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GER-Sign Languages: Empirically based foundations for grammatical, pragmatic and sociolinguistic Descriptors

See more: LESICO Conference 2017

Dawei Ni, Switzerland, LESICO 2017, 13th October, Basel

The project is to investigate empirical descriptors in Sign Languages that characterize second language proficiency levels in learning sign language as a second language. These measures will determine standardization levels and testing of language skills based on the European reference framework. Although sign languages do not have a writing system, they inherit certain textuality features and text types, using video recordings. Descriptions, narrative stories, formal lectures, reports, argumentative texts and artistic performances carry very different structural components and meanings, which will be analyzed, interpreted and described. The specific descriptors are differentiated for receptive «reading - comprehension» and productive «writing – signing of video message» skills and are mapped to a «can» grid, so that six language levels are to be distinguished when learning sign language as a foreign language. These are the basis for class-compliant sign language courses, topic-specific further training courses, professional qualifications of sign language teachers, standardized tests, recognized certificates, etc. This evaluative study of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages will set the stage for further analysis and reflective discourse when reviewing common or differentiating principles in Sign Languages in the European level for profession of sign language teachers.