ISAAC Conference 2016

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Core Vocabularies: Same or different for Bilingual Language Learning and Literacy Skill building with Symbols?

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The importance of culturally and linguistically suitable symbol sets for those using augmentative and alternative forms of communication has been discussed in the past (Huer M.(1997), Nakamura et al (1998)) and yet there remain very few freely available symbol sets that are suitable for use in the Arabian gulf region. This may in part to be due to the fact that many therapists and teachers working in the area are not necessarily Arabic speaking and tend to use systems that have been developed in the west with a simple word for word translation between English and Arabic. Although this appears to offer a simple bilingual strategy, difficulties have been encountered by AAC users where not only are the symbols failing to meet their needs but the lexical concepts may also be incompatible. Core vocabularies are deemed to be suitable across languages and environments (Baker et al, 2000) but this may not always be the case in the early stages of vocabulary building and it is this concern that has led to the research described in this paper.

Author(s):

EA Draffan    
University of Southampton
United Kingdom

Mike Wald    
University of Southampton
United Kingdom

Nawar Halabi    
University of Southampton
United Kingdom

Ouadie Sabia    
Language 4 Life Academy Ltd
United Kingdom

Amatullah Kadous    
Hamad Medical Corporation,

Amal Idris    
Hamad Medical Corporation,

Nadine Zeinoun    
Mada Assistive Technology Center
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David Banes    
Mada Assistive Technology Center
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