation study of deaf education in Norway. Making use of interval observation, fieldnotes, interviews and video recordings of interactional situations, the study makes an explorative description of everyday activities in classrooms where pupils are taught according to s.2-6 of the 1998 Act. The paper analyses interactional patterns and language use in some of the observed classes, specifically, where deaf pupils are taught according to s.2-6 at local schools. Using the concepts framing and classification and internal frames, the article examines how 'frames' create opportunities or constraints for classroom interactions and language use and, therefore, for learning. The paper starts with a brief conceptualization of bilingual education involving Norwegian and Norwegian Sign Language (NSL). Then perspectives on communication and learning are presented. Thirdly, the present study is described, focusing on aspects of the methodology developed, the results obtained and an analysis of the findings. Finally, some issues concerning interaction and language use in the classroom are discussed in relation to processes of inclusion and exclusion.