Dr. Markku Jokinen, President, European Union of the Deaf (EUD)
As the President of the European Union of the Deaf (EUD), I am delighted at the opportunity to introduce this publication to you.
This is probably the first book that focuses on sign language teaching on a European level, through bringing many teaching experts from various European countries together in partnership to gather experience and materials, which formulates the basis of this book. This field is not unfamiliar to me, indeed, I have researched this field in depth during my studies at the University of Rochester (postgraduate work in Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, and Sign Language Linguistics). In addition to this, I am currently working on a national level doing advocacy work as Director of the Finnish Association of the Deaf, together with the Finnish authorities we are working on the ‘Language Policy Programme of National Sign Languages in Finland’.
I am very aware of the importance of carrying out research such as the work completed in this book. The key is raising awareness of the need for such research to reinforce the importance for the professionalisation of jobs revolving around sign language teaching. The work completed in this book is essential, as to compare the results from the participating countries and to analyse, or even one step further, opinions expressed by various experts as done in these pages, will bring the profession of sign language teaching one step further.
I am confident that many users will find various uses of this book and that it can serve as a useful tool for all stakeholders at all levels, whether at the EU level or on a national level. But, more importantly, a tool that we wished to have earlier, a tool which will be the working basis for the next generation of sign language teachers.