Summary of 1.4
For the SignTeach Online project, the partners produced 3 kinds of output:
- A series of "Good Examples" videos. Each “Good Example” shows sign language teachers teaching real students on various topics and at different levels. The videos include introductions and comments in both International Sign and the national sign language used in each video. A total of 36 Good Examples were posted on the project's website.
- To find out more about teaching signed languages online, the partners filmed interviews with sign language teachers and their students in their own country and abroad. These interviews can also be found on the project’s website.
- To share their insights on teaching online, partners produced ‘sign podcasts’. These are short, instructive presentations about different aspects of teaching sign language online.
- To prepare for the ‘post Covid’ period, we investigated the teaching of sign languages online to students in foreign countries. Unlike spoken languages, foreign sign languages are often learned through immersion and interaction with signers from other countries. Maybe there also is a market for online courses in foreign sign languages? We researched this by organising a pilot course in Italian Sign Language for the partners in the consortium, and by interviewing Deaf sign language users about how they learned a second, and sometimes third and fourth sign language.
For the new SignTeach Online project, partners in the consortium produced ‘Good Examples’: videos of sign language teachers teaching real students about different topics and at different CEFR levels (CEFR: Common European Framework of References, see: https://www.coe.int/en/web/common-european-framework-reference-languages/level-descriptions ).
Each Good Example has a short introduction in International Sign and in the national sign language used in the Good Example. Also: a short comment, again in International Sign and the national sign language of the online class.
On the project’s website the sign language teachers who produced the Good Examples, introduce themselves: https://www.signteach.eu/online/index.php/good-examples-sto/meet-the-teachers.
During the project, a total of 36 Good Examples were produced and posted on the project’s website: https://www.signteach.eu/online/index.php/good-examples-sto.
In addition, partners interviewed Sign Language teachers and their students and posted ‘sign podcasts’, all about teaching sign languages online, see: https://www.signteach.eu/online/index.php/interviews and https://www.signteach.eu/online/index.php/sign-podcasts.
To investigate the potential of online teaching after the pandemic, partners looked at the possibilities of teaching sign languages online to students in foreign countries. For spoken languages, there are many websites where students can learn a foreign spoken language online, often by teachers and/or native speakers of that language.
Most sign language users however do not go to formal online or offline classes to learn a foreign sign language. Instead, they learn ‘by immersion’ when meeting signers from other countries, for instance during international conferences and at international events. The main question that we wanted to look at:
We planned to answer this question by organising a short online pilot course in a foreign sign language, in this case Italian Sign Language, LIS, for and by the partners in the consortium. And again by interviewing sign language users, in this case: sign language users who know two or more sign languages. How did they learn the foreign sign language(s)? Would they have liked to have access to an online class to learn the foreign sign language(s)?
An added advantage of the pilot course for the partners: the sign language teachers in the consortium experienced themselves what it is like to be a student in an online class. You can find the comments and conclusions of the teachers of the pilot course (Valeria Giura and Luigi Lerose, both native LIS users and teachers) and the students (the sign language teachers in the consortium) on the project’s website: https://www.signteach.eu/online/index.php/sign-podcasts/teaching-a-second-sign-language