Empowering Deaf Students : A Genre Analysis of the film Children of a Lesser God

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Dr. Najla Mosbehi


People with hearing loss often need special skills to learn language and communicate. The film Children of a Lesser God focuses on the link between hearing impairment and speech. It portrays the way deaf students struggle to gain hospitality in the hearing world. It revolves around a romantic relationship between a deaf girl and a hearing speech teacher. This paper tackles the communicative skills that James achieves with his deaf students and Sarah through genre analysis as an analytic angle. It has been found that James uses innovative teaching techniques to help his deaf students have a better understanding for somatic sensations, such as vibration, playing loud rock music, reading hi lips and interpreting his sign language. Children of a Lesser God delves into the intricate challenges faced by individuals with hearing loss in the realm of language acquisition and communication. This exploration revolves around the romantic relationship between James, a hearing speech teacher, and Sarah, a deaf former student, uncovering the interplay between hearing impairment and expressive language skills. The film also challenges societal attitudes toward deafness, questioning whether it is viewed as a limitation or a distinctive mode of communication. This genre analysis provides a comprehensive examination of how the film surpasses conventional norms of the romance genre while shedding light on the innovative teaching methods employed by James to support his deaf students and his girlfriend, Sarah. The central conflict of the narrative arises from the contrasting communication styles and perceptions of James and Sarah. Sarah’s resistance to conforming to the hearing world presents a unique challenge for James, who endeavors to connect with her through American Sign Language (ASL). The film’s title, Children of a Lesser God, underscores societal attitudes toward the deaf, framing the exploration of autonomy, understanding, and the right to define one’s identity. Beyond the romantic storyline, the narrative expands to address the broader challenges faced by deaf students in their pursuit of education and communication. In light of the limited research on the intersection between films and language pathologies, especially deafness, this study uses genre analysis to explore the film’s distinctive exploration of communication dynamics and educational practices. The primary objectives include examining how the film transcends conventions of the romance genre and deciphering the teaching methods employed by James to empower deaf students.


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How to Cite
Dr. Najla Mosbehi. “Empowering Deaf Students : A Genre Analysis of the Film Children of a Lesser God”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 9, no. 1, Feb. 2024, pp. 12-22, https://thecreativelauncher.com/index.php/tcl/article/view/1149.
Research Articles


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