Greener Journal of Education and Training Studies

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Mutswanga and Sithole

Greener Journal of Education and Training Studies Vol. 2 (2), pp. 025-037, May 2014.

  ISSN: 2354-225X © 2013 Greener Journals 

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 032714167


Perceptions of People who are Deaf on Sign Language Teaching and Communication by Hearing People: Harare Urban, Zimbabwe


*1Phillipa Mutswanga, 2Christine Sithole


1Lecturer at Zimbabwe Open University in the Department of Disability Studies and Special Needs Education.

2Director of Zimbabwe National Association for the Deaf.




*Corresponding Author’s Email: phillipamutswangah @ or mutswangap @ zou. ac. zw


The qualitative approach and the phenomenology design were employed to collect data for the study. Using in-depth interviews, observations and document analysis, the study explored the perceptions of ten people with profound Deafness on the teaching and use of the Zimbabwean Sign Language (ZSL) in Zimbabwe by hearing people. Purposive sampling was employed to select the participants for the study from the population of people who are Deaf in the streets of Harare urban. Two directors, one from the umbrella board of people with disabilities, the National Association for Societies and Care of the Handicapped (NASCOH) and the other director was from Zimbabwe National Association of the deaf (ZIMNAD), both are described as Disabled People Organisations (DPOs) in this study, they were automatically selected to participant in the study. Interest and profound Deafness were used as criteria for the sample selection. In Zimbabwe, use of SL in day- to- day communication and learning did not have a legal status until March 2013. The current acceptance of SL as one of the 16th languages in the 2013 constitution, though awaiting domestication, triggered this study. The study revealed that hearing people were influencing the type of SL the people who are Deaf should learn. The study declared people who are Deaf as the experts to the SL that should be taught or used in Zimbabwe. The study aims to place Zimbabwe amongst global competitors on issues of Deaf education. 

Keywords: perceptions, Sign language in Zimbabwe, profound, hearing people, first language of the Deaf.

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