Today, a very special filming session took place in the TV studio of the Research Institute of Educational Sciences (RIES). For the first time, a Sign Language interpreter was dubbing the two latest training videos developed by the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) with the support of the Australian Government.
Mr. Chanthala Philomlasack, Deputy Director of E-Learning Center producing the teacher development videos said “Under the 9th Education and Sports Sector Development Plan, MoES has committed to decreasing disparities that arise from disadvantage, including disability. One aspect is making our video materials accessible to more disadvantaged people, including people with hearing impairment. We want to thank the Embassy of Australia who helped capacity build our team to make this sign language filming today possible”.
Australia, with the support of the Basic Education Quality and Access in Lao PDR (BEQUAL) program has organized several technical training sessions since January on how to make videos and other visual materials more accessible. Ms Bounmy Souvannalath, Senior Program Officer Education, Australian Embassy said that “I am very proud to witness the sign language filming today. Through BEQUAL, the Australian Government works closely with MoES to ensure curriculum and training materials reach more people, especially people with disability. We are supporting MoES efforts to promote inclusive education and ensure that the videos, photography and illustrations produced are more inclusive.”
“We need to wait for the final edit of the video to be cleared before starting the sign language dubbing process” explained Mr Sayyakhone Panyathong, head of the digital media section of E-Learning. “We use a green screen to film the interpreter. We play the video and the interpreter is dubbing following the final audio. Timing is essential. Our colleagues from Inclusive Education Center are here to help with accuracy of translation. In post-production, our editing team will include the sign language dubbing in the corner of the screen. Of course, when they were filming the training videos in the classroom, the cameramen took into account that a portion of the screen will be used for sign language. They were careful to frame the action in the center and leave space for the future sign language insert.”
The new videos’ topic is Grade 2 Lao Language teaching technique. They will be available on the dedicated “ວິດີໂອສຳລັບການພັດທະນາຄູ/Teacher Development Videos” YouTube channel that was created in September 2019 to complement and reinforce the initial face-to-face training that teachers received prior to the implementation of each new grade. The channel already contains 14 training videos which were developed with support from BEQUAL. The videos demonstrate key new teaching techniques like “how to use the decodable readers” and show effective practices for challenges like “how to organize a classroom observation”. The videos cover a wide range of topics that are important for teachers to master such as Lao Language techniques and resources, classroom management strategies, peer-to-peer learning activities for continuing professional development, techniques and approaches to effectively assess students. 8 more videos will be produced this year, and they will all be dubbed in sign language.