Designing a visual symbol system for Turkish language as an alternative means of communication: the process of delineating content

Karal H. , AYDIN Y., Gunal Y.

1st World Conference on Learning, Teaching and Administration (WCLTA), Cairo, Mısır, 29 - 31 Ekim 2010, cilt.9 identifier identifier


There are many alternative communication systems available for supporting communication facilities of individuals with speech and language deficiencies. It is known that those systems based on illustrations and symbols are used in many countries: mainly Britain and the United States of America. Besides; literature review shows that there is not a symbol system available for Turkish social, cultural and understanding system, and thus it is necessary to form such a system. It is important to delineate the scope of the target system and identify the words to form the relevant content. This is regarded as the main objective of this study. In this scope; a dictionary was formed after examining the vocabulary of the similar systems in the literature, vocabulary lists in the sign language dictionary of the Ministry of National Education and the list of concepts to be addressed for children in 32-76 months in preschool curriculum. 25 teachers (from different fields, experience background and location) were asked for their opinion regarding the determination of certain words to be either included in or excluded from the dictionary. In accordance to their views; a visual design scale was formed containing around 730 words in different categories, such as verbs, persons, adjectives, social interaction, time/status, pronouns, affixes, school, home/belongings, fruits/vegetables, food/drinks, mathematics, professions, nature, clothes, animals, health, technology, traffic/vehicles, body, colors and others. In order to find out whether or not visual representations of those words can be identified by using the design scale, 200 teachers and students (from different fields, experience and locations) were asked for their opinions, and they were asked to draw or define the simplest visual component corresponding to the words. If drawn visual element brought another word to mind at the same time (having another meaning), the consistency of the system would be decreased. Thus, participants were reminded to be careful and diligent while doing the task. Feedback was already obtained from 40 persons. As an outcome of the study, it was understood that the design scale could be satisfactorily used in the design process of a visual symbol system for Turkish language. (C) 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd.