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“SignOn”, a model for teaching written language to deaf people

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2 Author(s)
Hilzensauer, M. ; Univ. of Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria ; Dotter, F.

This paper presents multimedia courses for the deaf. Foreign language skills (especially in English) are very important nowadays. This presents a challenge to deaf people; for many of them, the written language of their home country is a first foreign language. While hearing people may choose from among countless language courses, there are few for deaf people who use a national sign language as their first or preferred language. As they cannot access the acoustic channel, they need to receive all the information in visual form. The “SignOn” method uses an online course with written text in the target language and sign language as the language of instruction. Various translation modes are available (sentences, words, phrases), together with signed grammar explanations and interactive exercises. Using this model, two EU-projects have already produced a basic and an intermediate English course for deaf adults (“SignOn!” and “SignOnOne”). They are available free of charge via the respective homepages ( These online programs could easily be modified to include new content or be reused for other purposes.

Published in:

IST-Africa Conference Proceedings, 2011

Date of Conference:

11-13 May 2011

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