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Promoting Excellence in Sign Language Instruction

Author: Michael Armstrong/21 September 2016/Categories: Sign languages, Promoting excellence in sign language instruction, Pro-Sign - Signed languages

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The ProSign 2 project Promoting Excellence in Sign Language Instruction aims to raise the profile of sign language (SL) teachers in Europe and to support them in their efforts to achieve excellence in their teaching, both content-wise and didactically.

PRO-Sign 2's goal is to disseminate high quality materials aligned to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and to facilitate the exchange and strengthening of expertise amongst Europe's sign language teachers to support them in their work and to raise the quality of sign language teaching and learning.

We will draw on the work successfully completed in the PRO-Sign project (www.ecml.at/pro-sign, 2012-15) and use this as the basis for enshrining European standards in sign language instruction and learning.

The project was launched with the kick-off meeting in Graz, 23-24 March 2016.

Our first activity is to conduct a survey - for the first time – to benchmark sign language education pathways for teachers of SLs in Europe and identify barriers to accessing language teacher education for deaf teachers. We will also compile a professionally-oriented competency framework (instruction component). Furthermore we will link the European Language Portfolio (ELP) to the competency framework (learning component) and develop and disseminate CEFR B2 level materials and learning activities for sign languages as an exemplar that brings us beyond A1-B1 level work that is now more widely in place. This work contributes to the understanding that European sign languages are part of the plurilingual tradition of Europe.

We will also document competencies required at various educational and/or professional levels for SL teachers, including trainee teachers,  , drawing in part on previous ECML projects like EPOSTL & EPOSTL 2, with modality-specific matters also addressed.

Take steps to come and join us by getting in touch with the ECML National Nominating Authority in your country and applying to be the national delegate at the project workshop, planned in March 2017.


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