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    Day 2 Sign languages

ECML 25th Anniversary Conference
Protecting and promoting sign languages in Europe 

DAY 2 Sign languages

Friday, 6 December 2019

8.30 - 9.00 


9.00 - 10.15 

Panel: Sign Languages in Europe

Chair: Michael REMMERT, Head of Education Policy Division, Council of Europe

Sign Language is Basic Human Right
Markku JOKINEN, President of the European Union of the Deaf

Sign languages as part of multilingual Europe
Eeva TUPI, Human Rights Adviser at the Finnish League for Human Rights

The development in the status of sign languages under the resolutions of the European Parliament, with special regard to the past 10 years
Ádám KÓSA, Member of the European Parliament, EPP Group

Sign languages from the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages (ECRML) perspective
Sixto MOLINA, Head of Secretariat, European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Council of Europe

Sign languages as minority languages: the route to acceptance
Joseph MURRAY, President of the World Federation of the Deaf

Questions from the floor


Coffee break

10.45 - 11.45 

Council of Europe’s engagement in the field of sign languages

Chair: Sarah BRESLIN, Executive Director, European Centre for Modern Languages, Council of Europe

CEFR Companion Volume: A modality-inclusive reference framework for languages

What is new? What is the rational?
Brian NORTH, Eurocentres Foundation

The notion of modality-inclusive descriptors in the CEFR
Christian RATHMANN, Professor, Humboldt University, Berlin

Modality-specific descriptors for sign language competences
Jörg KELLER, Zurich University of Applied Sciences

ProSIGN 2 - Promoting excellence in sign language instruction
Sign language teacher competences
Tobias HAUG, Leiter Bachelorstudiengang Gebärdensprachdolmetschen, Interkantonale Hochschule für Heilpädagogik Zürich  

European Language Portfolio (ELP) for sign language learners
Lorraine LEESON, Professor in Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin
Christian RATHMANN, Professor, Humboldt University, Berlin

Questions from the floor

11.45 - 12.15

Debate I: Learning, teaching and assessment of sign languages
Moderator: Thomas GEISSLER, Humboldt University

  • How can we exploit the CEFR Companion Volume for curriculum development and assessment in secondary and higher education?
  • How can plurilingual education help?
  • What would be our next steps?
  • What kind of institutional support is needed?

12.15 - 12.45

Debate II: I have a dream! Sign languages are recognised in Europe
Moderator: Lorraine LEESON, Trinity College Dublin

  • How can we contribute to the promotion and recognition of sign languages?
  • How can we influence policy making?
  • How can Council of Europe help?

12.45 - 13.00 


Concluding remarks by the general rapporteur of the session
General rapporteur: David LITTLE (to be confirmed)

Final statements
Sarah BRESLIN, Executive Director of the ECML, Council of Europe
Michael REMMERT, Head of Education Policy Division, Council of Europe

13.00 - 14.00

Buffet lunch (offered by the Council of Europe)


Departure for ECML premises (CDPPE members and experts)