Deaf Palestine Arab children living in the occupied West Bank of Jordan have the chance to attend a special school that aims to teach them to speak.
GV PAN FROM: city TO children playing in school yard.
CU AND SV: girl plays drums and another girl dances. (2 shots)
CU INTERIOR: deaf child wearing earphones and talking into microphone in front of mirror, learning Arabic pronunciation with help of a nun. (3 shots)
CU: another child learning sounds with aid of vibrator in his mouth. (2 shots)
LV AND CU: teacher instructing child on pronunciation in school (2 shots)
CU: another child following script in book and class applauds as child finished (2 shots)
TV AND CU: children singing and praying in chapel. (2 shots)
SV: older child walks to lectern
SV AND CU: girl at lectern reading lesson in Arabic. (2 shots)
SV: Nun dancing in circle with young children.
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Background: Deaf Palestine Arab children living in the occupied West Bank of Jordan have the chance to attend a special school that aims to teach them to speak.
SYNOPSIS: It is the Efferter (phonetic) institute, near Bethlehem in the Israeli occupied West Bank. Ninety two students attend the school. All of them are Palestine Arabs, twenty of them Christian, the remainder Muslim.
The school is run by the Pontifical Mission for Palestine and was opened in 1971. Ten of the children at the school are refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, an organisation that provides relief, health and education services.
The children are taught Arabic. The teaching method involves using special techniques that have been developed in Italy for getting deaf people to speak.
Each child is taught to exaggerate his pronunciation, particularly at the beginning.
They spend two years learning Arabic, being taught to breathe in a different way, and to recognise certain vocal vibrations with the aid of special instruments.
Arabic is considered by experts to be one of the most difficult languages to learn, because of its pronunciation... and it is on this that the teachers give the pupils close attention.
The school is run by nuns, and they are helped by people who live in the neighbourhood. Most of the children are boarders.
The school aims to give the children enough ability for them to be able to lead a life where their handicap won't keep them apart from other people.
For the United Nations organisation UNRWA, the ten children they send to the school is just a part of their education system. They operate in Lebanon, Syria, east Jordan, the West Bank and the Gaza strip. There are almost a third of a million children at 616 schools operated by UNRWA.