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Textbooks Help for Deaf, Mute

The country's first set of textbooks for the deaf and mute to learn English have been produced in Shanghai.

Four teachers at Shanghai Deaf-Mute Youth Technical School have spent six years compiling the books, and their students will be the first to use them.

"It's not at all strange for deaf and mute people to learn English," said Ji Rongfang, one of the compilers. "They can't hear or speak Chinese, but they have learnt Chinese characters to read books and newspapers."

Textbooks for grade one English have been printed and will soon be used in the school while the rest are being revised.

Although there has been a rise in educational qualifications for deaf and mute students, English has not been part of their compulsory nine-year education.

They normally start to learn English at high school, but high school education for disabled people in China is still in the early stages of development.

Most schools for the disabled use ordinary English textbooks, which do not take into account the needs of deaf and mute students. The special textbooks compiled by the four Shanghai teachers emphasize reading and grammar, and use many colorful pictures.

(Shanghai Daily June 30, 2008)

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