The involvement of deaf researchers in sign linguistics influenced and changed both content and methodology in SL learning, promoting a deaf-led perspective e. For example, deaf practice within HE SL programmes demonstrated large production of video-based learning resources, whereas the opposite was observed outside academia 1.
Thus, the provision of teachingmaterials, particularly SL video resources, adequate in content, format and technical quality became a constant and immediate concern. This growing number of different SL texts represented "a very dynamic, fast-growing and changing language in use" p. The provision of SL teaching materials is supported by recent work on corpus sign linguistics since The making of electronic corpora e.
However, limited research is documented on the use of such corpora in SL classroom e. They can complement existing SL materials and create accessible libraries of video resources for research and training purposes Leeson, Students' videos were then analysed, with the aim to exploit and identify error categories for the development of an error tagging system in BSL learner corpora. The study exploited eight grammar and syntax error categories, and results revealed that overall, students produced more correct than incorrect BSL across the categories; they produced very often more syntax rather than grammatical mistakes; and in the grammar category of inflected verbs, they produced more grammar errors than syntax.
However, more research is needed to show learner corpora uses in the description of learners' SL proficiency levels in the course of their learning. Additionally, with regards to curricula and syllabuses, content development has begun to rest within collective rather than individual SL teachers. Such recent initiative was, for example, the D-Signs project , a joined project among five European member-states from the U.
Based, partly, on D-Signs 2 , and acknowledging the lack of a common SL learning framework, deaf academics and not only joined in the PRO-Signs project an on-going project since , with the aim to establish European standards for SL proficiency for professional purposes, focusing specifically on SL teaching in Deaf Studies e.
It is expected that deaf communities and employers have standard levels to guide them; teachers and lecturers can benchmark curricula across Europe and, benefit from networks of shared practice 3. In terms of L1 acquisition, research in sign linguistics allowed the development of various tests however not all standardised , for many European SLs, which can assess SL development as L1 in deaf children their receptive skills mainly and subsequently, plan intervention in their schools for a review 4 of SL assessment tests see Haug, In particular they can be applied for: 1 diagnosis of children's language development; 2 monitoring SL development in school; and 3 linguistic assessment of deaf adults, hearing parents with deaf children, professionals working with deaf people.
In terms of children's linguistic competence, the tests focus on selected aspects of SL morphology and syntax e. In some cases, regional SL variation is also included. In other contexts, children are asked to comprehend grammatical relations within various video-based narratives. Summing up, this section presented the way research in sign linguistics informed, overall, teaching methodology; learning materials; and assessment in the teaching of SLs as L1 and L2.
The following section discusses such ventures in the European context, so as to inform the state-of-the-art of Applied Sign Linguistics in relation todeaf education. In the s, there was a movement away from oralism and an increase in SL awareness across Europe had emerged. In , in the Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation on the rights of national minorities, The Committee on the Rehabilitation and Integration of People with disabilities Partial Agreement CD-P-RR regarded SLs as non-territorial languages, since they meet the definition criteria of non-territorial languages as set out in the European Charter for Minority or Regional Languages, as well as cultural and linguistic minorities with specific cultural identities Timmermans, , p.
In , the Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation was passed on the protection of sign languages in the member states of the Council of Europe. Following from such acts, many European member-states recognised SL as the language for the communication between deaf persons and others, but very few as the language for instruction in schools. As a result, until today, SL — even in those states that its educational status is recognised — is not used as: a the school subject that deaf children must study throughout their school years in the way hearing children do for their mother tongues , although sign bilingualism pedagogies are claimed to be followed in school curricula; and b as the communication tool for delivering the learning and teaching of school subjects.
On the contrary, it seems that total communication approaches dominate school practices, mainly due to the fact that SLs have not yet become obligatory of school study in primary and secondary education Leeson, With regards to point i , language learning in deaf schools still equals to the teaching of the states' official language e. English, Spanish, French , regardless of the large number of sign linguistic and psycholinguistic research, indicating otherwise.
Thus, language learning was based on traditional methods that had an archaic orientation, according to which learning of mother tongue meant the learning of modern, demotic Greek, on the basis of ancient Greek even in deaf schools with some modifications. Concerning ii , since the s and until the early years of EU economic crisis , SLs had both legal and funding support from EU.
During this period, HE institutions received major support for the development of benchmark research, mainly in documenting SLs e. Much of this work was administered for free 6 in schools for SL teaching practices mainly lexicons, pilot curricula etc. Teaching vocabulary, using video multimedia materials, from children's early school years, is a common target and practice within EU.
This is also evident in the development of numerous SL assessment tests as it is already mentioned. It is the policy among EU schools, due to the heterogeneity of deaf children population, to establish a language base for deaf children and their parents , by focusing on the development of SL skills receptive and productive , before proceeding with other study subjects according to school curricula.
For this reason, the aforementioned SL assessment tests are used for reliable evaluations of children's SL proficiency. However, school practice informs that such tests are not available throughout EU membership, and test adaptations are preferred, without though making proper standardisations. Deaf children who have difficulty developing SL skills are often identified by teachers using the above assessments, or else in a descriptive mode, based on reports taken through their interaction with the children, interviews with their parents, and professional discussions among staff in schools.
SL Levels are also determined, as they begin formal schooling, and their progressed is monitored during their school years.
In terms of SL teaching materials, the situation in EU school is much differentiated. Very few countries, based on their passed laws on SL recognition in deaf education, have developed materials for primary and secondary school use.
The majority of these are bilingual; SL is the school subject as a L1 and the tool to communicate the video content; and spoken language mainly in its written form is taught as a L2 through SL. In these, video multimedia materials were created by native signers, focusing mainly on analysis of stories, narratives, and general educational context e.
Unfortunately, to the best of the author's knowledge, there is no research to document the impact of such materials into children's SL learning, and their use in the SL classroom by both teachers and learners. Thus, today, there are available qualified teachers with high command in SL, since their placement in deaf schools requires and obliges the attainment of SL proficiency certificate. Yet limited research exists to report on their teaching and its impact if any on children's SL learning. Research is needed to explore their method s in the SL classes, in schools, since these new generation teachers now hold the knowledge and awareness of the linguistic and not only aspects of SLs.
In addition, there is increase of deaf qualified teachers, whom international scholarship considers to play important role models in children's school achievement. With regards to point v , as it is already mentioned, due to the economic crisis, deaf education is under great pressure across EU. The financial crisis has led to an increase in budget deficits in many countries, and this has resulted in the need for fiscal consolidation. Thus, there are financial challenges e.
The funding of ICT resources and of specific programmes for educational support is also affected by cuts in education expenditure ibid. At the moment, the availability of free online platforms e. Applied linguistics started in the decade of '60s, when audiolingualism and later, cognitivism, were believed to be the methods drawn directly from a theory of language description Weideman, At that time, there was a link between linguistic theory and language teaching.
In terms of Applied Sign Linguistics, it is easily claimed that there was not a theoretical continuity between sign linguistics and SL teaching. The teaching methods, especially their principles that have been tried out throughout the s, cannot be related to the results of the sign linguistic analysis of that time.
They are, instead, beliefs that underlie and support some techniques of analysis, but they are not the results or conclusions of sign linguistics analysis. They simply preceded sign linguistics. This is the reason why, in one single decade, different programmes attempted to employ four methods, with different principles and techniques. However, from s to present the application of CLT is based upon the results of sign linguistics, thus, there is a theoretical continuity between Applied Sign Linguistics and sign linguistics. From s and onwards, investigation of the syntactical features of SL demonstrated the need for a linguistically-based SL instruction, which differed significantly from the SL teaching in the s.
There was enough scepticism about theory and practice, since sign linguistics has the same subject-matter as SL teaching. In designing solutions to SL problems, sign linguistics theory led the way. Moreover, it can be claimed that in Applied Sign Linguistics there is continuity with Applied Linguistics. Furthermore, this progression informs "tradition" about an already established work. In doing Applied Sign Linguistics work, theoretical "traditions" were and still are a point of reference.
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However, what is missing from Applied Sign Linguistics is what Bygate addresses; "what is needed is not simply to develop and cross-examine the theories, but to explore their applicability within real-world contexts" p. This is an important challenge for many SL teachers and scholars. For instance, it is not sufficient to identify the context of CEFR levels according to SL learners' needs; it is necessary to know what can then be done to help SL learners to achieve the levels.
In order to explore the applicability of the above theories, the applied sign linguist needs to engage in a constructive collaboration with various "authorities" and understand their diverse relations to real-world SL problems. At present, there is not enough research about the theoretical "traditions", which will inform the field about "what works". Currently, Applied Sign Linguistic research is being conducted in contexts remotely, and its results remain — in most cases — unknown.
According to Mitchell , language learning theories and research findings on effective teaching. In this sense, an expanded programme of research But any such programme needs to be founded on a clear set of principles, if it is to generate robust new knowledge about effective teaching and learning p. In line with this, Applied Sign Linguistics needs to strengthen its research by evaluating the overall effectiveness of the existing SL programmes through evidence-based practice e.
So far, for example, there is still not enough evidence on what to teach in each SL level; there is still lack of "standard" pedagogic grammar; of what is actually "teachable" and measurable. Again, such evidence is missing from SL teaching and learning. Applied Sign Linguistics is a challenging discipline. What it occurred to me today is that, in terms of Applied Sign Linguistics, there is a very big challenge. In my feeling, in teaching English as a foreign language or teaching foreign languages, when the work started forty or fifty years ago, the task of language description had been done; dictionaries were there; grammars were there; that had been going on for years.
It seems to me that you have the challenge at the same time of describing sign languages, and trying to negotiate issues of standards, variation etc. It is a very complex issue with less activity. Moreover, this statement means that evidence-based practice needs to be grounded in a network of close and long-term partnerships between researchers, teachers and other participants in SL teaching and learning.
In addition, it means the need to increase agreement among scholars on what kind of data will count as providing evidence of SL teaching and learning. An example was the laboratory of CDS in Bristol University, equipped with professional video and computer technology, of which, on a daily basis, deaf researchers made use among other uses for the production of learning materials. In addition, students and scholars, during BSL classes, were using the centre's online learning environments which permitted instant video recordings and submissions.
In , demotic was made the official language. These objectives were in close relation to the production of SL teaching materials. It is included here with few adjustments for the purposes of this paper.
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The recordings of the conference belong to private archives by the author. Brentari, D. Handshape in sign language phonology. Van Oostendorp, CJ. Ewen, E. Blackwell Companion to Phonology pp The lowest-priced brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging where packaging is applicable.
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