Love It! Collaborative Education

Aida Cerkez:

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — When Mirzana Coralic asked the primary school in her Sarajevo neighborhood whether they would enroll her deaf son, teacher Sanela Ljumanovic volunteered without thinking much about it.

Then September came and 6-year-old Zejd was there, silently sitting on one of the school’s benches, his eyes wide open. At the time, no one at the school, not even Zejd, knew sign language.

“We have to come up with something here,” Ljumanovic remembers thinking.

She tried to develop her own tricks and signs to communicate with Zejd but a parent had another idea, proposing that the whole class learn sign language with him.

Three months later, the first-graders of class 1-2 at Osman Nakas primary school in Sarajevo have mastered the basics of sign language to communicate with their classmate.

“Zejd,” said Uma Nadarevic, 6, crossing her arms to sign his name. “Please,” she then put her palms together as if she would be praying. “Can … you …show …me …our …homework …in … math?” Uma waved the signs with her little arms as she slowly pronounced each word.

Zejd grabbed his notebook out of a bag and showed her the circles and squares he drew at home. Uma signed “Thank you” and Zejd bowed a “you are welcome.”

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About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.