WorldWideScience

Sample records for sign language proficiency

  1. The sign language skills classroom observation: a process for describing sign language proficiency in classroom settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, J B; Newell, W; Holcomb, B R; Stinson, M

    2000-10-01

    In collaboration with teachers and students at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), the Sign Language Skills Classroom Observation (SLSCO) was designed to provide feedback to teachers on their sign language communication skills in the classroom. In the present article, the impetus and rationale for development of the SLSCO is discussed. Previous studies related to classroom signing and observation methodology are reviewed. The procedure for developing the SLSCO is then described. This procedure included (a) interviews with faculty and students at NTID, (b) identification of linguistic features of sign language important for conveying content to deaf students, (c) development of forms for recording observations of classroom signing, (d) analysis of use of the forms, (e) development of a protocol for conducting the SLSCO, and (f) piloting of the SLSCO in classrooms. The results of use of the SLSCO with NTID faculty during a trial year are summarized.

  2. The development and psychometric properties of the American sign language proficiency assessment (ASL-PA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maller, S; Singleton, J; Supalla, S; Wix, T

    1999-01-01

    We describe the procedures for constructing an instrument designed to evaluate children's proficiency in American Sign Language (ASL). The American Sign Language Proficiency Assessment (ASL-PA) is a much-needed tool that potentially could be used by researchers, language specialists, and qualified school personnel. A half-hour ASL sample is collected on video from a target child (between ages 6 and 12) across three separate discourse settings and is later analyzed and scored by an assessor who is highly proficient in ASL. After the child's language sample is scored, he or she can be assigned an ASL proficiency rating of Level 1, 2, or 3. At this phase in its development, substantial evidence of reliability and validity has been obtained for the ASL-PA using a sample of 80 profoundly deaf children (ages 6-12) of varying ASL skill levels. The article first explains the item development and administration of the ASL-PA instrument, then describes the empirical item analysis, standard setting procedures, and evidence of reliability and validity. The ASL-PA is a promising instrument for assessing elementary school-age children's ASL proficiency. Plans for further development are also discussed.

  3. PROPOSING A LANGUAGE EXPERIENCE AND SELF-ASSESSMENT OF PROFICIENCY QUESTIONNAIRE FOR BILINGUAL BRAZILIAN SIGN LANGUAGE/PORTUGUESE HEARING TEACHERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid FINGER

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This article presents a language experience and self-assessment of proficiency questionnaire for hearing teachers who use Brazilian Sign Language and Portuguese in their teaching practice. By focusing on hearing teachers who work in Deaf education contexts, this questionnaire is presented as a tool that may complement the assessment of linguistic skills of hearing teachers. This proposal takes into account important factors in bilingualism studies such as the importance of knowing the participant’s context with respect to family, professional and social background (KAUFMANN, 2010. This work uses as model the following questionnaires: LEAP-Q (MARIAN; BLUMENFELD; KAUSHANSKAYA, 2007, SLSCO – Sign Language Skills Classroom Observation (REEVES et al., 2000 and the Language Attitude Questionnaire (KAUFMANN, 2010, taking into consideration the different kinds of exposure to Brazilian Sign Language. The questionnaire is designed for bilingual bimodal hearing teachers who work in bilingual schools for the Deaf or who work in the specialized educational department who assistdeaf students.

  4. How Deaf American Sign Language/English Bilingual Children Become Proficient Readers: An Emic Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mounty, Judith L.; Pucci, Concetta T.; Harmon, Kristen C.

    2014-01-01

    A primary tenet underlying American Sign Language/English bilingual education for deaf students is that early access to a visual language, developed in conjunction with language planning principles, provides a foundation for literacy in English. The goal of this study is to obtain an emic perspective on bilingual deaf readers transitioning from…

  5. Southeast Asian Languages Proficiency Examinations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, James Dean; And Others

    The design, administration, revision, and validation of the Southeast Asian Summer Studies Institute proficiency examinations are reported. The examinations were created as parallel language proficiency tests in each of five languages: Indonesian, Khmer, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese. Four tests were developed in each language: multiple-choice…

  6. Language proficiency and nursing registration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Amanda

    2016-02-01

    This discussion paper focuses on English proficiency standards for nursing registration in Australia, how Australia has dealt with the issue of language proficiency, and the factors which have led to the establishment of the current language standards. Also, this paper will provide a comparison of the two language tests that are currently accepted in Australia (OET and IELTS), including the appropriateness of these tests and the minimum standards used. The paper will also examine the use of educational background as an indicator of language proficiency. Finally, communication-based complaints in the post-registration environment will be explored, and some discussion will be provided about why pre-registration measures might have failed to prevent such problematic situations from occurring. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Signed languages and globalization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hiddinga, A.; Crasborn, O.

    2011-01-01

    Deaf people who form part of a Deaf community communicate using a shared sign language. When meeting people from another language community, they can fall back on a flexible and highly context-dependent form of communication called international sign, in which shared elements from their own sign

  8. Standardization of Sign Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Over the years attempts have been made to standardize sign languages. This form of language planning has been tackled by a variety of agents, most notably teachers of Deaf students, social workers, government agencies, and occasionally groups of Deaf people themselves. Their efforts have most often involved the development of sign language books…

  9. Language proficiency: Current strategies, future remedies ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Language proficiency among young South Africans is low. This is true not only of mother tongue speakers of English and Afrikaans, but also, and especially, of non-mother tongue speakers of English, among whom language proficiency levels raise serious concern. Some examples are given to illustrate the importance of ...

  10. Language Learning Strategy Use across Proficiency Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarei, Abbas, Ali; Baharestani, Nooshin

    2014-01-01

    To investigate the use of language learning strategies (LLS) by Iranian EFL learners across proficiency levels, a total of 180 Iranian adult female EFL learners were selected and divided into three different proficiency level groups. To collect data, Oxford's (1990) Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) was used. One-way ANOVA procedures…

  11. Foreign Language Teachers' Language Proficiency and Their Language Teaching Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Heather; Conway, Clare; Roskvist, Annelies; Harvey, Sharon

    2013-01-01

    Teachers' subject knowledge is recognized as an essential component of effective teaching. In the foreign language context, teachers' subject knowledge includes language proficiency. In New Zealand high schools, foreign languages (e.g. Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish) have recently been offered to learners earlier in their schooling,…

  12. Name signs in Danish Sign Language

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bakken Jepsen, Julie

    2018-01-01

    in spoken languages, where a person working as a blacksmith by his friends might be referred to as ‘The Blacksmith’ (‘Here comes the Blacksmith!’) instead of using the person’s first name. Name signs are found not only in Danish Sign Language (DSL) but in most, if not all, sign languages studied to date....... This article provides examples of the creativity of the users of Danish Sign Language, including some of the processes in the use of metaphors, visual motivation and influence from Danish when name signs are created.......A name sign is a personal sign assigned to deaf, hearing impaired and hearing persons who enter the deaf community. The mouth action accompanying the sign reproduces all or part of the formal first name that the person has received by baptism or naming. Name signs can be compared to nicknames...

  13. Validity of the American Sign Language Discrimination Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bochner, Joseph H.; Samar, Vincent J.; Hauser, Peter C.; Garrison, Wayne M.; Searls, J. Matt; Sanders, Cynthia A.

    2016-01-01

    American Sign Language (ASL) is one of the most commonly taught languages in North America. Yet, few assessment instruments for ASL proficiency have been developed, none of which have adequately demonstrated validity. We propose that the American Sign Language Discrimination Test (ASL-DT), a recently developed measure of learners' ability to…

  14. Sign language: an international handbook

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pfau, R.; Steinbach, M.; Woll, B.

    2012-01-01

    Sign language linguists show here that all the questions relevant to the linguistic investigation of spoken languages can be asked about sign languages. Conversely, questions that sign language linguists consider - even if spoken language researchers have not asked them yet - should also be asked of

  15. Foreign language proficiency and working memory capacity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noort, M.W.M.L. van den; Bosch, M.P.C.; Hugdahl, K.

    2006-01-01

    In this study, the hypothesis that working memory capacity interacts with (foreign) language proficiency was tested on multilinguals, who were native (L1) Dutch speakers, were fluent in their second (L2) language, German, and had recently started the acquisition of their third (L3) language,

  16. Sign Language Web Pages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fels, Deborah I.; Richards, Jan; Hardman, Jim; Lee, Daniel G.

    2006-01-01

    The World Wide Web has changed the way people interact. It has also become an important equalizer of information access for many social sectors. However, for many people, including some sign language users, Web accessing can be difficult. For some, it not only presents another barrier to overcome but has left them without cultural equality. The…

  17. Flemish Sign Language Standardisation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Herreweghe, Mieke; Vermeerbergen, Myriam

    2009-01-01

    In 1997, the Flemish Deaf community officially rejected standardisation of Flemish Sign Language. It was a bold choice, which at the time was not in line with some of the decisions taken in the neighbouring countries. In this article, we shall discuss the choices the Flemish Deaf community has made in this respect and explore why the Flemish Deaf…

  18. Malaysian sign language dataset for automatic sign language ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Journal of Fundamental and Applied Sciences. Journal Home · ABOUT ... SL recognition system based on the Malaysian Sign Language (MSL). Implementation results are described. Keywords: sign language; pattern classification; database.

  19. Sign language typology: The contribution of rural sign languages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vos, C.; Pfau, R.

    2015-01-01

    Since the 1990s, the field of sign language typology has shown that sign languages exhibit typological variation at all relevant levels of linguistic description. These initial typological comparisons were heavily skewed toward the urban sign languages of developed countries, mostly in the Western

  20. Sign language comprehension: the case of Spanish sign language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez Ortiz, I R

    2008-01-01

    This study aims to answer the question, how much of Spanish Sign Language interpreting deaf individuals really understand. Study sampling included 36 deaf people (deafness ranging from severe to profound; variety depending on the age at which they learned sign language) and 36 hearing people who had good knowledge of sign language (most were interpreters). Sign language comprehension was assessed using passages of secondary level. After being exposed to the passages, the participants had to tell what they had understood about them, answer a set of related questions, and offer a title for the passage. Sign language comprehension by deaf participants was quite acceptable but not as good as that by hearing signers who, unlike deaf participants, were not only late learners of sign language as a second language but had also learned it through formal training.

  1. Sign language perception research for improving automatic sign language recognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ten Holt, G.A.; Arendsen, J.; De Ridder, H.; Van Doorn, A.J.; Reinders, M.J.T.; Hendriks, E.A.

    2009-01-01

    Current automatic sign language recognition (ASLR) seldom uses perceptual knowledge about the recognition of sign language. Using such knowledge can improve ASLR because it can give an indication which elements or phases of a sign are important for its meaning. Also, the current generation of

  2. Inuit Sign Language: a contribution to sign language typology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuit, J.; Baker, A.; Pfau, R.

    2011-01-01

    Sign language typology is a fairly new research field and typological classifications have yet to be established. For spoken languages, these classifications are generally based on typological parameters; it would thus be desirable to establish these for sign languages. In this paper, different

  3. Planning Sign Languages: Promoting Hearing Hegemony? Conceptualizing Sign Language Standardization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichmann, Hanna

    2009-01-01

    In light of the absence of a codified standard variety in British Sign Language and German Sign Language ("Deutsche Gebardensprache") there have been repeated calls for the standardization of both languages primarily from outside the Deaf community. The paper is based on a recent grounded theory study which explored perspectives on sign…

  4. Sociolinguistic Typology and Sign Languages

    OpenAIRE

    Adam Schembri; Jordan Fenlon; Kearsy Cormier; Trevor Johnston

    2018-01-01

    This paper examines the possible relationship between proposed social determinants of morphological ‘complexity’ and how this contributes to linguistic diversity, specifically via the typological nature of the sign languages of deaf communities. We sketch how the notion of morphological complexity, as defined by Trudgill (2011), applies to sign languages. Using these criteria, sign languages appear to be languages with low to moderate levels of morphological complexity. This may partly reflec...

  5. Kinship in Mongolian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geer, Leah

    2011-01-01

    Information and research on Mongolian Sign Language is scant. To date, only one dictionary is available in the United States (Badnaa and Boll 1995), and even that dictionary presents only a subset of the signs employed in Mongolia. The present study describes the kinship system used in Mongolian Sign Language (MSL) based on data elicited from…

  6. Bilingual Word Recognition in Deaf and Hearing Signers: Effects of Proficiency and Language Dominance on Cross-Language Activation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morford, Jill P.; Kroll, Judith F.; Piñar, Pilar; Wilkinson, Erin

    2014-01-01

    Recent evidence demonstrates that American Sign Language (ASL) signs are active during print word recognition in deaf bilinguals who are highly proficient in both ASL and English. In the present study, we investigate whether signs are active during print word recognition in two groups of unbalanced bilinguals: deaf ASL-dominant and hearing…

  7. Sociolinguistic Typology and Sign Languages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schembri, Adam; Fenlon, Jordan; Cormier, Kearsy; Johnston, Trevor

    2018-01-01

    This paper examines the possible relationship between proposed social determinants of morphological 'complexity' and how this contributes to linguistic diversity, specifically via the typological nature of the sign languages of deaf communities. We sketch how the notion of morphological complexity, as defined by Trudgill (2011), applies to sign languages. Using these criteria, sign languages appear to be languages with low to moderate levels of morphological complexity. This may partly reflect the influence of key social characteristics of communities on the typological nature of languages. Although many deaf communities are relatively small and may involve dense social networks (both social characteristics that Trudgill claimed may lend themselves to morphological 'complexification'), the picture is complicated by the highly variable nature of the sign language acquisition for most deaf people, and the ongoing contact between native signers, hearing non-native signers, and those deaf individuals who only acquire sign languages in later childhood and early adulthood. These are all factors that may work against the emergence of morphological complexification. The relationship between linguistic typology and these key social factors may lead to a better understanding of the nature of sign language grammar. This perspective stands in contrast to other work where sign languages are sometimes presented as having complex morphology despite being young languages (e.g., Aronoff et al., 2005); in some descriptions, the social determinants of morphological complexity have not received much attention, nor has the notion of complexity itself been specifically explored.

  8. Sociolinguistic Typology and Sign Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schembri, Adam; Fenlon, Jordan; Cormier, Kearsy; Johnston, Trevor

    2018-01-01

    This paper examines the possible relationship between proposed social determinants of morphological ‘complexity’ and how this contributes to linguistic diversity, specifically via the typological nature of the sign languages of deaf communities. We sketch how the notion of morphological complexity, as defined by Trudgill (2011), applies to sign languages. Using these criteria, sign languages appear to be languages with low to moderate levels of morphological complexity. This may partly reflect the influence of key social characteristics of communities on the typological nature of languages. Although many deaf communities are relatively small and may involve dense social networks (both social characteristics that Trudgill claimed may lend themselves to morphological ‘complexification’), the picture is complicated by the highly variable nature of the sign language acquisition for most deaf people, and the ongoing contact between native signers, hearing non-native signers, and those deaf individuals who only acquire sign languages in later childhood and early adulthood. These are all factors that may work against the emergence of morphological complexification. The relationship between linguistic typology and these key social factors may lead to a better understanding of the nature of sign language grammar. This perspective stands in contrast to other work where sign languages are sometimes presented as having complex morphology despite being young languages (e.g., Aronoff et al., 2005); in some descriptions, the social determinants of morphological complexity have not received much attention, nor has the notion of complexity itself been specifically explored. PMID:29515506

  9. Sociolinguistic Typology and Sign Languages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Schembri

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the possible relationship between proposed social determinants of morphological ‘complexity’ and how this contributes to linguistic diversity, specifically via the typological nature of the sign languages of deaf communities. We sketch how the notion of morphological complexity, as defined by Trudgill (2011, applies to sign languages. Using these criteria, sign languages appear to be languages with low to moderate levels of morphological complexity. This may partly reflect the influence of key social characteristics of communities on the typological nature of languages. Although many deaf communities are relatively small and may involve dense social networks (both social characteristics that Trudgill claimed may lend themselves to morphological ‘complexification’, the picture is complicated by the highly variable nature of the sign language acquisition for most deaf people, and the ongoing contact between native signers, hearing non-native signers, and those deaf individuals who only acquire sign languages in later childhood and early adulthood. These are all factors that may work against the emergence of morphological complexification. The relationship between linguistic typology and these key social factors may lead to a better understanding of the nature of sign language grammar. This perspective stands in contrast to other work where sign languages are sometimes presented as having complex morphology despite being young languages (e.g., Aronoff et al., 2005; in some descriptions, the social determinants of morphological complexity have not received much attention, nor has the notion of complexity itself been specifically explored.

  10. Issues in Sign Language Lexicography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zwitserlood, Inge; Kristoffersen, Jette Hedegaard; Troelsgård, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    ge lexicography has thus far been a relatively obscure area in the world of lexicography. Therefore, this article will contain background information on signed languages and the communities in which they are used, on the lexicography of sign languages, the situation in the Netherlands as well...

  11. The Danish Sign Language Dictionary

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristoffersen, Jette Hedegaard; Troelsgård, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    The entries of the The Danish Sign Language Dictionary have four sections:  Entry header: In this section the sign headword is shown as a photo and a gloss. The first occurring location and handshape of the sign are shown as icons.  Video window: By default the base form of the sign headword...... forms of the sign (only for classifier entries). In addition to this, frequent co-occurrences with the sign are shown in this section. The signs in the The Danish Sign Language Dictionary can be looked up through:  Handshape: Particular handshapes for the active and the passive hand can be specified...... to find signs that are not themselves lemmas in the dictionary, but appear in example sentences.  Topic: Topics can be chosen as search criteria from a list of 70 topics....

  12. First Language Proficiency and Successful Foreign Language Learning: The Case of High School Students Learning French as a Foreign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gnintedem, Antoine

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated whether there was a correlation between first language proficiency as measured by the Mississippi Curriculum Test (MCT II) Reading and Language Arts and foreign language proficiency as measured by the French Language Proficiency Test. Data for the independent variable, first language proficiency, was collected from the…

  13. Quantifiers in Russian Sign Language

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kimmelman, V.; Paperno, D.; Keenan, E.L.

    2017-01-01

    After presenting some basic genetic, historical and typological information about Russian Sign Language, this chapter outlines the quantification patterns it expresses. It illustrates various semantic types of quantifiers, such as generalized existential, generalized universal, proportional,

  14. American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... combined with facial expressions and postures of the body. It is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and ... their eyebrows, widening their eyes, and tilting their bodies forward. Just as with other languages, specific ways of expressing ideas in ASL vary ...

  15. Sign Languages of the World

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    This handbook provides information on some 38 sign languages, including basic facts about each of the languages, structural aspects, history and culture of the Deaf communities, and history of research. The papers are all original, and each has been specifically written for the volume by an expert...

  16. 5 CFR 9901.364 - Foreign language proficiency pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 5 Administrative Personnel 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Foreign language proficiency pay. 9901... NATIONAL SECURITY PERSONNEL SYSTEM (NSPS) Pay and Pay Administration Premium Pay § 9901.364 Foreign language proficiency pay. (a) General provisions. (1) This section applies to employees who may be paid...

  17. Brain correlates of constituent structure in sign language comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Antonio; Limousin, Fanny; Dehaene, Stanislas; Pallier, Christophe

    2018-02-15

    During sentence processing, areas of the left superior temporal sulcus, inferior frontal gyrus and left basal ganglia exhibit a systematic increase in brain activity as a function of constituent size, suggesting their involvement in the computation of syntactic and semantic structures. Here, we asked whether these areas play a universal role in language and therefore contribute to the processing of non-spoken sign language. Congenitally deaf adults who acquired French sign language as a first language and written French as a second language were scanned while watching sequences of signs in which the size of syntactic constituents was manipulated. An effect of constituent size was found in the basal ganglia, including the head of the caudate and the putamen. A smaller effect was also detected in temporal and frontal regions previously shown to be sensitive to constituent size in written language in hearing French subjects (Pallier et al., 2011). When the deaf participants read sentences versus word lists, the same network of language areas was observed. While reading and sign language processing yielded identical effects of linguistic structure in the basal ganglia, the effect of structure was stronger in all cortical language areas for written language relative to sign language. Furthermore, cortical activity was partially modulated by age of acquisition and reading proficiency. Our results stress the important role of the basal ganglia, within the language network, in the representation of the constituent structure of language, regardless of the input modality. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Compiling a Sign Language Dictionary

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristoffersen, Jette Hedegaard; Troelsgård, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    As we began working on the Danish Sign Language (DTS) Dictionary, we soon realised the truth in the statement that a lexicographer has to deal with problems within almost any linguistic discipline. Most of these problems come down to establishing simple rules, rules that can easily be applied every...... – or are they homonyms?" and so on. Very often such questions demand further research and can't be answered sufficiently through a simple standard formula. Therefore lexicographic work often seems like an endless series of compromises. Another source of compromise arises when you set out to decide which information...... this dilemma, as we see DTS learners and teachers as well as native DTS signers as our target users. In the following we will focus on four problem areas with particular relevance for the sign language lexicographer: Sign representation Spoken languague equivalents and mouth movements Example sentences Partial...

  19. Proficiency and sentence constraint effects on second language word learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Tengfei; Chen, Baoguo; Lu, Chunming; Dunlap, Susan

    2015-07-01

    This paper presents an experiment that investigated the effects of L2 proficiency and sentence constraint on semantic processing of unknown L2 words (pseudowords). All participants were Chinese native speakers who learned English as a second language. In the experiment, we used a whole sentence presentation paradigm with a delayed semantic relatedness judgment task. Both higher and lower-proficiency L2 learners could make use of the high-constraint sentence context to judge the meaning of novel pseudowords, and higher-proficiency L2 learners outperformed lower-proficiency L2 learners in all conditions. These results demonstrate that both L2 proficiency and sentence constraint affect subsequent word learning among second language learners. We extended L2 word learning into a sentence context, replicated the sentence constraint effects previously found among native speakers, and found proficiency effects in L2 word learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Numeral Incorporation in Japanese Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ktejik, Mish

    2013-01-01

    This article explores the morphological process of numeral incorporation in Japanese Sign Language. Numeral incorporation is defined and the available research on numeral incorporation in signed language is discussed. The numeral signs in Japanese Sign Language are then introduced and followed by an explanation of the numeral morphemes which are…

  1. The Legal Recognition of Sign Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Meulder, Maartje

    2015-01-01

    This article provides an analytical overview of the different types of explicit legal recognition of sign languages. Five categories are distinguished: constitutional recognition, recognition by means of general language legislation, recognition by means of a sign language law or act, recognition by means of a sign language law or act including…

  2. Understanding the Relationship between Language Proficiency, Language Impairment and Rehabilitation: Evidence from a Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiran, Swathi; Iakupova, Regina

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this study was to address the relationship between language proficiency, language impairment and rehabilitation in bilingual Russian-English individuals with aphasia. As a first step, we examined two Russian-English patients' pre-stroke language proficiency using a detailed and comprehensive language use and history questionnaire and…

  3. On the System of Person-Denoting Signs in Estonian Sign Language: Estonian Name Signs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paales, Liina

    2010-01-01

    This article discusses Estonian personal name signs. According to study there are four personal name sign categories in Estonian Sign Language: (1) arbitrary name signs; (2) descriptive name signs; (3) initialized-descriptive name signs; (4) loan/borrowed name signs. Mostly there are represented descriptive and borrowed personal name signs among…

  4. Language proficiency and the international postgraduate student experience

    OpenAIRE

    Weaver, M

    2016-01-01

    In an increasingly competitive environment, with reduced government funding, full fee-paying international students are an important source of revenue for higher education institutions (HEIs). Although many previous studies have focused on the role of English language proficiency on academic success, there is little known about the extent to which levels of English language proficiency affect these non-native English speaking students’ overall course experience. There have been a wealth of st...

  5. Dictionaries of African Sign Languages: An Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmaling, Constanze H.

    2012-01-01

    This article gives an overview of dictionaries of African sign languages that have been published to date most of which have not been widely distributed. After an introduction into the field of sign language lexicography and a discussion of some of the obstacles that authors of sign language dictionaries face in general, I will show problems…

  6. Eye Gaze in Creative Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko, Michiko; Mesch, Johanna

    2013-01-01

    This article discusses the role of eye gaze in creative sign language. Because eye gaze conveys various types of linguistic and poetic information, it is an intrinsic part of sign language linguistics in general and of creative signing in particular. We discuss various functions of eye gaze in poetic signing and propose a classification of gaze…

  7. Language Policy and Planning: The Case of Italian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geraci, Carlo

    2012-01-01

    Italian Sign Language (LIS) is the name of the language used by the Italian Deaf community. The acronym LIS derives from Lingua italiana dei segni ("Italian language of signs"), although nowadays Italians refers to LIS as Lingua dei segni italiana, reflecting the more appropriate phrasing "Italian sign language." Historically,…

  8. Awareness of Deaf Sign Language and Gang Signs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Cynthia; Morgan, Robert L.

    There have been increasing incidents of innocent people who use American Sign Language (ASL) or another form of sign language being victimized by gang violence due to misinterpretation of ASL hand formations. ASL is familiar to learners with a variety of disabilities, particularly those in the deaf community. The problem is that gang members have…

  9. Automatic sign language recognition inspired by human sign perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ten Holt, G.A.

    2010-01-01

    Automatic sign language recognition is a relatively new field of research (since ca. 1990). Its objectives are to automatically analyze sign language utterances. There are several issues within the research area that merit investigation: how to capture the utterances (cameras, magnetic sensors,

  10. Signs of the arctic: Typological aspects of Inuit Sign Language

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuit, J.M.

    2014-01-01

    In this thesis, the native sign language used by deaf Inuit people is described. Inuit Sign Language (IUR) is used by less than 40 people as their sole means of communication, and is therefore highly endangered. Apart from the description of IUR as such, an additional goal is to contribute to the

  11. Determinants of Second Language Proficiency among Refugees in the Netherlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Tubergen, Frank

    2010-01-01

    Little is known about the language acquisition of refugees in Western countries. This study examines how pre- and post-migration characteristics of refugees are related to their second language proficiency. Data are from a survey of 3,500 refugees, who were born in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, former Yugoslavia and Somalia, and who resided in the…

  12. Determinants of second language proficiency among refugees in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tubergen, F.A. van

    2010-01-01

    Little is known about the language acquisition of refugees in Western countries. This study examines how pre- and post-migration characteristics of refugees are related to their second language proficiency. Data are from a survey of 3,500 refugees, who were born in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, former

  13. The Education Consequences of Language Proficiency for Young Children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yao, Yuxin; Ohinata, Asako; van Ours, Jan

    2016-01-01

    This paper studies the educational consequences of language proficiency by investigating the relationship between dialect-speaking and academic performance of 5-6 year old children in the Netherlands. We find that dialect-speaking has a modestly negative effect on boys' language test scores. In

  14. The educational consequences of language proficiency for young children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yao, Yuxin; Ohinata, Asako; van Ours, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Our paper studies the educational consequences of language proficiency by investigating the relationship between dialect-speaking and academic performance of 5–6 year old children in the Netherlands. We find that dialect-speaking has a modestly negative effect on boys’ language test scores. In

  15. Naming Abilities in Low-Proficiency Second Language Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borodkin, Katy; Faust, Miriam

    2014-01-01

    Difficulties in second language (L2) learning are often associated with recognizable learning difficulties in native language (L1), such as in dyslexia. However, some individuals have low L2 proficiency but intact L1 reading skills. These L2 learners experience frequent tip-of-the-tongue states while naming in L1, which indicates that they have a…

  16. Sign Lowering and Phonetic Reduction in American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyrone, Martha E; Mauk, Claude E

    2010-04-01

    This study examines sign lowering as a form of phonetic reduction in American Sign Language. Phonetic reduction occurs in the course of normal language production, when instead of producing a carefully articulated form of a word, the language user produces a less clearly articulated form. When signs are produced in context by native signers, they often differ from the citation forms of signs. In some cases, phonetic reduction is manifested as a sign being produced at a lower location than in the citation form. Sign lowering has been documented previously, but this is the first study to examine it in phonetic detail. The data presented here are tokens of the sign WONDER, as produced by six native signers, in two phonetic contexts and at three signing rates, which were captured by optoelectronic motion capture. The results indicate that sign lowering occurred for all signers, according to the factors we manipulated. Sign production was affected by several phonetic factors that also influence speech production, namely, production rate, phonetic context, and position within an utterance. In addition, we have discovered interesting variations in sign production, which could underlie distinctions in signing style, analogous to accent or voice quality in speech.

  17. Information structure in Russian Sign Language and Sign Language of the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kimmelman, V.

    2014-01-01

    This dissertation explores Information Structure in two sign languages: Sign Language of the Netherlands and Russian Sign Language. Based on corpus data and elicitation tasks we show how topic and focus are expressed in these languages. In particular, we show that topics can be marked syntactically

  18. An electronic dictionary of Danish Sign Language

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristoffersen, Jette Hedegaard; Troelsgård, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Compiling sign language dictionaries has in the last 15 years changed from most often being simply collecting and presenting signs for a given gloss in the surrounding vocal language to being a complicated lexicographic task including all parts of linguistic analysis, i.e. phonology, phonetics......, morphology, syntax and semantics. In this presentation we will give a short overview of the Danish Sign Language dictionary project. We will further focus on lemma selection and some of the problems connected with lemmatisation....

  19. Native language predictors of foreign language proficiency and foreign language aptitude.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, Richard L; Patton, Jon; Ganschow, Leonore; Humbach, Nancy; Javorsky, James

    2006-06-01

    Fifty-four students were tested at specific time intervals over 10 years to determine best native language (NL) predictors of oral and written foreign language (FL) proficiency and FL aptitude. All participants completed two years of Spanish, French, or German. Each was administered measures of NL literacy, oral language, and cognitive ability in elementary school. A measure of FL aptitude was administered at the beginning of ninth grade and FL proficiency was evaluated at the end of the 10th grade. Among the variables, NL literacy measures were the best predictors of FL proficiency, and NL achievement and general (verbal) intelligence were strong predictors of FL aptitude. Results suggest that indices of NL literacy as early as first grade are related to FL proficiency and FL aptitude nine and 10 years later. Findings provide strong support for connections between L1 and L2 skills, and for speculation that "lower level" skills in phonological processing are important for written language development and oral proficiency in a FL.

  20. Visual cortex entrains to sign language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookshire, Geoffrey; Lu, Jenny; Nusbaum, Howard C; Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Casasanto, Daniel

    2017-06-13

    Despite immense variability across languages, people can learn to understand any human language, spoken or signed. What neural mechanisms allow people to comprehend language across sensory modalities? When people listen to speech, electrophysiological oscillations in auditory cortex entrain to slow ([Formula: see text]8 Hz) fluctuations in the acoustic envelope. Entrainment to the speech envelope may reflect mechanisms specialized for auditory perception. Alternatively, flexible entrainment may be a general-purpose cortical mechanism that optimizes sensitivity to rhythmic information regardless of modality. Here, we test these proposals by examining cortical coherence to visual information in sign language. First, we develop a metric to quantify visual change over time. We find quasiperiodic fluctuations in sign language, characterized by lower frequencies than fluctuations in speech. Next, we test for entrainment of neural oscillations to visual change in sign language, using electroencephalography (EEG) in fluent speakers of American Sign Language (ASL) as they watch videos in ASL. We find significant cortical entrainment to visual oscillations in sign language sign is strongest over occipital and parietal cortex, in contrast to speech, where coherence is strongest over the auditory cortex. Nonsigners also show coherence to sign language, but entrainment at frontal sites is reduced relative to fluent signers. These results demonstrate that flexible cortical entrainment to language does not depend on neural processes that are specific to auditory speech perception. Low-frequency oscillatory entrainment may reflect a general cortical mechanism that maximizes sensitivity to informational peaks in time-varying signals.

  1. Signed Language Working Memory Capacity of Signed Language Interpreters and Deaf Signers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jihong; Napier, Jemina

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of hearing status and age of signed language acquisition on signed language working memory capacity. Professional Auslan (Australian sign language)/English interpreters (hearing native signers and hearing nonnative signers) and deaf Auslan signers (deaf native signers and deaf nonnative signers) completed an…

  2. A tour in sign language

    CERN Document Server

    François Briard

    2016-01-01

    In early May, CERN welcomed a group of deaf children for a tour of Microcosm and a Fun with Physics demonstration.   On 4 May, around ten children from the Centre pour enfants sourds de Montbrillant (Montbrillant Centre for Deaf Children), a public school funded by the Office médico-pédagogique du canton de Genève, took a guided tour of the Microcosm exhibition and were treated to a Fun with Physics demonstration. The tour guides’ explanations were interpreted into sign language in real time by a professional interpreter who accompanied the children, and the pace and content were adapted to maximise the interaction with the children. This visit demonstrates CERN’s commitment to remaining as widely accessible as possible. To this end, most of CERN’s visit sites offer reduced-mobility access. In the past few months, CERN has also welcomed children suffering from xeroderma pigmentosum (a genetic disorder causing extreme sensiti...

  3. Historical Development of Hong Kong Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sze, Felix; Lo, Connie; Lo, Lisa; Chu, Kenny

    2013-01-01

    This article traces the origins of Hong Kong Sign Language (hereafter HKSL) and its subsequent development in relation to the establishment of Deaf education in Hong Kong after World War II. We begin with a detailed description of the history of Deaf education with a particular focus on the role of sign language in such development. We then…

  4. Research Ethics in Sign Language Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Raychelle; Holmes, Heidi M.; Mertens, Donna M.

    2009-01-01

    Codes of ethics exist for most professional associations whose members do research on, for, or with sign language communities. However, these ethical codes are silent regarding the need to frame research ethics from a cultural standpoint, an issue of particular salience for sign language communities. Scholars who write from the perspective of…

  5. Phonological Awareness for American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corina, David P.; Hafer, Sarah; Welch, Kearnan

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines the concept of phonological awareness (PA) as it relates to the processing of American Sign Language (ASL). We present data from a recently developed test of PA for ASL and examine whether sign language experience impacts the use of metalinguistic routines necessary for completion of our task. Our data show that deaf signers…

  6. Predicting the Proficiency Level of Language Learners Using Lexical Indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossley, Scott A.; Salsbury, Tom; McNamara, Danielle S.

    2012-01-01

    This study explores how second language (L2) texts written by learners at various proficiency levels can be classified using computational indices that characterize lexical competence. For this study, 100 writing samples taken from 100 L2 learners were analyzed using lexical indices reported by the computational tool Coh-Metrix. The L2 writing…

  7. Beyond Host Language Proficiency: Coping Resources Predicting International Students' Satisfaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mak, Anita S.; Bodycott, Peter; Ramburuth, Prem

    2015-01-01

    As international students navigate in a foreign educational environment, having higher levels of coping or stress-resistance resources--both internal and external--could be related to increased satisfaction with personal and university life. The internal coping resources examined in this study were host language proficiency, self-esteem,…

  8. Rater Judgment and English Language Speaking Proficiency. Research Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalhoub-Deville, Micheline; Wigglesworth, Gillian

    2005-01-01

    The paper investigates whether there is a shared perception of speaking proficiency among raters from different English speaking countries. More specifically, this study examines whether there is a significant difference among English language learning (ELL) teachers, residing in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the USA when rating speech samples of…

  9. Phonological Similarity in American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrandt, Ursula; Corina, David

    2002-01-01

    Investigates deaf and hearing subjects' ratings of American Sign Language (ASL) signs to assess whether linguistic experience shapes judgments of sign similarity. Findings are consistent with linguistic theories that posit movement and location as core structural elements of syllable structure in ASL. (Author/VWL)

  10. Speaking in Multiple Languages: Neural Correlates of Language Proficiency in Multilingual Word Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Videsott, Gerda; Herrnberger, Barbel; Hoenig, Klaus; Schilly, Edgar; Grothe, Jo; Wiater, Werner; Spitzer, Manfred; Kiefer, Markus

    2010-01-01

    The human brain has the fascinating ability to represent and to process several languages. Although the first and further languages activate partially different brain networks, the linguistic factors underlying these differences in language processing have to be further specified. We investigated the neural correlates of language proficiency in a…

  11. Measures for Determining English Language Proficiency and the Resulting Implications for Instructional Provision and Intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, Craig A.; Kenyon, Dorry M.; Boals, Timothy J.

    2009-01-01

    Although numerous English language proficiency (ELP) measures currently exist, many were developed prior to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). These pre-NCLB measures typically focused on social language proficiency, whereas post-NCLB measures are linked to ELP standards and focus on academic language proficiency (ALP). ELP measures are…

  12. LSE-Sign: A lexical database for Spanish Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez-Sigut, Eva; Costello, Brendan; Baus, Cristina; Carreiras, Manuel

    2016-03-01

    The LSE-Sign database is a free online tool for selecting Spanish Sign Language stimulus materials to be used in experiments. It contains 2,400 individual signs taken from a recent standardized LSE dictionary, and a further 2,700 related nonsigns. Each entry is coded for a wide range of grammatical, phonological, and articulatory information, including handshape, location, movement, and non-manual elements. The database is accessible via a graphically based search facility which is highly flexible both in terms of the search options available and the way the results are displayed. LSE-Sign is available at the following website: http://www.bcbl.eu/databases/lse/.

  13. Assessing students' English language proficiency during clinical placement: A qualitative evaluation of a language framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    San Miguel, Caroline; Rogan, Fran

    2015-06-01

    The increase in nursing students for whom English is an additional language requires clinical facilitators to assess students' performance regarding clinical skills, nursing communication and English language. However, assessing language proficiency is a complex process that is often conflated with cultural norms and clinical skills, and facilitators may lack confidence in assessing English language. This paper discusses an evaluation of a set of guidelines developed in a large metropolitan Australian university to help clinical facilitators make decisions about students' English language proficiency. The study found that the guidelines were useful in helping facilitators assess English language. However, strategies to address identified language problems needed to be incorporated to enable the guidelines to also be used as a teaching tool. The study concludes that to be effective, such guidelines need embedding within a systematic approach that identifies and responds to students who may be underperforming due to a low level of English language proficiency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Conscience in Language Teaching and its Relationship with Language Proficiency and Emotional Intelligence of EFL Teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sedighe Jalili Kalangestani

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study aimed to explore the relationship among Iranian EFL teachers’ language teaching conscience, language proficiency, and emotional intelligence. To this purpose, 82 homogenized language teachers, M.A. students and M.A. holders in TEFL, English literature, and English translation, both males and females, were taken as the participants.  The result of the data analysis showed that there was a statistically significant relationship between the language teaching conscience and the emotional intelligence of Iranian EFL teachers, rs(80 = .83, p < .05, 2. There was also a statistically significant relationship between the language teaching conscience and the language proficiency of Iranian EFL teachers, rs(80 = .59, p < .05. And finally, there was a statistically significant relationship between the emotional intelligence and the language proficiency of Iranian EFL teachers, rs(80 = .52, p < .05. Teacher trainers, researchers in teacher education, and language teachers can benefit from the findings of this study.

  15. Spoken Language Activation Alters Subsequent Sign Language Activation in L2 Learners of American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Joshua T.; Newman, Sharlene D.

    2017-01-01

    A large body of literature has characterized unimodal monolingual and bilingual lexicons and how neighborhood density affects lexical access; however there have been relatively fewer studies that generalize these findings to bimodal (M2) second language (L2) learners of sign languages. The goal of the current study was to investigate parallel…

  16. Immigration, language proficiency, and autobiographical memories: Lifespan distribution and second-language access.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, Alena G; Baker-Ward, Lynne

    2016-08-01

    This investigation examined two controversies in the autobiographical literature: how cross-language immigration affects the distribution of autobiographical memories across the lifespan and under what circumstances language-dependent recall is observed. Both Spanish/English bilingual immigrants and English monolingual non-immigrants participated in a cue word study, with the bilingual sample taking part in a within-subject language manipulation. The expected bump in the number of memories from early life was observed for non-immigrants but not immigrants, who reported more memories for events surrounding immigration. Aspects of the methodology addressed possible reasons for past discrepant findings. Language-dependent recall was influenced by second-language proficiency. Results were interpreted as evidence that bilinguals with high second-language proficiency, in contrast to those with lower second-language proficiency, access a single conceptual store through either language. The final multi-level model predicting language-dependent recall, including second-language proficiency, age of immigration, internal language, and cue word language, explained ¾ of the between-person variance and (1)/5 of the within-person variance. We arrive at two conclusions. First, major life transitions influence the distribution of memories. Second, concept representation across multiple languages follows a developmental model. In addition, the results underscore the importance of considering language experience in research involving memory reports.

  17. Evidence for Website Claims about the Benefits of Teaching Sign Language to Infants and Toddlers with Normal Hearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Lauri H.; White, Karl R.; Grewe, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    The development of proficient communication skills in infants and toddlers is an important component to child development. A popular trend gaining national media attention is teaching sign language to babies with normal hearing whose parents also have normal hearing. Thirty-three websites were identified that advocate sign language for hearing…

  18. An Institutional Approach to English Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Neil; Hicks, Margaret

    2016-01-01

    As the university student body becomes ever more diverse, the place and nature of English language provision is coming under unprecedented scrutiny and is the object of greater regulation. Today, more than ever before, institutions of higher education are being called to account for the way in which they support this diverse population in respect…

  19. Family Language Policies, Reported Language Use and Proficiency in Russian-Hebrew Bilingual Children in Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altman, Carmit; Burstein Feldman, Zhanna; Yitzhaki, Dafna; Armon Lotem, Sharon; Walters, Joel

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between family language policy (FLP) and language choice, language use, proficiency in Russian and Hebrew, codeswitching (CS) and linguistic performance was studied in Russian-speaking immigrant parents and their Russian-Hebrew bilingual preschool children. By means of Glaser's Grounded Theory, the content of sociolinguistic…

  20. Language proficiency and health status: are bilingual immigrants healthier?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schachter, Ariela; Kimbro, Rachel T; Gorman, Bridget K

    2012-03-01

    Bilingual immigrants appear to have a health advantage, and identifying the mechanisms responsible for this is of increasing interest to scholars and policy makers in the United States. Utilizing the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS; n = 3,264), we investigate the associations between English and native-language proficiency and usage and self-rated health for Asian and Latino U.S. immigrants from China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. The findings demonstrate that across immigrant ethnic groups, being bilingual is associated with better self-rated physical and mental health relative to being proficient in only English or only a native language, and moreover, these associations are partially mediated by socioeconomic status and family support but not by acculturation, stress and discrimination, or health access and behaviors.

  1. Legal and Ethical Imperatives for Using Certified Sign Language Interpreters in Health Care Settings: How to "Do No Harm" When "It's (All) Greek" (Sign Language) to You.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonaka, Angela M

    2016-09-01

    Communication obstacles in health care settings adversely impact patient-practitioner interactions by impeding service efficiency, reducing mutual trust and satisfaction, or even endangering health outcomes. When interlocutors are separated by language, interpreters are required. The efficacy of interpreting, however, is constrained not just by interpreters' competence but also by health care providers' facility working with interpreters. Deaf individuals whose preferred form of communication is a signed language often encounter communicative barriers in health care settings. In those environments, signing Deaf people are entitled to equal communicative access via sign language interpreting services according to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Executive Order 13166, the Limited English Proficiency Initiative. Yet, litigation in states across the United States suggests that individual and institutional providers remain uncertain about their legal obligations to provide equal communicative access. This article discusses the legal and ethical imperatives for using professionally certified (vs. ad hoc) sign language interpreters in health care settings. First outlining the legal terrain governing provision of sign language interpreting services, the article then describes different types of "sign language" (e.g., American Sign Language vs. manually coded English) and different forms of "sign language interpreting" (e.g., interpretation vs. transliteration vs. translation; simultaneous vs. consecutive interpreting; individual vs. team interpreting). This is followed by reviews of the formal credentialing process and of specialized forms of sign language interpreting-that is, certified deaf interpreting, trilingual interpreting, and court interpreting. After discussing practical steps for contracting professional sign language interpreters and addressing ethical issues of confidentiality, this article concludes by offering suggestions for working more effectively

  2. L2-proficiency-dependent laterality shift in structural connectivity of brain language pathways

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xiang, H.; Leeuwen, T.M. van; Dediu, D.; Roberts, L.; Norris, D.; Hagoort, P.

    2015-01-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and a longitudinal language learning approach were applied to investigate the relationship between the achieved second language (L2) proficiency during L2 learning and the reorganization of structural connectivity between core language areas. Language proficiency tests

  3. L2-Proficiency-Dependent Laterality Shift in Structural Connectivity of Brain Language Pathways

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xiang, Huadong; van Leeuwen, Tessa Marije; Dediu, Dan; Roberts, Leah; Norris, David G.; Hagoort, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and a longitudinal language learning approach were applied to investigate the relationship between the achieved second language (L2) proficiency during L2 learning and the reorganization of structural connectivity between core language areas. Language proficiency tests

  4. Issues in Vertical Scaling of a K-12 English Language Proficiency Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenyon, Dorry M.; MacGregor, David; Li, Dongyang; Cook, H. Gary

    2011-01-01

    One of the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act is that states show adequate yearly progress in their English language learners' (ELLs) acquisition of English language proficiency. States are required to assess ELLs' English language proficiency annually in four language domains (listening, reading, writing, and speaking) to measure their…

  5. Gesture, sign, and language: The coming of age of sign language and gesture studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Brentari, Diane

    2017-01-01

    How does sign language compare with gesture, on the one hand, and spoken language on the other? Sign was once viewed as nothing more than a system of pictorial gestures without linguistic structure. More recently, researchers have argued that sign is no different from spoken language, with all of the same linguistic structures. The pendulum is currently swinging back toward the view that sign is gestural, or at least has gestural components. The goal of this review is to elucidate the relationships among sign language, gesture, and spoken language. We do so by taking a close look not only at how sign has been studied over the past 50 years, but also at how the spontaneous gestures that accompany speech have been studied. We conclude that signers gesture just as speakers do. Both produce imagistic gestures along with more categorical signs or words. Because at present it is difficult to tell where sign stops and gesture begins, we suggest that sign should not be compared with speech alone but should be compared with speech-plus-gesture. Although it might be easier (and, in some cases, preferable) to blur the distinction between sign and gesture, we argue that distinguishing between sign (or speech) and gesture is essential to predict certain types of learning and allows us to understand the conditions under which gesture takes on properties of sign, and speech takes on properties of gesture. We end by calling for new technology that may help us better calibrate the borders between sign and gesture.

  6. English Language Proficiency and Early School Attainment Among Children Learning English as an Additional Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteside, Katie E; Gooch, Debbie; Norbury, Courtenay F

    2017-05-01

    Children learning English as an additional language (EAL) often experience lower academic attainment than monolingual peers. In this study, teachers provided ratings of English language proficiency and social, emotional, and behavioral functioning for 782 children with EAL and 6,485 monolingual children in reception year (ages 4-5). Academic attainment was assessed in reception and Year 2 (ages 6-7). Relative to monolingual peers with comparable English language proficiency, children with EAL displayed fewer social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties in reception, were equally likely to meet curriculum targets in reception, and were more likely to meet targets in Year 2. Academic attainment and social, emotional, and behavioral functioning in children with EAL are associated with English language proficiency at school entry. © 2016 The Authors. Child Development published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Research in Child Development.

  7. Oral English Language Proficiency and Reading Mastery: The Role of Home Language and School Supports

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palacios, Natalia; Kibler, Amanda

    2016-01-01

    The analysis of 21,409 participants of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten cohort focused on home and school factors sought to understand the level of reading mastery that children experienced throughout elementary school and Grade 8 by relating home language use, timing of oral English language proficiency, and the provision of…

  8. Spanish Home Language Use and English Proficiency as Differential Measures of Language Maintenance and Shift.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bills, Garland D.; Hudson, Alan; Chavez, Eduardo Hernandez

    1999-01-01

    Examines 1990 Census data for a large sample of the Hispanic-origin population in the Southwest, exploring two possible indices of language maintenance--Spanish home language claiming and English proficiency--as these are influenced by nativity, time, and age of immigration, citizenship status of the foreign born, education, and income.…

  9. Second foreign language learning strategies and their variations across language proficiency levels among Iranian EFL learners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pazhakh, A

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The present study has attempted to determine weather there is any relationship between language learning strategies employed by language learners, and if so what relationship exists between them. Furthermore, it has tried to investigate what effective and useful strategies the learners employ while learning English as a foreign language correspondent with their proficiency levels. A simulated TOEFL (REA, 1993 test was initially administered to classify the learners into three classes of proficiency levels. Oxford‟s Strategy Inventory, SILL, (Oxford, 1990 was used to determine the frequency of the language learning strategies applied by learners. The results of this study provide confirmation of previous research findings concerning the direct relationship between language learning strategies and language proficiency level, and represent the types of the strategies adopted by advanced, intermediate and elementary language learners. The implications of this study are to suggest both the metacognitive compensatory strategies, the most frequent strategies employed by advanced learners be instructed to the language learners in order to upgrade their proficiency level.

  10. Syntactic priming in American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Matthew L; Ferreira, Victor S; Mayberry, Rachel I

    2015-01-01

    Psycholinguistic studies of sign language processing provide valuable opportunities to assess whether language phenomena, which are primarily studied in spoken language, are fundamentally shaped by peripheral biology. For example, we know that when given a choice between two syntactically permissible ways to express the same proposition, speakers tend to choose structures that were recently used, a phenomenon known as syntactic priming. Here, we report two experiments testing syntactic priming of a noun phrase construction in American Sign Language (ASL). Experiment 1 shows that second language (L2) signers with normal hearing exhibit syntactic priming in ASL and that priming is stronger when the head noun is repeated between prime and target (the lexical boost effect). Experiment 2 shows that syntactic priming is equally strong among deaf native L1 signers, deaf late L1 learners, and hearing L2 signers. Experiment 2 also tested for, but did not find evidence of, phonological or semantic boosts to syntactic priming in ASL. These results show that despite the profound differences between spoken and signed languages in terms of how they are produced and perceived, the psychological representation of sentence structure (as assessed by syntactic priming) operates similarly in sign and speech.

  11. Syntactic priming in American Sign Language.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew L Hall

    Full Text Available Psycholinguistic studies of sign language processing provide valuable opportunities to assess whether language phenomena, which are primarily studied in spoken language, are fundamentally shaped by peripheral biology. For example, we know that when given a choice between two syntactically permissible ways to express the same proposition, speakers tend to choose structures that were recently used, a phenomenon known as syntactic priming. Here, we report two experiments testing syntactic priming of a noun phrase construction in American Sign Language (ASL. Experiment 1 shows that second language (L2 signers with normal hearing exhibit syntactic priming in ASL and that priming is stronger when the head noun is repeated between prime and target (the lexical boost effect. Experiment 2 shows that syntactic priming is equally strong among deaf native L1 signers, deaf late L1 learners, and hearing L2 signers. Experiment 2 also tested for, but did not find evidence of, phonological or semantic boosts to syntactic priming in ASL. These results show that despite the profound differences between spoken and signed languages in terms of how they are produced and perceived, the psychological representation of sentence structure (as assessed by syntactic priming operates similarly in sign and speech.

  12. Adaptation of a Vocabulary Test from British Sign Language to American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Wolfgang; Roy, Penny; Morgan, Gary

    2016-01-01

    This study describes the adaptation process of a vocabulary knowledge test for British Sign Language (BSL) into American Sign Language (ASL) and presents results from the first round of pilot testing with 20 deaf native ASL signers. The web-based test assesses the strength of deaf children's vocabulary knowledge by means of different mappings of…

  13. Approaching Sign Language Test Construction: Adaptation of the German Sign Language Receptive Skills Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haug, Tobias

    2011-01-01

    There is a current need for reliable and valid test instruments in different countries in order to monitor deaf children's sign language acquisition. However, very few tests are commercially available that offer strong evidence for their psychometric properties. A German Sign Language (DGS) test focusing on linguistic structures that are acquired…

  14. [Information technology in learning sign language].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Cesar; Pulido, Jose L; Arias, Jorge E

    2015-01-01

    To develop a technological tool that improves the initial learning of sign language in hearing impaired children. The development of this research was conducted in three phases: the lifting of requirements, design and development of the proposed device, and validation and evaluation device. Through the use of information technology and with the advice of special education professionals, we were able to develop an electronic device that facilitates the learning of sign language in deaf children. This is formed mainly by a graphic touch screen, a voice synthesizer, and a voice recognition system. Validation was performed with the deaf children in the Filadelfia School of the city of Bogotá. A learning methodology was established that improves learning times through a small, portable, lightweight, and educational technological prototype. Tests showed the effectiveness of this prototype, achieving a 32 % reduction in the initial learning time for sign language in deaf children.

  15. Repetitions in French Belgian Sign Language (LSFB) and Flemish Sign Language (VGT) narratives and conversations

    OpenAIRE

    Notarrigo, Ingrid; Meurant, Laurence; Van Herreweghe, Mieke; Vermeerbergen, Myriam

    2016-01-01

    Repetition was described in the nineties by a limited number of sign linguists: Vermeerbergen & De Vriendt (1994) looked at a small corpus of VGT data, Fisher & Janis (1990) analysed “verb sandwiches” in ASL and Pinsonneault (1994) “verb echos” in Quebec Sign Language. More recently the same phenomenon has been the focus of research in a growing number of signed languages, including American (Nunes and de Quadros 2008), Hong Kong (Sze 2008), Russian (Shamaro 2008), Polish (Flilipczak and Most...

  16. Transition in Modern Foreign Languages: A Longitudinal Study of Motivation for Language Learning and Second Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtney, Louise

    2017-01-01

    The current longitudinal study examines the similarities and differences between primary and secondary foreign language curricula and pedagogy along with the development of motivation for language learning and second language proficiency. Data from 26 English learners of French (aged 10-11) were collected across three times points over a 12-month…

  17. What sign language creation teaches us about language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brentari, Diane; Coppola, Marie

    2013-03-01

    How do languages emerge? What are the necessary ingredients and circumstances that permit new languages to form? Various researchers within the disciplines of primatology, anthropology, psychology, and linguistics have offered different answers to this question depending on their perspective. Language acquisition, language evolution, primate communication, and the study of spoken varieties of pidgin and creoles address these issues, but in this article we describe a relatively new and important area that contributes to our understanding of language creation and emergence. Three types of communication systems that use the hands and body to communicate will be the focus of this article: gesture, homesign systems, and sign languages. The focus of this article is to explain why mapping the path from gesture to homesign to sign language has become an important research topic for understanding language emergence, not only for the field of sign languages, but also for language in general. WIREs Cogn Sci 2013, 4:201-211. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1212 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. Language Policies in Uruguay and Uruguayan Sign Language (LSU)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behares, Luis Ernesto; Brovetto, Claudia; Crespi, Leonardo Peluso

    2012-01-01

    In the first part of this article the authors consider the policies that apply to Uruguayan Sign Language (Lengua de Senas Uruguaya; hereafter LSU) and the Uruguayan Deaf community within the general framework of language policies in Uruguay. By analyzing them succinctly and as a whole, the authors then explain twenty-first-century innovations.…

  19. The Sign Language Situation in Mali

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyst, Victoria

    2015-01-01

    This article gives a first overview of the sign language situation in Mali and its capital, Bamako, located in the West African Sahel. Mali is a highly multilingual country with a significant incidence of deafness, for which meningitis appears to be the main cause, coupled with limited access to adequate health care. In comparison to neighboring…

  20. Word Order in Russian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimmelman, Vadim

    2012-01-01

    In this paper the results of an investigation of word order in Russian Sign Language (RSL) are presented. A small corpus of narratives based on comic strips by nine native signers was analyzed and a picture-description experiment (based on Volterra et al. 1984) was conducted with six native signers. The results are the following: the most frequent…

  1. A Sign Language Screen Reader for Deaf

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Ghoul, Oussama; Jemni, Mohamed

    Screen reader technology has appeared first to allow blind and people with reading difficulties to use computer and to access to the digital information. Until now, this technology is exploited mainly to help blind community. During our work with deaf people, we noticed that a screen reader can facilitate the manipulation of computers and the reading of textual information. In this paper, we propose a novel screen reader dedicated to deaf. The output of the reader is a visual translation of the text to sign language. The screen reader is composed by two essential modules: the first one is designed to capture the activities of users (mouse and keyboard events). For this purpose, we adopted Microsoft MSAA application programming interfaces. The second module, which is in classical screen readers a text to speech engine (TTS), is replaced by a novel text to sign (TTSign) engine. This module converts text into sign language animation based on avatar technology.

  2. Structural borrowing: The case of Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) is a visual gestural language used by members of the deaf community in Kenya. Kiswahili on the other hand is a Bantu language that is used as the national language of Kenya. The two are world's apart, one being a spoken language and the other a signed language and thus their “… basic ...

  3. Segmentation of British Sign Language (BSL): Mind the gap!

    OpenAIRE

    Orfanidou, E.; McQueen, J.; Adam, R.; Morgan, G.

    2015-01-01

    This study asks how users of British Sign Language (BSL) recognize individual signs in connected sign sequences. We examined whether this is achieved through modality-specific or modality-general segmentation procedures. A modality-specific feature of signed languages is that, during continuous signing, there are salient transitions between sign locations. We used the sign-spotting task to ask if and how BSL signers use these transitions in segmentation. A total of 96 real BSL signs were prec...

  4. Predictors and Outcomes of Early vs. Later English Language Proficiency Among English Language Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halle, Tamara; Hair, Elizabeth; Wandner, Laura; McNamara, Michelle; Chien, Nina

    2011-01-01

    The development of English language learners (ELLs) was explored from kindergarten through eighth grade within a nationally representative sample of first-time kindergartners (N = 19,890). Growth curve analyses indicated that, compared to native English speakers, ELLs were rated by teachers more favorably on approaches to learning, self control, and externalizing behaviors in kindergarten and generally continued to grow in a positive direction on these social/behavioral outcomes at a steeper rate compared to their native English-speaking peers, holding other factors constant. Differences in reading and math achievement between ELLs and native English speakers varied based on the grade at which English proficiency is attained. Specifically, ELLs who were proficient in English by kindergarten entry kept pace with native English speakers in both reading and math initially and over time; ELLs who were proficient by first grade had modest gaps in reading and math achievement compared to native English speakers that closed narrowly or persisted over time; and ELLs who were not proficient by first grade had the largest initial gaps in reading and math achievement compared to native speakers but the gap narrowed over time in reading and grew over time in math. Among those whose home language is not English, acquiring English proficiency by kindergarten entry was associated with better cognitive and behavioral outcomes through eighth grade compared to taking longer to achieve proficiency. Multinomial regression analyses indicated that child, family, and school characteristics predict achieving English proficiency by kindergarten entry compared to achieving proficiency later. Results are discussed in terms of policies and practices that can support ELL children’s growth and development. PMID:22389551

  5. Medical language proficiency: A discussion of interprofessional language competencies and potential for patient risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hull, Melodie

    2016-02-01

    In increasingly multilingual healthcare environments worldwide, ensuring accurate, effective communication is requisite. Language proficiency is essential, particularly medical language proficiency. Medical language is a universal construct in healthcare, the shared language of health and allied health professions. It is highly evolved, career-specific, technical and cultural-bound-a language for specific purposes. Its function differs significantly from that of a standard language. Proficiency requires at minimum, a common understanding of discipline-specific jargon, abstracts, euphemisms, abbreviations; acronyms. An optimal medical language situation demands a level of competency beyond the superficial wherein one can convey or interpret deeper meanings, distinguish themes, voice opinion, and follow directions precisely. It necessitates the use of clarity, and the ability to understand both lay and formal language-characteristics not essential to standard language. Proficiency influences professional discourse and can have the potential to positively or negatively affect patient outcomes. While risks have been identified when there is language discordance between care provider and patient, almost nothing has been said about this within care teams themselves. This article will do so in anticipation that care providers, regulators, employers, and researchers will acknowledge potential language-based communication barriers and work towards resolutions. This is predicated on the fact that the growing interest in language and communication in healthcare today appears to be rested in globalization and increasingly linguistically diverse patient populations. Consideration of the linguistically diverse healthcare workforce is absent. An argument will be posited that if potential risks to patient safety exist and there are potentials for disengagement from care by patients when health providers do not speak their languages then logically these language-based issues can

  6. A Stronger Reason for the Right to Sign Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trovato, Sara

    2013-01-01

    Is the right to sign language only the right to a minority language? Holding a capability (not a disability) approach, and building on the psycholinguistic literature on sign language acquisition, I make the point that this right is of a stronger nature, since only sign languages can guarantee that each deaf child will properly develop the…

  7. TEST OF ENGLISH FOR AVIATION PERSONNEL TO MEET ICAO LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olena Petrashchuk

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available  The article is devoted to the actual problem of the assessment of English language proficiency of aviation personnel. The paper presents an English language test, which is used for professional pilots and air traffic controllers.

  8. Sign language for the information society: an ICT roadmap for South African Sign Language

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Olivrin, G

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available of work made in SASL. There is currently no collection of the cultural and linguistic heritage of SASL. Public signage and localisation: Provision for SASL-specifi c sign names of places, people, companies and brands, as well as the localisation... upgrading the aging data and voice infrastructures for visual grade technologies, new usages of technologies will emerge in public signage and communications, in advertising and for visual languages such as SASL. Research and development in Sign Language...

  9. Development and Validation of the Spanish-English Language Proficiency Scale (SELPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyk, Ekaterina; Restrepo, M. Adelaida; Gorin, Joanna S.; Gray, Shelley

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: This study examined the development and validation of a criterion-referenced Spanish-English Language Proficiency Scale (SELPS) that was designed to assess the oral language skills of sequential bilingual children ages 4-8. This article reports results for the English proficiency portion of the scale. Method: The SELPS assesses syntactic…

  10. Japanese Language Proficiency, Social Networking, and Language Use during Study Abroad: Learners' Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewey, Dan P.; Bown, Jennifer; Eggett, Dennis

    2012-01-01

    This study examines the self-perceived speaking proficiency development of 204 learners of Japanese who studied abroad in Japan and analyzes connections between self-reported social network development, language use, and speaking development. Learners perceived that they gained the most in areas associated with the intermediate and advanced levels…

  11. Language proficiency and metacognition as predictors of spontaneous rehearsal in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebko, James M; McMorris, Carly A; Metcalfe, Alisa; Ricciuti, Christina; Goldstein, Gayle

    2014-03-01

    Despite decades of research on fundamental memory strategies such as verbal rehearsal, the potential underlying skills associated with the emergence of rehearsal are still not fully understood. Two studies examined the relative roles of language proficiency and metamemory in predicting rehearsal use, as well as the prediction of metamemory performance by language proficiency. In Study 1, 59 children, 5 to 8 years old, were administered a serial recall task, 2 language measures, a nonverbal cognitive measure, and a rapid automatized naming (RAN) task. Language proficiency, RAN, and age were significant individual predictors of rehearsal use. In hierarchical regression analyses, language proficiency mediated almost completely the age → rehearsal use relation. In addition, automatized naming was a strong but partial mediator of the contribution of language proficiency to rehearsal use. In Study 2, 54 children were administered a metamemory test, a language measure, and a serial recall task. Metamemory skills and, again, language proficiency significantly predicted rehearsal use in the task. The predictive strength of metamemory skills was mediated by the children's language proficiency. The mutually supportive roles of automatized naming, language, and metamemory in the emergence of spontaneous cumulative verbal rehearsal are discussed in the context of the resulting model, along with the minimal roles of age and aspects of intelligence.

  12. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE (ASL AND BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE (BSL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zora JACHOVA

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available In the communication of deaf people between them­selves and hearing people there are three ba­sic as­pects of interaction: gesture, finger signs and writing. The gesture is a conditionally agreed manner of communication with the help of the hands followed by face and body mimic. The ges­ture and the move­ments pre-exist the speech and they had the purpose to mark something, and later to emphasize the speech expression.Stokoe was the first linguist that realised that the signs are not a whole that can not be analysed. He analysed signs in insignificant parts that he called “chemeres”, and many linguists today call them pho­nemes. He created three main phoneme catego­ries: hand position, location and movement.Sign languages as spoken languages have back­ground from the distant past. They developed par­allel with the development of spoken language and undertook many historical changes. Therefore, to­day they do not represent a replacement of the spoken language, but are languages themselves in the real sense of the word.Although the structures of the English language used in USA and in Great Britain is the same, still their sign languages-ASL and BSL are different.

  13. Sign Language Recognition using Neural Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabaheta Djogic

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available – Sign language plays a great role as communication media for people with hearing difficulties.In developed countries, systems are made for overcoming a problem in communication with deaf people. This encouraged us to develop a system for the Bosnian sign language since there is a need for such system. The work is done with the use of digital image processing methods providing a system that teaches a multilayer neural network using a back propagation algorithm. Images are processed by feature extraction methods, and by masking method the data set has been created. Training is done using cross validation method for better performance thus; an accuracy of 84% is achieved.

  14. South African sign language assistive translation

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Olivrin, GJ

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available , the fact that the target structure is SASL, the home language of the Deaf user, already facilitates the communication. Ul- timately the message will be delivered more naturally by a signing avatar [14]. We shall present further scenarios for future... Work 6.1 Disambiguation Disambiguation can be improved on two levels: firstly, by eliciting more or better information from the user through the AAC interface and secondly, by improving certain as- pects of the MT system. We discuss both...

  15. The emergence of temporal language in Nicaraguan Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocab, Annemarie; Senghas, Ann; Snedeker, Jesse

    2016-11-01

    Understanding what uniquely human properties account for the creation and transmission of language has been a central goal of cognitive science. Recently, the study of emerging sign languages, such as Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL), has offered the opportunity to better understand how languages are created and the roles of the individual learner and the community of users. Here, we examined the emergence of two types of temporal language in NSL, comparing the linguistic devices for conveying temporal information among three sequential age cohorts of signers. Experiment 1 showed that while all three cohorts of signers could communicate about linearly ordered discrete events, only the second and third generations of signers successfully communicated information about events with more complex temporal structure. Experiment 2 showed that signers could discriminate between the types of temporal events in a nonverbal task. Finally, Experiment 3 investigated the ordinal use of numbers (e.g., first, second) in NSL signers, indicating that one strategy younger signers might have for accurately describing events in time might be to use ordinal numbers to mark each event. While the capacity for representing temporal concepts appears to be present in the human mind from the onset of language creation, the linguistic devices to convey temporality do not appear immediately. Evidently, temporal language emerges over generations of language transmission, as a product of individual minds interacting within a community of users. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Phonological reduplication in sign language: rules rule

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iris eBerent

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Productivity—the hallmark of linguistic competence—is typically attributed to algebraic rules that support broad generalizations. Past research on spoken language has documented such generalizations in both adults and infants. But whether algebraic rules form part of the linguistic competence of signers remains unknown. To address this question, here we gauge the generalization afforded by American Sign Language (ASL. As a case study, we examine reduplication (X→XX—a rule that, inter alia, generates ASL nouns from verbs. If signers encode this rule, then they should freely extend it to novel syllables, including ones with features that are unattested in ASL. And since reduplicated disyllables are preferred in ASL, such rule should favor novel reduplicated signs. Novel reduplicated signs should thus be preferred to nonreduplicative controls (in rating, and consequently, such stimuli should also be harder to classify as nonsigns (in the lexical decision task. The results of four experiments support this prediction. These findings suggest that the phonological knowledge of signers includes powerful algebraic rules. The convergence between these conclusions and previous evidence for phonological rules in spoken language suggests that the architecture of the phonological mind is partly amodal.

  17. The Interplay among Emotional Intelligence, Classroom Management, and Language Proficiency of Iranian EFL Teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hadi Hamidi

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study was an attempt to investigate the interplay among Iranian EFL teachers’ emotional intelligence, classroom management, and their general English language proficiency. The result of the data analysis showed that: 1 there was a statistically significant relationship between the emotional intelligence and the classroom management of Iranian EFL teachers, 2 there was a statistically significant relationship between the emotional intelligence and the language proficiency of Iranian EFL teachers, and 3 there was a statistically significant relationship between the classroom management and the language proficiency of Iranian EFL teachers. Teacher trainers, researchers in teacher education, and language teachers may benefit from the findings of the present research.

  18. Sign Language with Babies: What Difference Does It Make?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Susan Kubic

    2010-01-01

    Teaching sign language--to deaf or other children with special needs or to hearing children with hard-of-hearing family members--is not new. Teaching sign language to typically developing children has become increasingly popular since the publication of "Baby Signs"[R] (Goodwyn & Acredolo, 1996), now in its third edition. Attention to signing with…

  19. Segmentation of British Sign Language (BSL): Mind the gap!

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Orfanidou, E.; McQueen, J.M.; Adam, R.; Morgan, G.

    2015-01-01

    This study asks how users of British Sign Language (BSL) recognize individual signs in connected sign sequences. We examined whether this is achieved through modality-specific or modality-general segmentation procedures. A modality-specific feature of signed languages is that, during continuous

  20. Adapting tests of sign language assessment for other sign languages--a review of linguistic, cultural, and psychometric problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haug, Tobias; Mann, Wolfgang

    2008-01-01

    Given the current lack of appropriate assessment tools for measuring deaf children's sign language skills, many test developers have used existing tests of other sign languages as templates to measure the sign language used by deaf people in their country. This article discusses factors that may influence the adaptation of assessment tests from one natural sign language to another. Two tests which have been adapted for several other sign languages are focused upon: the Test for American Sign Language and the British Sign Language Receptive Skills Test. A brief description is given of each test as well as insights from ongoing adaptations of these tests for other sign languages. The problems reported in these adaptations were found to be grounded in linguistic and cultural differences, which need to be considered for future test adaptations. Other reported shortcomings of test adaptation are related to the question of how well psychometric measures transfer from one instrument to another.

  1. Sign Language Echolalia in Deaf Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shield, Aaron; Cooley, Frances; Meier, Richard P.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: We present the first study of echolalia in deaf, signing children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We investigate the nature and prevalence of sign echolalia in native-signing children with ASD, the relationship between sign echolalia and receptive language, and potential modality differences between sign and speech. Method: Seventeen…

  2. Language Learning Strategies and English Proficiency: Interpretations from Information-Processing Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Zhenhui

    2016-01-01

    The research reported here investigated the relationship between students' use of language learning strategies and their English proficiency, and then interpreted the data from two models in information-processing theory. Results showed that the students' English proficiency significantly affected their use of learning strategies, with high-level…

  3. Hi-LAB: A New Measure of Aptitude for High-Level Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linck, Jared A.; Hughes, Meredith M.; Campbell, Susan G.; Silbert, Noah H.; Tare, Medha; Jackson, Scott R.; Smith, Benjamin K.; Bunting, Michael F.; Doughty, Catherine J.

    2013-01-01

    Few adult second language (L2) learners successfully attain high-level proficiency. Although decades of research on beginning to intermediate stages of L2 learning have identified a number of predictors of the rate of acquisition, little research has examined factors relevant to predicting very high levels of L2 proficiency. The current study,…

  4. Deaf New Zealand Sign Language users' access to healthcare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witko, Joanne; Boyles, Pauline; Smiler, Kirsten; McKee, Rachel

    2017-12-01

    The research described was undertaken as part of a Sub-Regional Disability Strategy 2017-2022 across the Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Capital and Coast District Health Boards (DHBs). The aim was to investigate deaf New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) users' quality of access to health services. Findings have formed the basis for developing a 'NZSL plan' for DHBs in the Wellington sub-region. Qualitative data was collected from 56 deaf participants and family members about their experiences of healthcare services via focus group, individual interviews and online survey, which were thematically analysed. Contextual perspective was gained from 57 healthcare professionals at five meetings. Two professionals were interviewed, and 65 staff responded to an online survey. A deaf steering group co-designed the framework and methods, and validated findings. Key issues reported across the health system include: inconsistent interpreter provision; lack of informed consent for treatment via communication in NZSL; limited access to general health information in NZSL and the reduced ability of deaf patients to understand and comply with treatment options. This problematic communication with NZSL users echoes international evidence and other documented local evidence for patients with limited English proficiency. Deaf NZSL users face multiple barriers to equitable healthcare, stemming from linguistic and educational factors and inaccessible service delivery. These need to be addressed through policy and training for healthcare personnel that enable effective systemic responses to NZSL users. Deaf participants emphasise that recognition of their identity as members of a language community is central to improving their healthcare experiences.

  5. Opposite cerebral dominance for reading and sign language

    OpenAIRE

    Komakula, Sirisha. T.; Burr, Robert. B.; Lee, James N.; Anderson, Jeffrey

    2010-01-01

    We present a case of right hemispheric dominance for sign language but left hemispheric dominance for reading, in a left-handed deaf patient with epilepsy and left mesial temporal sclerosis. Atypical language laterality for ASL was determined by preoperative fMRI, and congruent with ASL modified WADA testing. We conclude that reading and sign language can have crossed dominance and preoperative fMRI evaluation of deaf patients should include both reading and sign language evaluations.

  6. WEB-BASED LANGUAGE CLUB AFFECTING EFL LEARNERS’ PROFICIENCY: A CASE OF IRANIAN LEARNERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Ashraf

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Language clubs have been reported to be effective in learning languages, increasing motivation and independence (Gao, 2009. The present study was an attempt to investigate the effect of a web-based language club on the language proficiency of Iranian EFL learners. A number of pre-intermediate learners form two universities (118 were selected among 154 through a test of proficiency (TOEFL PBL, then they were put into experimental and control groups. The participants in experimental group got on line and acted as a member of a virtual language club for a period of 6 months. They got involved with activities like emailing, chatting, and weblogging. Data were collected through TOEFL PBL. The analyzed data from the test of proficiency indicated the outperformance of those in experimental group. Consequently, it might be proposed that web-based language clubs can make language learning easier and more efficient.

  7. The Effect of Second-Language Proficiency on Second Language Reading Comprehension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pohlmann, John T.

    1991-12-01

    Full Text Available Data from a first-language reading test, a second-language reading comprehension test with questions from different cognitive levels, and from the TOEFL were submitted to partial correlation analysis to detennine whether there was a significant effect of second-language proficiency on second-language reading comprehension when the influence of first-language reading comprehension was held constant. The results indicated that for factual and inference questions second-language reading comprehension may be more closely related to second-language proficiency than to first-language reading comprehension. The lack of a similar relationship for the generalization questions may be due to a substantial variation in the second-language readers' fonnal and content background knowledge which is necessary for the processing and comprehension of generalization questions. Data van 'n eerste taal-leestoets, 'n tweede taal-leesbegripstoets met vrae op verskillende kognitiewe vlakke en van die TO EFL is aan gedeeltelike korrelasie-ontleding onderworpe om vas te stel of daar 'n beduidende bei"nvloeding van tweede taal-vaardigheid op tweede taalleesbegrip was terwyl die invloed van eerste taal-leesbegrip konstant gebly het. Die resultate het aangedui dat wat feitelike en gevolgtrekkingsvrae betref, tweede taal-leesbegrip moontlik nader verwant is aan tweede taal-vaardigheid as aan eerste taal-leesbegrip. Die afwesigheid van 'n soortgelyke verhouding betreffende die veralgemeningsvrae is moontlik te IVlte aan 'n aansienlike variasie in die tweede taal lesers se fonnele en inhoudelike agtergrondkennis wat nodig is vir die verwerking en begrip van veralgemeningsvrae.

  8. Modeling the language learning strategies and English language proficiency of pre-university students in UMS: A case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiram, J. J.; Sulaiman, J.; Swanto, S.; Din, W. A.

    2015-10-01

    This study aims to construct a mathematical model of the relationship between a student's Language Learning Strategy usage and English Language proficiency. Fifty-six pre-university students of University Malaysia Sabah participated in this study. A self-report questionnaire called the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning was administered to them to measure their language learning strategy preferences before they sat for the Malaysian University English Test (MUET), the results of which were utilised to measure their English language proficiency. We attempted the model assessment specific to Multiple Linear Regression Analysis subject to variable selection using Stepwise regression. We conducted various assessments to the model obtained, including the Global F-test, Root Mean Square Error and R-squared. The model obtained suggests that not all language learning strategies should be included in the model in an attempt to predict Language Proficiency.

  9. Sociolinguistic Variation and Change in British Sign Language Number Signs: Evidence of Leveling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamp, Rose; Schembri, Adam; Fenlon, Jordan; Rentelis, Ramas

    2015-01-01

    This article presents findings from the first major study to investigate lexical variation and change in British Sign Language (BSL) number signs. As part of the BSL Corpus Project, number sign variants were elicited from 249 deaf signers from eight sites throughout the UK. Age, school location, and language background were found to be significant…

  10. The Mechanics of Fingerspelling: Analyzing Ethiopian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Kyle

    2010-01-01

    Ethiopian Sign Language utilizes a fingerspelling system that represents Amharic orthography. Just as each character of the Amharic abugida encodes a consonant-vowel sound pair, each sign in the Ethiopian Sign Language fingerspelling system uses handshape to encode a base consonant, as well as a combination of timing, placement, and orientation to…

  11. New Perspectives on the History of American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Emily; Delaporte, Yves

    2011-01-01

    Examinations of the etymology of American Sign Language have typically involved superficial analyses of signs as they exist over a short period of time. While it is widely known that ASL is related to French Sign Language, there has yet to be a comprehensive study of this historic relationship between their lexicons. This article presents…

  12. Examining the Effects of Gender and Second Language Proficiency on Hispanic Writers' Persuasive Discourse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermudez, Andrea B.; Prater, Doris L.

    1994-01-01

    Examines the use of persuasive responses by Hispanic second-language writers and categorizes these responses by level of language proficiency and gender. Findings indicate that students exit English-as-a-Second-Language classes without having achieved a higher level of expertise in the use of persuasive discourse and that females elaborate more…

  13. A dynamic approach to the determinants of immigrants’ language proficiency : the United States, 1980-2000

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tubergen, F.A. van; Kalmijn, M.

    2009-01-01

    This article proposes a dynamic perspective on immigrants’ language proficiency. Hypotheses are formulated about immigrants’ language skills at arrival and about the speed with which immigrants learn the language thereafter. It pools data from the 1980, 1990, and 2000 U.S. Censuses, and uses a

  14. The Complex Relationship between Bilingual Home Language Input and Kindergarten Children's Spanish and English Oral Proficiencies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Kijoo; Goldenberg, Claude

    2015-01-01

    This study examined how emergent bilingual children's English and Spanish proficiencies moderated the relationships between Spanish and English input at home (bilingual home language input [BHLI]) and children's oral language skills in each language. The sample comprised over 1,400 Spanish-dominant kindergartners in California and Texas. BHLI was…

  15. Regional Sign Language Varieties in Contact: Investigating Patterns of Accommodation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamp, Rose; Schembri, Adam; Evans, Bronwen G.; Cormier, Kearsy

    2016-01-01

    Short-term linguistic accommodation has been observed in a number of spoken language studies. The first of its kind in sign language research, this study aims to investigate the effects of regional varieties in contact and lexical accommodation in British Sign Language (BSL). Twenty-five participants were recruited from Belfast, Glasgow,…

  16. Linguistic Policies, Linguistic Planning, and Brazilian Sign Language in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Quadros, Ronice Muller

    2012-01-01

    This article explains the consolidation of Brazilian Sign Language in Brazil through a linguistic plan that arose from the Brazilian Sign Language Federal Law 10.436 of April 2002 and the subsequent Federal Decree 5695 of December 2005. Two concrete facts that emerged from this existing language plan are discussed: the implementation of bilingual…

  17. Equity in Education: Signed Language and the Courts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snoddon, Kristin

    2009-01-01

    This article examines several legal cases in Canada, the USA, and Australia involving signed language in education for Deaf students. In all three contexts, signed language rights for Deaf students have been viewed from within a disability legislation framework that either does not extend to recognizing language rights in education or that…

  18. Topics and topic prominence in two sign languages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kimmelman, V.

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we describe topic marking in Russian Sign Language (RSL) and Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT) and discuss whether these languages should be considered topic prominent. The formal markers of topics in RSL are sentence-initial position, a prosodic break following the topic, and

  19. Language-Independent and Language-Specific Aspects of Early Literacy: An Evaluation of the Common Underlying Proficiency Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, J. Marc; Lonigan, Christopher J.

    2017-01-01

    According to the common underlying proficiency model (Cummins, 1981), as children acquire academic knowledge and skills in their first language, they also acquire language-independent information about those skills that can be applied when learning a second language. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relevance of the common underlying…

  20. Using genre pedagogy to promote student proficiency in the language required for interpreting line graphs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smit, Jantien; Bakker, Arthur; van Eerde, Dolly; Kuijpers, Maggie

    2016-09-01

    The importance of language in mathematics learning has been widely acknowledged. However, little is known about how to make this insight productive in the design and enactment of language-oriented mathematics education. In a design-based research project, we explored how language-oriented mathematics education can be designed and enacted. We drew on genre pedagogy to promote student proficiency in the language required for interpreting line graphs. In the intervention, the teacher used scaffolding strategies to focus students' attention on the structure and linguistic features of the language involved in this particular domain. The research question addressed in this paper is how student proficiency in this language may be promoted. The study comprised nine lessons involving 22 students in grades 5 and 6 (aged 10-12); of these students, 19 had a migrant background. In light of the research aim, we first describe the rationale behind our design. Next, we illustrate how the design was enacted by means of a case study focusing on one student in the classroom practice of developing proficiency in the language required for interpreting line graphs. On the basis of pre- and posttest scores, we conclude that overall their proficiency has increased. Together, the results indicate that and how genre pedagogy may be used to help students become more proficient in the language required in a mathematical domain.

  1. Sentence Repetition in Deaf Children with Specific Language Impairment in British Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Chloë; Mason, Kathryn; Rowley, Katherine; Herman, Rosalind; Atkinson, Joanna; Woll, Bencie; Morgan, Gary

    2015-01-01

    Children with specific language impairment (SLI) perform poorly on sentence repetition tasks across different spoken languages, but until now, this methodology has not been investigated in children who have SLI in a signed language. Users of a natural sign language encode different sentence meanings through their choice of signs and by altering…

  2. Linearization of weak hand holds in Russian Sign Language

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kimmelman, V.

    2017-01-01

    Russian Sign Language (RSL) makes use of constructions involving manual simultaneity, in particular, weak hand holds, where one hand is being held in the location and configuration of a sign, while the other simultaneously produces one sign or a sequence of several signs. In this paper, I argue that

  3. The Influence of Deaf People's Dual Category Status on Sign Language Planning: The British Sign Language (Scotland) Act (2015)

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Meulder, Maartje

    2017-01-01

    Through the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act, British Sign Language (BSL) was given legal status in Scotland. The main motives for the Act were a desire to put BSL on a similar footing with Gaelic and the fact that in Scotland, BSL signers are the only group whose first language is not English who must rely on disability discrimination…

  4. Information and Signs: The Language of Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inna Semetsky

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Since time immemorial, philosophers and scientists were searching for a “machine code” of the so-called Mentalese language capable of processing information at the pre-verbal, pre-expressive level. In this paper I suggest that human languages are only secondary to the system of primitive extra-linguistic signs which are hardwired in humans and serve as tools for understanding selves and others; and creating meanings for the multiplicity of experiences. The combinatorial semantics of the Mentalese may find its unorthodox expression in the semiotic system of Tarot images, the latter serving as the ”keys” to the encoded proto-mental information. The paper uses some works in systems theory by Erich Jantsch and Erwin Laszlo and relates Tarot images to the archetypes of the field of collective unconscious posited by Carl Jung. Our subconscious beliefs, hopes, fears and desires, of which we may be unaware at the subjective level, do have an objective compositional structure that may be laid down in front of our eyes in the format of pictorial semiotics representing the universe of affects, thoughts, and actions. Constructing imaginative narratives based on the expressive “language” of Tarot images enables us to anticipate possible consequences and consider a range of future options. The thesis advanced in this paper is also supported by the concept of informational universe of contemporary cosmology.

  5. Dictionary of the Slovenian Sign Language on the WWW

    OpenAIRE

    Cempre, Luka; Bešir, Aleksander; Solina, Franc

    2013-01-01

    The article describes technical and user-interface issues of transferring the contents and functionality of the CD-ROM version of the Slovenian sing language dictionary to the web. The dictionary of Slovenian sign language consist of video clips showing the demonstra- tion of signs that deaf people use for communication, text description of the words corresponding to the signs and pictures illustrating the same word/sign. A new technical solution—a video sprite—for concatenating subsections o...

  6. First Language Proficiency as a Facilitator in Foreign/ Second Language Acquisition: A Case Study in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Marajan Awad Adam

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available English is taught as a foreign language in the Arab world even though practical concerns call for greater emphasis on the language. In all personal interactions too Arabic is the preferred language. Thus the environment for English is really very limited as by the time the learners are exposed to the language they are well entrenched in Arabic. While this may be a handicap in some EFL situations (for example where adults are concerned, in the Arab context this can prove a big boon. This is because young language learners who are proficient in their first language can apply the learning techniques while acquiring the second language. This paper targets the teaching fraternity in the Arab world to help them understand how first language proficiency can aid second/foreign language acquisition.

  7. Measuring Second Language Proficiency with EEG Synchronization: How Functional Cortical Networks and Hemispheric Involvement Differ as a Function of Proficiency Level in Second Language Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiterer, Susanne; Pereda, Ernesto; Bhattacharya, Joydeep

    2009-01-01

    This article examines the question of whether university-based high-level foreign language and linguistic training can influence brain activation and whether different L2 proficiency groups have different brain activation in terms of lateralization and hemispheric involvement. The traditional and prevailing theory of hemispheric involvement in…

  8. An Interpreter's Interpretation: Sign Language Interpreters' View of Musculoskeletal Disorders

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Johnson, William L

    2003-01-01

    Sign language interpreters are at increased risk for musculoskeletal disorders. This study used content analysis to obtain detailed information about these disorders from the interpreters' point of view...

  9. Evaluating Effects of Language Recognition on Language Rights and the Vitality of New Zealand Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Rachel Locker; Manning, Victoria

    2015-01-01

    Status planning through legislation made New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) an official language in 2006. But this strong symbolic action did not create resources or mechanisms to further the aims of the act. In this article we discuss the extent to which legal recognition and ensuing language-planning activities by state and community have affected…

  10. On the Conventionalization of Mouth Actions in Australian Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Trevor; van Roekel, Jane; Schembri, Adam

    2016-03-01

    This study investigates the conventionalization of mouth actions in Australian Sign Language. Signed languages were once thought of as simply manual languages because the hands produce the signs which individually and in groups are the symbolic units most easily equated with the words, phrases and clauses of spoken languages. However, it has long been acknowledged that non-manual activity, such as movements of the body, head and the face play a very important role. In this context, mouth actions that occur while communicating in signed languages have posed a number of questions for linguists: are the silent mouthings of spoken language words simply borrowings from the respective majority community spoken language(s)? Are those mouth actions that are not silent mouthings of spoken words conventionalized linguistic units proper to each signed language, culturally linked semi-conventional gestural units shared by signers with members of the majority speaking community, or even gestures and expressions common to all humans? We use a corpus-based approach to gather evidence of the extent of the use of mouth actions in naturalistic Australian Sign Language-making comparisons with other signed languages where data is available--and the form/meaning pairings that these mouth actions instantiate.

  11. Input Processing at First Exposure to a Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Gerardo; Morgan, Gary

    2015-01-01

    There is growing interest in learners' cognitive capacities to process a second language (L2) at first exposure to the target language. Evidence suggests that L2 learners are capable of processing novel words by exploiting phonological information from their first language (L1). Hearing adult learners of a sign language, however, cannot fall back…

  12. Constraints on Negative Prefixation in Polish Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomaszewski, Piotr

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this article is to describe a negative prefix, NEG-, in Polish Sign Language (PJM) which appears to be indigenous to the language. This is of interest given the relative rarity of prefixes in sign languages. Prefixed PJM signs were analyzed on the basis of both a corpus of texts signed by 15 deaf PJM users who are either native or near-native signers, and material including a specified range of prefixed signs as demonstrated by native signers in dictionary form (i.e. signs produced in isolation, not as part of phrases or sentences). In order to define the morphological rules behind prefixation on both the phonological and morphological levels, native PJM users were consulted for their expertise. The research results can enrich models for describing processes of grammaticalization in the context of the visual-gestural modality that forms the basis for sign language structure.

  13. Early Sign Language Exposure and Cochlear Implantation Benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geers, Ann E; Mitchell, Christine M; Warner-Czyz, Andrea; Wang, Nae-Yuh; Eisenberg, Laurie S

    2017-07-01

    Most children with hearing loss who receive cochlear implants (CI) learn spoken language, and parents must choose early on whether to use sign language to accompany speech at home. We address whether parents' use of sign language before and after CI positively influences auditory-only speech recognition, speech intelligibility, spoken language, and reading outcomes. Three groups of children with CIs from a nationwide database who differed in the duration of early sign language exposure provided in their homes were compared in their progress through elementary grades. The groups did not differ in demographic, auditory, or linguistic characteristics before implantation. Children without early sign language exposure achieved better speech recognition skills over the first 3 years postimplant and exhibited a statistically significant advantage in spoken language and reading near the end of elementary grades over children exposed to sign language. Over 70% of children without sign language exposure achieved age-appropriate spoken language compared with only 39% of those exposed for 3 or more years. Early speech perception predicted speech intelligibility in middle elementary grades. Children without sign language exposure produced speech that was more intelligible (mean = 70%) than those exposed to sign language (mean = 51%). This study provides the most compelling support yet available in CI literature for the benefits of spoken language input for promoting verbal development in children implanted by 3 years of age. Contrary to earlier published assertions, there was no advantage to parents' use of sign language either before or after CI. Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  14. Relationships Between English Language Proficiency, Health Literacy, and Health Outcomes in Somali Refugees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Jessica E; Smock, Laura; Hunter-Adams, Jo; Xuan, Ziming; Cochran, Jennifer; Paasche-Orlow, Michael K; Geltman, Paul L

    2018-06-15

    Little is known about the impacts of health literacy and English proficiency on the health status of Somali refugees. Data came from interviews in 2009-2011 of 411 adult Somali refugees recently resettled in Massachusetts. English proficiency, health literacy, and physical and mental health were measured using the Basic English Skills Test Plus, the Short Test of Health Literacy in Adults, and the Physical and Mental Component Summaries of the Short Form-12. Associations were analyzed using multiple linear regression. In adjusted analyses, higher English proficiency was associated with worse mental health in males. English proficiency was not associated with physical health. Health literacy was associated with neither physical nor mental health. Language proficiency may adversely affect the mental health of male Somali refugees, contrary to findings in other immigrant groups. Research on underlying mechanisms and opportunities to understand this relationship are needed.

  15. Neural Language Processing in Adolescent First-Language Learners: Longitudinal Case Studies in American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferjan Ramirez, Naja; Leonard, Matthew K; Davenport, Tristan S; Torres, Christina; Halgren, Eric; Mayberry, Rachel I

    2016-03-01

    One key question in neurolinguistics is the extent to which the neural processing system for language requires linguistic experience during early life to develop fully. We conducted a longitudinal anatomically constrained magnetoencephalography (aMEG) analysis of lexico-semantic processing in 2 deaf adolescents who had no sustained language input until 14 years of age, when they became fully immersed in American Sign Language. After 2 to 3 years of language, the adolescents' neural responses to signed words were highly atypical, localizing mainly to right dorsal frontoparietal regions and often responding more strongly to semantically primed words (Ferjan Ramirez N, Leonard MK, Torres C, Hatrak M, Halgren E, Mayberry RI. 2014. Neural language processing in adolescent first-language learners. Cereb Cortex. 24 (10): 2772-2783). Here, we show that after an additional 15 months of language experience, the adolescents' neural responses remained atypical in terms of polarity. While their responses to less familiar signed words still showed atypical localization patterns, the localization of responses to highly familiar signed words became more concentrated in the left perisylvian language network. Our findings suggest that the timing of language experience affects the organization of neural language processing; however, even in adolescence, language representation in the human brain continues to evolve with experience. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. English language proficiency and smoking prevalence among California's Asian Americans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Hao; Shimizu, Robin; Chen, Moon S

    2005-12-15

    The authors documented California's tobacco control initiatives for Asian Americans and the current tobacco use status among Asian subgroups and provide a discussion of the challenges ahead. The California Tobacco Control Program has employed a comprehensive approach to decrease tobacco use in Asian Americans, including ethnic-specific media campaigns, culturally competent interventions, and technical assistance and training networks. Surveillance of tobacco use among Asian Americans and the interpretation of the results have always been a challenge. Data from the 2001 The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) were analyzed to provide smoking prevalence estimates for all Asian Americans and Asian-American subgroups, including Korean, Filipino, Japanese, South Asian, Chinese, and Vietnamese. Current smoking prevalence was analyzed by gender and by English proficiency level. Cigarette smoking prevalence among Asian males in general was almost three times of that among Asian females. Korean and Vietnamese males had higher cigarette smoking prevalence rates than males in other subgroups. Although Asian females in general had low smoking prevalence rates, significant differences were found among Asian subgroups, from 1.1% (Vietnamese) to 12.7% (Japanese). Asian men who had high English proficiency were less likely to be smokers than men with lower English proficiency. Asian women with high English proficiency were more likely to be smokers than women with lower English proficiency. Smoking prevalence rates among Asian Americans in California differed significantly on the basis of ethnicity, gender, and English proficiency. English proficiency seemed to have the effect of reducing smoking prevalence rates among Asian males but had just the opposite effect among Asian females. Cancer 2005. (c) 2005 American Cancer Society.

  17. The road to language learning is iconic: evidence from British Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Robin L; Vinson, David P; Woll, Bencie; Vigliocco, Gabriella

    2012-12-01

    An arbitrary link between linguistic form and meaning is generally considered a universal feature of language. However, iconic (i.e., nonarbitrary) mappings between properties of meaning and features of linguistic form are also widely present across languages, especially signed languages. Although recent research has shown a role for sign iconicity in language processing, research on the role of iconicity in sign-language development has been mixed. In this article, we present clear evidence that iconicity plays a role in sign-language acquisition for both the comprehension and production of signs. Signed languages were taken as a starting point because they tend to encode a higher degree of iconic form-meaning mappings in their lexicons than spoken languages do, but our findings are more broadly applicable: Specifically, we hypothesize that iconicity is fundamental to all languages (signed and spoken) and that it serves to bridge the gap between linguistic form and human experience.

  18. The Unified Language Testing Plan: Speaking Proficiency Test. Spanish and English Pilot Validation Studies. Report Number 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, Julie A.

    This report describes one segment of the Federal Language Testing Board's Unified Language Testing Plan (ULTP), the validation of speaking proficiency tests in Spanish and English. The ULTP is a project to increase standardization of foreign language proficiency measurement and promote sharing of resources among testing programs in the federal…

  19. Aptitude, Phonological Memory, and Second Language Proficiency in Nonnovice Adult Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummel, Kirsten M.

    2009-01-01

    This study explores the relationship between aptitude, phonological memory (PM), and second language (L2) proficiency in nonnovice adult learners of English as an L2. Native speakers of French (N = 77) enrolled in a university Teaching English as a Second Language program were the participants in the study. Exploratory factor analysis revealed…

  20. Attitudes and Attained English Language Proficiency of University Students in Thailand: A Sociolinguistic Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boykin, Arsene; Trungamphai, Arunthadee

    English proficiency of Thai university students studying English as a Foreign Language (EFL) was studied in relation to attitudinal scores on social, economic, travel, or prestige scales. Secondarily, the subjects' attitudes toward their native group and toward the target language group, and their motives for learning English were studied in…

  1. Supporting the Language Development of Limited English Proficient Students through Arts Integration in the Primary Grades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brouillette, Liane

    2012-01-01

    This article looks at how arts integration can boost the language development of limited English proficient students in kindergarten through second grade. I first review existing research on how young children learn and describe the special challenges faced by children who must learn in an unfamiliar language. I then identify arts-based mechanisms…

  2. Seeking out Challenges to Develop L2 Self-Confidence: A Language Learner's Journey to Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwads, Emily; Roger, Peter Stewart

    2015-01-01

    As one constituent of second language (L2) motivation, L2 "self-­confidence" has been shown to be a significant predictor of language proficiency. More recently, L2 self-­confidence has been studied as part of the "willingness to communicate" (WTC) construct. Less is known, however, about the processes by which learners develop…

  3. Signs of Resistance: Peer Learning of Sign Languages within "Oral" Schools for the Deaf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anglin-Jaffe, Hannah

    2013-01-01

    This article explores the role of the Deaf child as peer educator. In schools where sign languages were banned, Deaf children became the educators of their Deaf peers in a number of contexts worldwide. This paper analyses how this peer education of sign language worked in context by drawing on two examples from boarding schools for the deaf in…

  4. Poetry in South African Sign Language: What is different? | Baker ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads. ... Poetry in a sign language can make use of literary devices just as poetry in a ... This poem illustrates well the multi-layered meaning that can be created in sign language poetry through ...

  5. Italian Sign Language (LIS) Poetry: Iconic Properties and Structural Regularities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Tommaso; Giuranna, Rosaria; Pizzuto, Elena

    2001-01-01

    Explores and describes from a crosslinguistic perspective, some of the major structural irregularities that characterize poetry in Italian Sign Language and distinguish poetic from nonpoetic texts. Reviews findings of previous studies of signed language poetry, and points out issues that need to be clarified to provide a more accurate description…

  6. Recognition of sign language gestures using neural networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Vamplew

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the structure and performance of the SLARTI sign language recognition system developed at the University of Tasmania. SLARTI uses a modular architecture consisting of multiple feature-recognition neural networks and a nearest-neighbour classifier to recognise Australian sign language (Auslan hand gestures.

  7. Recognition of sign language gestures using neural networks

    OpenAIRE

    Simon Vamplew

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes the structure and performance of the SLARTI sign language recognition system developed at the University of Tasmania. SLARTI uses a modular architecture consisting of multiple feature-recognition neural networks and a nearest-neighbour classifier to recognise Australian sign language (Auslan) hand gestures.

  8. The Effect of New Technologies on Sign Language Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Ceil; Mirus, Gene; Palmer, Jeffrey Levi; Roessler, Nicholas James; Frost, Adam

    2013-01-01

    This paper first reviews the fairly established ways of collecting sign language data. It then discusses the new technologies available and their impact on sign language research, both in terms of how data is collected and what new kinds of data are emerging as a result of technology. New data collection methods and new kinds of data are…

  9. Technology to Support Sign Language for Students with Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donne, Vicki

    2013-01-01

    This systematic review of the literature provides a synthesis of research on the use of technology to support sign language. Background research on the use of sign language with students who are deaf/hard of hearing and students with low incidence disabilities, such as autism, intellectual disability, or communication disorders is provided. The…

  10. The Birth and Rebirth of "Sign Language Studies"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, David F.

    2012-01-01

    As most readers of this journal are aware, "Sign Language Studies" ("SLS") served for many years as effectively the only serious scholarly outlet for work in the nascent field of sign language linguistics. Now reaching its 40th anniversary, the journal was founded by William C. Stokoe and then edited by him for the first quarter century of its…

  11. Question-Answer Pairs in Sign Language of the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kimmelman, V.; Vink, L.

    2017-01-01

    Several sign languages of the world utilize a construction that consists of a question followed by an answer, both of which are produced by the same signer. For American Sign Language, this construction has been analyzed as a discourse-level rhetorical question construction (Hoza et al. 1997), as a

  12. Introduction: Sign Language, Sustainable Development, and Equal Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Clerck, Goedele A. M.

    2017-01-01

    This article has been excerpted from "Introduction: Sign Language, Sustainable Development, and Equal Opportunities" (De Clerck) in "Sign Language, Sustainable Development, and Equal Opportunities: Envisioning the Future for Deaf Students" (G. A. M. De Clerck & P. V. Paul (Eds.) 2016). The idea of exploring various…

  13. The English proficiency and academic language skills of Australian bilingual children during the primary school years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennaoui, Kamelia; Nicholls, Ruth Jane; O'Connor, Meredith; Tarasuik, Joanne; Kvalsvig, Amanda; Goldfeld, Sharon

    2016-04-01

    Evidence suggests that early proficiency in the language of school instruction is an important predictor of academic success for bilingual children. This study investigated whether English-proficiency at 4-5 years of age predicts academic language and literacy skills among Australian bilingual children at 10-11 years of age, as part of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children ( LSAC, 2012 ). The LSAC comprises a nationally representative clustered cross-sequential sample of Australian children. Data were analysed from a sub-sample of 129 bilingual children from the LSAC Kindergarten cohort (n = 4983), for whom teachers completed the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) checklist (a population measure of early childhood development) and the Academic Rating Scale (ARS) language and literacy subscale. Linear regression analyses revealed that bilingual children who commenced school with stronger English proficiency had higher academic language and literacy scores at the end of primary school (β = 0.45). English proficiency remained a significant predictor, even when accounting for gender and socio-economic disadvantage (β = 0.38). The findings indicate that bilingual children who begin school without English proficiency are at risk of difficulties with academic language and literacy, even after 6 years of schooling. Risk factors need to be identified so early support can be targeted towards the most vulnerable children.

  14. Defining English Language Proficiency for Malaysian Tertiary Education: Past, Present and Future Efforts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chan Swee Heng

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Any attempt to define English language proficiency can never be divorced from the theories that describe the nature of language, language acquisition and human cognition. By virtue of such theories being socially constructed, the descriptions are necessarily value-laden. Thus, a definition of language proficiency can only, at best, be described as developmental, following changes that are linguistic, pragmatic, cultural and political. In defining English proficiency for tertiary education, the context is naturally also linked to the focus on university education. The argument has been that an ‘acceptable’ level of language competence of a university applicant is anything but constant. Tremendous social changes have seen traditional values of elitism in university education giving way to the ‘massification’ of education. As Kaplan and Baldauf (1997:257 affirms, “The principal problem in tertiary education is not declining literacy standards but rather it is about meeting changed societal, cultural and informational requirements and circumstances”. In the light of these changes, this paper attempts to trace influencing factors that help define an ‘acceptable’ level of English proficiency for Malaysian tertiary education. The paper examines past and present efforts of establishing an English language policy and assessment practice for tertiary education, and concludes with some views on future development that could evolve from the current indicative pursuits of establishing language learning and ability.

  15. Sign Language and Language Acquisition in Man and Ape. New Dimensions in Comparative Pedolinguistics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Fred C. C., Ed.

    A collection of research materials on sign language and primatology is presented here. The essays attempt to show that: sign language is a legitimate language that can be learned not only by humans but by nonhuman primates as well, and nonhuman primates have the capability to acquire a human language using a different mode. The following…

  16. "Hearing" the signs:influence of sign language in an inclusive classroom

    OpenAIRE

    Monney, M. (Mariette)

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Finding new methods to achieve the goals of Education For All is a constant worry for primary school teachers. Multisensory methods have been proved to be efficient in the past decades. Sign Language, being a visual and kinesthetic language, could become a future educational tool to fulfill the needs of a growing diversity of learners. This ethnographic study describes how Sign Language exposure in inclusive classr...

  17. Examination of Sign Language Education According to the Opinions of Members from a Basic Sign Language Certification Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akmese, Pelin Pistav

    2016-01-01

    Being hearing impaired limits one's ability to communicate in that it affects all areas of development, particularly speech. One of the methods the hearing impaired use to communicate is sign language. This study, a descriptive study, intends to examine the opinions of individuals who had enrolled in a sign language certification program by using…

  18. Predicting Lexical Proficiency in Language Learner Texts Using Computational Indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossley, Scott A.; Salsbury, Tom; McNamara, Danielle S.; Jarvis, Scott

    2011-01-01

    The authors present a model of lexical proficiency based on lexical indices related to vocabulary size, depth of lexical knowledge, and accessibility to core lexical items. The lexical indices used in this study come from the computational tool Coh-Metrix and include word length scores, lexical diversity values, word frequency counts, hypernymy…

  19. Inhibition Efficiency in Highly Proficient Bilinguals and Simultaneous Interpreters: Evidence from Language Switching and Stroop Tasks

    OpenAIRE

    Aparicio, X.; Heidlmayr, K.; Isel, F.

    2017-01-01

    The present behavioral study aimed to examine the impact of language control expertise on two domain-general control processes, i.e. active inhibition of competing representations and overcoming of inhibition. We compared how Simultaneous Interpreters (SI) and Highly Proficient Bilinguals—two groups assumed to differ in language control capacity—performed executive tasks involving specific inhibition processes. In Experiment 1 (language decision task), both active and overcoming of inhibition...

  20. The Phonetics of Head and Body Movement in the Realization of American Sign Language Signs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyrone, Martha E; Mauk, Claude E

    2016-01-01

    Because the primary articulators for sign languages are the hands, sign phonology and phonetics have focused mainly on them and treated other articulators as passive targets. However, there is abundant research on the role of nonmanual articulators in sign language grammar and prosody. The current study examines how hand and head/body movements are coordinated to realize phonetic targets. Kinematic data were collected from 5 deaf American Sign Language (ASL) signers to allow the analysis of movements of the hands, head and body during signing. In particular, we examine how the chin, forehead and torso move during the production of ASL signs at those three phonological locations. Our findings suggest that for signs with a lexical movement toward the head, the forehead and chin move to facilitate convergence with the hand. By comparison, the torso does not move to facilitate convergence with the hand for signs located at the torso. These results imply that the nonmanual articulators serve a phonetic as well as a grammatical or prosodic role in sign languages. Future models of sign phonetics and phonology should take into consideration the movements of the nonmanual articulators in the realization of signs. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  1. An Investigation of the Impact on Hong Kong's English Language Teaching Profession of the Language Proficiency Assessment for Teachers of English (LPATE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coniam, David; Falvey, Peter; Xiao, Yangyu

    2017-01-01

    This study investigates the perceptions of stakeholders on the impact of a high-stakes assessment of English language teachers' proficiency--the minimum language standards Language Proficiency Assessment for Teachers (English) [LPATE], which was introduced in 2000. Given that the test has now been in place for 17 years, the study investigates the…

  2. Impacts of Visual Sonority and Handshape Markedness on Second Language Learning of American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Joshua T.; Newman, Sharlene D.

    2016-01-01

    The roles of visual sonority and handshape markedness in sign language acquisition and production were investigated. In Experiment 1, learners were taught sign-nonobject correspondences that varied in sign movement sonority and handshape markedness. Results from a sign-picture matching task revealed that high sonority signs were more accurately…

  3. Visual Sonority Modulates Infants' Attraction to Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Adam; Petitto, Laura-Ann; Bosworth, Rain

    2018-01-01

    The infant brain may be predisposed to identify perceptually salient cues that are common to both signed and spoken languages. Recent theory based on spoken languages has advanced sonority as one of these potential language acquisition cues. Using a preferential looking paradigm with an infrared eye tracker, we explored visual attention of hearing…

  4. Observations on Word Order in Saudi Arabian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprenger, Kristen; Mathur, Gaurav

    2012-01-01

    This article focuses on the syntactic level of the grammar of Saudi Arabian Sign Language by exploring some word orders that occur in personal narratives in the language. Word order is one of the main ways in which languages indicate the main syntactic roles of subjects, verbs, and objects; others are verbal agreement and nominal case morphology.…

  5. Australian Aboriginal Deaf People and Aboriginal Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Des

    2013-01-01

    Many Australian Aboriginal people use a sign language ("hand talk") that mirrors their local spoken language and is used both in culturally appropriate settings when speech is taboo or counterindicated and for community communication. The characteristics of these languages are described, and early European settlers' reports of deaf…

  6. The role of syllables in sign language production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baus, Cristina; Gutiérrez, Eva; Carreiras, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the functional role of syllables in sign language and how the different phonological combinations influence sign production. Moreover, the influence of age of acquisition was evaluated. Deaf signers (native and non-native) of Catalan Signed Language (LSC) were asked in a picture-sign interference task to sign picture names while ignoring distractor-signs with which they shared two phonological parameters (out of three of the main sign parameters: Location, Movement, and Handshape). The results revealed a different impact of the three phonological combinations. While no effect was observed for the phonological combination Handshape-Location, the combination Handshape-Movement slowed down signing latencies, but only in the non-native group. A facilitatory effect was observed for both groups when pictures and distractors shared Location-Movement. Importantly, linguistic models have considered this phonological combination to be a privileged unit in the composition of signs, as syllables are in spoken languages. Thus, our results support the functional role of syllable units during phonological articulation in sign language production.

  7. About using serious games to teach (Portuguese) sign language

    OpenAIRE

    Gameiro, João Manuel Ferreira

    2014-01-01

    Sign language is the form of communication used by Deaf people, which, in most cases have been learned since childhood. The problem arises when a non-Deaf tries to contact with a Deaf. For example, when non-Deaf parents try to communicate with their Deaf child. In most cases, this situation tends to happen when the parents did not have time to properly learn sign language. This dissertation proposes the teaching of sign language through the usage of serious games. Currently, similar soluti...

  8. Legal Pathways to the Recognition of Sign Languages: A Comparison of the Catalan and Spanish Sign Language Acts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quer, Josep

    2012-01-01

    Despite being minority languages like many others, sign languages have traditionally remained absent from the agendas of policy makers and language planning and policies. In the past two decades, though, this situation has started to change at different paces and to different degrees in several countries. In this article, the author describes the…

  9. The Development and Validation of a Spanish Elicited Imitation Test of Oral Language Proficiency for the Missionary Training Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Carrie A.

    2013-01-01

    The Missionary Training Center (MTC), affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, needs a reliable and cost effective way to measure the oral language proficiency of missionaries learning Spanish. The MTC needed to measure incoming missionaries' Spanish language proficiency for training and classroom assignment as well as to…

  10. Teacher Professionalism--An Innovative Programme for Teaching Mathematics to Foundation Level Learners with Limited Language Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naude, H.; Pretorius, E.; Vandeyar, S.

    2003-01-01

    Details a study of the ways that limited language proficiency affected learners' readiness for mathematics instruction among disadvantaged preschoolers within a Griqua community in South Africa. Notes a link between limited language proficiency and nonreadiness for foundation level mathematics due to limited thinking skills, which constitute…

  11. The Effects of Type and Quantity of Input on Iranian EFL Learners’ Oral Language Proficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra Hassanzadeh

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available In the written texts on foreign language learning, a group of studies has stressed the function of learning context and learning chances for learners’ language input. The present thesis had two main goals: on the one hand, different types of input to which Iranian grade four high school EFL learners’ are exposed were looked at; on the other hand, the possible relationship between types and quantity of input and Iranian EFL learners’ oral proficiency was investigated. It was supposed that EFL learners who have access to more input will show better oral proficiency than those who do not have. Instruments used in the present study for the purpose of data collation included  PET test, researcher- made questionnaire, oral language proficiency test and face- to -face interview. Data were gathered from 50 Iranian female grade four high school foreign language learners who were selected from among 120 students whose score on PET test were +1SD from the mean score. The results of the Spearman rank –order correlation test for the types of input and oral language proficiency scores, showed that the participants’ oral proficiency score significantly correlated with the intended four sources of input including spoken (rho= 0.416, sig=0.003, written (rho= 0.364, sig=0.009, aural (rho= 0.343, sig=0.015 and visual or audio-visual types of input (rho= 0.47, sig=0.00. The findings of Spearman rank –order correlation test for the quantity of input and oral language proficiency scores also showed a significant relationship between quantity of input and oral language proficiency (rho= 0.543, sig= 0.00. The findings showed that EFL learners’ oral proficiency is significantly correlated with efficient and effective input. The findings may also suggest  answers to the question why most Iranian English learners fail to speak English fluently, which might be due to  lack of effective input. This may emphasize the importance of the types and quantity of

  12. English language proficiency and the accommodations for language non-concordance amongst patients utilizing chiropractic college teaching clinics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saporito, Richard P

    2013-02-01

    The number of households in the United States that are not proficient in the English language is growing and presenting a challenge to the health care system. Over nineteen percent of the US population speak a language other than English in the home. This increase in language discordance generates a greater need to find and implement accommodations in the clinical setting to insure accurate and efficient diagnosis and treatment as well as provide for patient safety. The purpose of this study is to determine the percentage of patients accessing the chiropractic college teaching clinics who are not proficient in the English language and to what extent the colleges provide accommodations for that language disparity. The clinic directors and deans of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges were surveyed via an on-line survey engine. The survey queried the percentage of the patient population that is not English language proficient, the accommodations the college currently has in place, if the college has a language specific consent to treat document and if the college has a written policy concerning patients without English proficiency. Fifty percent of the contacted chiropractic colleges responded to the survey. In the respondent college clinics 16.5% of the patient population is not proficient in English, with over 75% speaking Spanish. All but one of the respondents provide some level of accommodation for the language non-concordance. Forty five percent of the responding colleges employ a language specific consent to treat form. The implementation of accommodations and the use of a language specific consent to treat form is more prevalent at colleges with a higher percentage of non-English speaking patients. The percentage of patients with limited English proficiency accessing services at the teaching clinics of the chiropractic colleges mirrors the numbers in the general population. There is a wide disparity in the accommodations that the individual colleges make

  13. First language acquisition differs from second language acquisition in prelingually deaf signers: evidence from sensitivity to grammaticality judgement in British Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cormier, Kearsy; Schembri, Adam; Vinson, David; Orfanidou, Eleni

    2012-07-01

    Age of acquisition (AoA) effects have been used to support the notion of a critical period for first language acquisition. In this study, we examine AoA effects in deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users via a grammaticality judgment task. When English reading performance and nonverbal IQ are factored out, results show that accuracy of grammaticality judgement decreases as AoA increases, until around age 8, thus showing the unique effect of AoA on grammatical judgement in early learners. No such effects were found in those who acquired BSL after age 8. These late learners appear to have first language proficiency in English instead, which may have been used to scaffold learning of BSL as a second language later in life. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. The translation of biblical texts into South African Sign Language ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The translation of biblical texts into South African Sign Language. ... Native signers were used as translators with the assistance of hearing specialists in the fields of religion and translation studies. ... AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO ...

  15. Making an Online Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... is n example of a contemporary sign language dictionary that leverages the 21st ... informed development of this bilingual, bi-directional, multimedia dictionary. ... and dealing with sociolinguistic variation in the selection and performance of ...

  16. Basic Color Terms in Estonian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollman, Liivi; Sutrop, Urmas

    2011-01-01

    The article is written in the tradition of Brent Berlin and Paul Kay's theory of basic color terms. According to this theory there is a universal inventory of eleven basic color categories from which the basic color terms of any given language are always drawn. The number of basic color terms varies from 2 to 11 and in a language having a fully…

  17. Analyzing the Influence of Language Proficiency on Interactive Book Search Behavior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bogers, Toine; Gäde, Maria; Hall, Mark M.

    2016-01-01

    English content still dominates in many online domains and information systems, despite native English speakers being a minority of its users. However, we know little about how language proficiency influences search behavior in these systems. In this paper, we describe preliminary results from an...... language constraints, a preliminary analysis of native and non-native English speakers indicate little to no meaningful differences in their search behavior.......English content still dominates in many online domains and information systems, despite native English speakers being a minority of its users. However, we know little about how language proficiency influences search behavior in these systems. In this paper, we describe preliminary results from...... an interactive IR experiment with book search behavior and examine how language skills affect this behavior. A total of 97 users from 21 different countries participated in this experiment, resulting in a rich data set including usage data as well as questionnaire feedback. Although participants reported feeling...

  18. On the Relationship between Brain Laterality and Language Proficiency in L2: A Replication Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nima Shakouri

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The present paper attempted to investigate whether there is any significant relationship between participants' brain laterality and L2 proficiency level. To carry out the experiment, 30 participants administered in the present study. Fifteen of them did not have any English language learning experience and were at the start of language learning, while the rest had attended L2 learning classes for about 2 years in a popular English language center, located in Bandar-e Anzali, Iran. Finally, the researchers concluded that the activity of the right hemisphere went up by the increase in language proficiency among bilinguals. Thereupon, the result of the paper was at variance with Albert and Obler's (1978 early work on hemispheric differentiation, which indicated that bilinguals were less hemispheric dominant than monolinguals.

  19. Conceptualizing Accessibility for English Language Proficiency Assessments. Research Report. ETS RR-16-07

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzman-Orth, Danielle; Laitusis, Cara; Thurlow, Martha; Christensen, Laurene

    2016-01-01

    This paper is the second in a series from Educational Testing Service (ETS) that conceptualizes next-generation English language proficiency (ELP) assessment systems for K-12 English learners (ELs) in the United States.The first paper articulated a high-level conceptualization of next-generation ELP assessment systems (Hauck, Wolf, & Mislevy,…

  20. Lexical Sophistication as a Multidimensional Phenomenon: Relations to Second Language Lexical Proficiency, Development, and Writing Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Minkyung; Crossley, Scott A.; Kyle, Kristopher

    2018-01-01

    This study conceptualizes lexical sophistication as a multidimensional phenomenon by reducing numerous lexical features of lexical sophistication into 12 aggregated components (i.e., dimensions) via a principal component analysis approach. These components were then used to predict second language (L2) writing proficiency levels, holistic lexical…

  1. Assessing the Accuracy and Consistency of Language Proficiency Classification under Competing Measurement Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bo

    2010-01-01

    This article investigates how measurement models and statistical procedures can be applied to estimate the accuracy of proficiency classification in language testing. The paper starts with a concise introduction of four measurement models: the classical test theory (CTT) model, the dichotomous item response theory (IRT) model, the testlet response…

  2. Captioned Instructional Video: Effects on Content Comprehension, Vocabulary Acquisition and Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    BavaHarji, Madhubala; Alavi, Zhinoos Kamal; Letchumanan, Krishnaveni

    2014-01-01

    This experimental design study examined the effects of viewing captioned instructional videos on EFL learners' content comprehension, vocabulary acquisition and language proficiency. It also examined the participants' perception of viewing the captioned instructional videos. The 92 EFL students in two classes, who were undertaking the "Tape…

  3. The Relationships among Heritage Language Proficiency, Ethnic Identity, and Self-Esteem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Shu-Chun

    2015-01-01

    With the trend toward globalization and the continual change of the ethnic composition of the U.S. population, there is increasing awareness in the U.S. that not every child is raised in an English-only family. The purpose of this research is to explore the relationships among heritage language proficiency, ethnic identity, and self-esteem in the…

  4. Using Self-Regulated Learning Strategies in Enhancing Language Proficiency with a Focus on Reading Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbasian, Gholam-Reza; Hartoonian, Anahid

    2014-01-01

    Self-regulated learning strategies have recently received a remarkable attention by researchers. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between self-regulated learning strategies and students' language proficiency as well as their reading comprehension. To do so, 115 Iranian EFL university students were selected. First, a TOEFL test…

  5. Segmentation of British Sign Language (BSL): mind the gap!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orfanidou, Eleni; McQueen, James M; Adam, Robert; Morgan, Gary

    2015-01-01

    This study asks how users of British Sign Language (BSL) recognize individual signs in connected sign sequences. We examined whether this is achieved through modality-specific or modality-general segmentation procedures. A modality-specific feature of signed languages is that, during continuous signing, there are salient transitions between sign locations. We used the sign-spotting task to ask if and how BSL signers use these transitions in segmentation. A total of 96 real BSL signs were preceded by nonsense signs which were produced in either the target location or another location (with a small or large transition). Half of the transitions were within the same major body area (e.g., head) and half were across body areas (e.g., chest to hand). Deaf adult BSL users (a group of natives and early learners, and a group of late learners) spotted target signs best when there was a minimal transition and worst when there was a large transition. When location changes were present, both groups performed better when transitions were to a different body area than when they were within the same area. These findings suggest that transitions do not provide explicit sign-boundary cues in a modality-specific fashion. Instead, we argue that smaller transitions help recognition in a modality-general way by limiting lexical search to signs within location neighbourhoods, and that transitions across body areas also aid segmentation in a modality-general way, by providing a phonotactic cue to a sign boundary. We propose that sign segmentation is based on modality-general procedures which are core language-processing mechanisms.

  6. Lexical access in sign language: a computational model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caselli, Naomi K; Cohen-Goldberg, Ariel M

    2014-01-01

    PSYCHOLINGUISTIC THEORIES HAVE PREDOMINANTLY BEEN BUILT UPON DATA FROM SPOKEN LANGUAGE, WHICH LEAVES OPEN THE QUESTION: How many of the conclusions truly reflect language-general principles as opposed to modality-specific ones? We take a step toward answering this question in the domain of lexical access in recognition by asking whether a single cognitive architecture might explain diverse behavioral patterns in signed and spoken language. Chen and Mirman (2012) presented a computational model of word processing that unified opposite effects of neighborhood density in speech production, perception, and written word recognition. Neighborhood density effects in sign language also vary depending on whether the neighbors share the same handshape or location. We present a spreading activation architecture that borrows the principles proposed by Chen and Mirman (2012), and show that if this architecture is elaborated to incorporate relatively minor facts about either (1) the time course of sign perception or (2) the frequency of sub-lexical units in sign languages, it produces data that match the experimental findings from sign languages. This work serves as a proof of concept that a single cognitive architecture could underlie both sign and word recognition.

  7. Lexical access in sign language: A computational model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi Kenney Caselli

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Psycholinguistic theories have predominantly been built upon data from spoken language, which leaves open the question: How many of the conclusions truly reflect language-general principles as opposed to modality-specific ones? We take a step toward answering this question in the domain of lexical access in recognition by asking whether a single cognitive architecture might explain diverse behavioral patterns in signed and spoken language. Chen and Mirman (2012 presented a computational model of word processing that unified opposite effects of neighborhood density in speech production, perception, and written word recognition. Neighborhood density effects in sign language also vary depending on whether the neighbors share the same handshape or location. We present a spreading activation architecture that borrows the principles proposed by Chen and Mirman (2012, and show that if this architecture is elaborated to incorporate relatively minor facts about either 1 the time course of sign perception or 2 the frequency of sub-lexical units in sign languages, it produces data that match the experimental findings from sign languages. This work serves as a proof of concept that a single cognitive architecture could underlie both sign and word recognition.

  8. Indonesian Sign Language Number Recognition using SIFT Algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahfudi, Isa; Sarosa, Moechammad; Andrie Asmara, Rosa; Azrino Gustalika, M.

    2018-04-01

    Indonesian sign language (ISL) is generally used for deaf individuals and poor people communication in communicating. They use sign language as their primary language which consists of 2 types of action: sign and finger spelling. However, not all people understand their sign language so that this becomes a problem for them to communicate with normal people. this problem also becomes a factor they are isolated feel from the social life. It needs a solution that can help them to be able to interacting with normal people. Many research that offers a variety of methods in solving the problem of sign language recognition based on image processing. SIFT (Scale Invariant Feature Transform) algorithm is one of the methods that can be used to identify an object. SIFT is claimed very resistant to scaling, rotation, illumination and noise. Using SIFT algorithm for Indonesian sign language recognition number result rate recognition to 82% with the use of a total of 100 samples image dataset consisting 50 sample for training data and 50 sample images for testing data. Change threshold value get affect the result of the recognition. The best value threshold is 0.45 with rate recognition of 94%.

  9. The Use of Sign Language Pronouns by Native-Signing Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shield, Aaron; Meier, Richard P.; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2015-01-01

    We report the first study on pronoun use by an under-studied research population, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exposed to American Sign Language from birth by their deaf parents. Personal pronouns cause difficulties for hearing children with ASD, who sometimes reverse or avoid them. Unlike speech pronouns, sign pronouns are…

  10. Selected Lexical Patterns in Saudi Arabian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Lesa; Palmer, Jeffrey Levi; Reynolds, Wanette

    2012-01-01

    This combined paper will focus on the description of two selected lexical patterns in Saudi Arabian Sign Language (SASL): metaphor and metonymy in emotion-related signs (Young) and lexicalization patterns of objects and their derivational roots (Palmer and Reynolds). The over-arcing methodology used by both studies is detailed in Stephen and…

  11. An Intelligent Computer-Based System for Sign Language Tutoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritchings, Tim; Khadragi, Ahmed; Saeb, Magdy

    2012-01-01

    A computer-based system for sign language tutoring has been developed using a low-cost data glove and a software application that processes the movement signals for signs in real-time and uses Pattern Matching techniques to decide if a trainee has closely replicated a teacher's recorded movements. The data glove provides 17 movement signals from…

  12. Poetry in South African Sign Language: What is different?

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mary Theresa Biberauer

    The study of literary expression in sign languages has increased over the last twenty .... extensively to express emotion on the part of a character in the narrative. ... township in her non-manual facial expressions while signing manually what is ...

  13. The Effect of Language Learning Strategies on Proficiency, Attitudes and School Achievement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita Habók

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available This study examines language learning strategy (LLS use in connexion with foreign language attitude, proficiency and general school achievement among lower secondary students in Years 5 and 8 (n = 868 in Hungary. An adapted version of the Strategies Inventory for Language Learning questionnaire was used for data collection. The results showed that Hungarian students mainly engage in metacognitive strategies in both years. Differences between more and less proficient language learners’ strategy use have also been found. With regard to the effect of LLS on foreign language attitude, the foreign language mark and school achievement, path analysis indicated a good fit in both years. The metacognitive, social and memory strategies primarily influenced foreign language attitudes and marks in Year 5. The metacognitive strategies had a slight impact on school achievement as well as on foreign language marks. We demonstrated the dominant effect of metacognitive strategies and the low effect of memory strategies in Year 8. In addition, metacognitive strategies also influenced foreign language marks. The effect of foreign language marks on school achievement was also remarkable. There was a strong impact on the children’s attitudes through these variables.

  14. The Effect of Language Learning Strategies on Proficiency, Attitudes and School Achievement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habók, Anita; Magyar, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    This study examines language learning strategy (LLS) use in connexion with foreign language attitude, proficiency and general school achievement among lower secondary students in Years 5 and 8 ( n = 868) in Hungary. An adapted version of the Strategies Inventory for Language Learning questionnaire was used for data collection. The results showed that Hungarian students mainly engage in metacognitive strategies in both years. Differences between more and less proficient language learners' strategy use have also been found. With regard to the effect of LLS on foreign language attitude, the foreign language mark and school achievement, path analysis indicated a good fit in both years. The metacognitive, social and memory strategies primarily influenced foreign language attitudes and marks in Year 5. The metacognitive strategies had a slight impact on school achievement as well as on foreign language marks. We demonstrated the dominant effect of metacognitive strategies and the low effect of memory strategies in Year 8. In addition, metacognitive strategies also influenced foreign language marks. The effect of foreign language marks on school achievement was also remarkable. There was a strong impact on the children's attitudes through these variables.

  15. The Relationship between Language Learning Strategies, Proficiency, Age and Self-Efficacy Beliefs: A Study of Language Learners in Botswana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magogwe, Joel Mokuedi; Oliver, Rhonda

    2007-01-01

    This research seeks to extend our current knowledge by exploring the relationship between preferred language strategies, age, proficiency, and self-efficacy beliefs. Responding to the call for more replication of strategy research and for research in different cultural contexts, this research was undertaken in Botswana between 2002 and 2005. The…

  16. The morphosyntax of verbs of motion in serial constructions: a crosslinguistic study in three signed languages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benedicto, E.; Cvejanov, S.; Quer, J.; Quer, J.F.

    2008-01-01

    This paper provides a comparative analysis of the structural properties of serial verb constructions (SVC) in three sign languages: LSA (Lengua de Señas Argentina, Argentinean Sign Language), LSC (Llengua de Signes Catalana, Catalan Sign Language) and ASL (American Sign Language). The paper presents

  17. Vietnamese Immigrant and Refugee Women's Mental Health: An Examination of Age of Arrival, Length of Stay, Income, and English Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Chris; Schale, Codi L.; Nilsson, Johanna E.

    2010-01-01

    Vietnamese immigrant and refugee women (N = 83) were surveyed regarding their mental health, English language proficiency, age of arrival, length of stay, and income. English language proficiency and age of arrival correlated with reduced symptomatology. Moreover, English language proficiency was the sole predictor of somatic distress. (Contains 1…

  18. Sociolinguistic Competence and Malaysian Students' English Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muniandy, Mohan K.; Nair, Gopala Krishnan Sekharan; Shanmugam, Shashi Kumar Krishnan; Ahmad, Irma; Noor, Norashikin Binte Mohamed

    2010-01-01

    This paper aims to highlight the importance of teaching sociolinguistic competence to ESL learners in Malaysian schools. Sociolinguistic competence is the knowledge of socio cultural rules of language and of discourse. This type of competence requires an understanding of the socio context in which language is used. It is proposed that carefully…

  19. A study of syllable codas in South African Sign Language

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Kate H

    A South African Sign Language Dictionary for Families with Young Deaf Children (SLED 2006) was used with permission ... Figure 1: Syllable structure of a CVC syllable in the word “bed”. In spoken languages .... often than not, there is a societal emphasis on 'fixing' a child's deafness and attempting to teach deaf children to ...

  20. Ideologies and Attitudes toward Sign Languages: An Approximation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krausneker, Verena

    2015-01-01

    Attitudes are complex and little research in the field of linguistics has focused on language attitudes. This article deals with attitudes toward sign languages and those who use them--attitudes that are influenced by ideological constructions. The article reviews five categories of such constructions and discusses examples in each one.

  1. Sign Language Planning in the Netherlands between 1980 and 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schermer, Trude

    2012-01-01

    This article discusses several aspects of language planning with respect to Sign Language of the Netherlands, or Nederlandse Gebarentaal (NGT). For nearly thirty years members of the Deaf community, the Dutch Deaf Council (Dovenschap) have been working together with researchers, several organizations in deaf education, and the organization of…

  2. ASL-LEX: A lexical database of American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caselli, Naomi K; Sehyr, Zed Sevcikova; Cohen-Goldberg, Ariel M; Emmorey, Karen

    2017-04-01

    ASL-LEX is a lexical database that catalogues information about nearly 1,000 signs in American Sign Language (ASL). It includes the following information: subjective frequency ratings from 25-31 deaf signers, iconicity ratings from 21-37 hearing non-signers, videoclip duration, sign length (onset and offset), grammatical class, and whether the sign is initialized, a fingerspelled loan sign, or a compound. Information about English translations is available for a subset of signs (e.g., alternate translations, translation consistency). In addition, phonological properties (sign type, selected fingers, flexion, major and minor location, and movement) were coded and used to generate sub-lexical frequency and neighborhood density estimates. ASL-LEX is intended for use by researchers, educators, and students who are interested in the properties of the ASL lexicon. An interactive website where the database can be browsed and downloaded is available at http://asl-lex.org .

  3. The modulatory role of second language proficiency on performance monitoring: evidence from a saccadic countermanding task in high and low proficient bilinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Niharika; Mishra, Ramesh K

    2014-01-01

    We compared Hindi-English bilinguals differing in their L2 proficiency on a saccadic countermanding task which taps inhibitory control as well as monitoring. We particularly explored whether response inhibition and performance monitoring within the oculomotor domain are affected by language proficiency in bilinguals. There were two different oculomotor redirect tasks: Visually Guided Redirect (VGR) task (Experiment1) and Memory Guided Redirect (MGR) task (Experiment 2). In the redirect task, typically a target is presented and the subject is required to make a saccade (no-step trials), unless a new target appears on a different location after some delay from the first target onset (step trials). On such trials participants are required to inhibit and cancel the saccade to the first target and programme a saccade to the new target. Using trial switch reaction time (TSRT), the time taken to inhibit the initiated saccade to the first target as a measure of response inhibition and post-step slowing as a measure of performance monitoring. The results showed the high proficient bilinguals displayed more post-step slowing on the no-step trials as compared to the low proficient bilinguals for both VGR and MGR versions of the task. Secondly, both the high and low proficient bilinguals exhibited comparable TSRT in both VGR and MGR task, showing no modulatory effects of language proficiency on the response inhibition. These results suggest that language proficiency may have an effect on performance monitoring, but not the inhibitory control per se. Thus, we infer that higher proficiency may lead to superior cognitive flexibility and an ability to adjust behavior that facilitates the attainment of the cognitive goal. These findings are in consonance with other current studies that suggest a top-down effect of bilingualism on action control systems.

  4. The English-Language and Reading Achievement of a Cohort of Deaf Students Speaking and Signing Standard English: A Preliminary Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Diane Corcoran; Luetke, Barbara; McLean, Meigan; Stryker, Deborah

    2016-01-01

    Research suggests that English-language proficiency is critical if students who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) are to read as their hearing peers. One explanation for the traditionally reported reading achievement plateau when students are D/HH is the inability to hear insalient English morphology. Signing Exact English can provide visual access to these features. The authors investigated the English morphological and syntactic abilities and reading achievement of elementary and middle school students at a school using simultaneously spoken and signed Standard American English facilitated by intentional listening, speech, and language strategies. A developmental trend (and no plateau) in language and reading achievement was detected; most participants demonstrated average or above-average English. Morphological awareness was prerequisite to high test scores; speech was not significantly correlated with achievement; language proficiency, measured by the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-4 (Semel, Wiig, & Secord, 2003), predicted reading achievement.

  5. Recognition of Indian Sign Language in Live Video

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singha, Joyeeta; Das, Karen

    2013-05-01

    Sign Language Recognition has emerged as one of the important area of research in Computer Vision. The difficulty faced by the researchers is that the instances of signs vary with both motion and appearance. Thus, in this paper a novel approach for recognizing various alphabets of Indian Sign Language is proposed where continuous video sequences of the signs have been considered. The proposed system comprises of three stages: Preprocessing stage, Feature Extraction and Classification. Preprocessing stage includes skin filtering, histogram matching. Eigen values and Eigen Vectors were considered for feature extraction stage and finally Eigen value weighted Euclidean distance is used to recognize the sign. It deals with bare hands, thus allowing the user to interact with the system in natural way. We have considered 24 different alphabets in the video sequences and attained a success rate of 96.25%.

  6. Word order in Russian Sign Language

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kimmelman, V.

    2012-01-01

    The article discusses word order, the syntactic arrangement of words in a sentence, clause, or phrase as one of the most crucial aspects of grammar of any spoken language. It aims to investigate the order of the primary constituents which can either be subject, object, or verb of a simple

  7. High second-language proficiency protects against the effects of reverberation on listening comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sörqvist, Patrik; Hurtig, Anders; Ljung, Robert; Rönnberg, Jerker

    2014-04-01

    The purpose of this experiment was to investigate whether classroom reverberation influences second-language (L2) listening comprehension. Moreover, we investigated whether individual differences in baseline L2 proficiency and in working memory capacity (WMC) modulate the effect of reverberation time on L2 listening comprehension. The results showed that L2 listening comprehension decreased as reverberation time increased. Participants with higher baseline L2 proficiency were less susceptible to this effect. WMC was also related to the effect of reverberation (although just barely significant), but the effect of WMC was eliminated when baseline L2 proficiency was statistically controlled. Taken together, the results suggest that top-down cognitive capabilities support listening in adverse conditions. Potential implications for the Swedish national tests in English are discussed. © 2014 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology published by Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. On the System of Place Name Signs in Estonian Sign Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liina Paales

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available A place name sign is a linguistic-cultural marker that includes both memory and landscape. The author regards toponymic signs in Estonian Sign Language as representations of images held by the Estonian Deaf community: they reflect the geographical place, the period, the relationships of the Deaf community with hearing community, and the common and distinguishing features of the two cultures perceived by community's members. Name signs represent an element of signlore, which includes various types of creative linguistic play. There are stories hidden behind the place name signs that reveal the etymological origin of place name signs and reflect the community's memory. The purpose of this article is twofold. Firstly, it aims to introduce Estonian place name signs as Deaf signlore forms, analyse their structure and specify the main formation methods. Secondly, it interprets place-denoting signs in the light of understanding the foundations of Estonian Sign Language, Estonian Deaf education and education history, the traditions of local Deaf communities, and also of the cultural and local traditions of the dominant hearing communities. Both perspectives - linguistic and folkloristic - are represented in the current article.

  9. Association between pediatric asthma care quality and morbidity and English language proficiency in Ohio.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Martha P; Allen, Elizabeth D; Thomas, Olivia; Robinson, Byron F; Clark, Donnie; Connelly, Ann; Mott, Joshua A; Conrey, Elizabeth

    2018-05-08

    Limited English proficiency can be a barrier to asthma care and is associated with poor outcomes. This study examines whether pediatric patients in Ohio with limited English proficiency experience lower asthma care quality or higher morbidity. We used electronic health records for asthma patients aged 2-17 years from a regional, urban, children's hospital in Ohio during 2011-2015. Community-level demographics were included from U.S. Census data. By using chi-square and t-tests, patients with limited English proficiency and bilingual English-speaking patients were compared with English-only patients. Five asthma outcomes-two quality and three morbidity measures-were modeled using generalized estimating equations. The study included 15 352 (84%) English-only patients, 1744 (10%) patients with limited English proficiency, and 1147 (6%) bilingual patients. Pulmonary function testing (quality measure) and multiple exacerbation visits (morbidity measure) did not differ by language group. Compared with English-only patients, bilingual patients had higher odds of ever having an exacerbation visit (morbidity measure) (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-1.6) but lower odds of admission to intensive care (morbidity measure) (aOR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.2-0.7), while patients with limited English proficiency did not differ on either factor. Recommended follow-up after exacerbation (quality measure) was higher for limited English proficiency (aOR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.4-2.3) and bilingual (aOR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.3-2.1), compared with English-only patients. In this urban, pediatric population with reliable interpreter services, limited English proficiency was not associated with worse asthma care quality or morbidity.

  10. The relationship between English language learning strategies and proficiency of pre-university students: A study case of UMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiram, Johannah Jamalul; Sulaiman, Jumat; Swanto, Suyansah; Din, Wardatul Akmam

    2014-07-01

    This paper seeks to investigate the relationship between language learning strategies and proficiency in English. Fifty-six pre-university students (22 males, 34 females) of University Malaysia Sabah participated in this study. Oxford's Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) self-report questionnaire was adopted to identify the students' language learning strategies, whereas their proficiencies were judged based on their Malaysian University English Test (MUET) Results. Pearson's correlation coefficient, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient and the t-test were utilized to make statistical interpretation about the relationship. The knowledge obtained from this study will be helpful for future studies on how to improve the quality of learning and proficiency in English.

  11. Training Literacy Skills through Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudner, Mary; Andin, Josefine; Rönnberg, Jerker; Heimann, Mikael; Hermansson, Anders; Nelson, Keith; Tjus, Tomas

    2015-01-01

    The literacy skills of deaf children generally lag behind those of their hearing peers. The mechanisms of reading in deaf individuals are only just beginning to be unraveled but it seems that native language skills play an important role. In this study 12 deaf pupils (six in grades 1-2 and six in grades 4-6) at a Swedish state primary school for…

  12. FORMS OF HAND IN SIGN LANGUAGE IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Husnija Hasanbegović

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Sign in sign language, equivalent to the word, phrase or a sentence in the oral-language, can be divided in linguistic units of lower levels: shape of the hand, place of articulation, type of movement and orientation of the palm. The first description of these units, which today is present and applicable in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H, was given by Zimmerman in 1986, who found 27 shapes of hand, while other types were not systematically developed or described. The target of this study was to determine the possible existence of other forms of hand movements present in sign language in B&H. By the method of content analysis, the 425 analyzed signs in sign launguage in B&H, confirmed their existence, but we also discovered and presented 14 new shapes of the hand. This way, we confirmed the need of implementing a detailed research, standardization and publishing of sign language in B&H, which would provide adequate conditions for its study and application, as for the deaf, and all the others who come into direct contact with them.

  13. Attention-getting skills of deaf children using American Sign Language in a preschool classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Amy M

    2015-07-01

    Visual attention is a necessary prerequisite to successful communication in sign language. The current study investigated the development of attention-getting skills in deaf native-signing children during interactions with peers and teachers. Seven deaf children (aged 21-39 months) and five adults were videotaped during classroom activities for approximately 30 hr. Interactions were analyzed in depth to determine how children obtained and maintained attention. Contrary to previous reports, children were found to possess a high level of communicative competence from an early age. Analysis of peer interactions revealed that children used a range of behaviors to obtain attention with peers, including taps, waves, objects, and signs. Initiations were successful approximately 65% of the time. Children followed up failed initiation attempts by repeating the initiation, using a new initiation, or terminating the interaction. Older children engaged in longer and more complex interactions than younger children. Children's early exposure to and proficiency in American Sign Language is proposed as a likely mechanism that facilitated their communicative competence.

  14. Neural Basis of Action Understanding: Evidence from Sign Language Aphasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogalsky, Corianne; Raphel, Kristin; Tomkovicz, Vivian; O'Grady, Lucinda; Damasio, Hanna; Bellugi, Ursula; Hickok, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    The neural basis of action understanding is a hotly debated issue. The mirror neuron account holds that motor simulation in fronto-parietal circuits is critical to action understanding including speech comprehension, while others emphasize the ventral stream in the temporal lobe. Evidence from speech strongly supports the ventral stream account, but on the other hand, evidence from manual gesture comprehension (e.g., in limb apraxia) has led to contradictory findings. Here we present a lesion analysis of sign language comprehension. Sign language is an excellent model for studying mirror system function in that it bridges the gap between the visual-manual system in which mirror neurons are best characterized and language systems which have represented a theoretical target of mirror neuron research. Twenty-one life long deaf signers with focal cortical lesions performed two tasks: one involving the comprehension of individual signs and the other involving comprehension of signed sentences (commands). Participants' lesions, as indicated on MRI or CT scans, were mapped onto a template brain to explore the relationship between lesion location and sign comprehension measures. Single sign comprehension was not significantly affected by left hemisphere damage. Sentence sign comprehension impairments were associated with left temporal-parietal damage. We found that damage to mirror system related regions in the left frontal lobe were not associated with deficits on either of these comprehension tasks. We conclude that the mirror system is not critically involved in action understanding.

  15. A BI-DIALECTAL TEST FOR DETERMINING LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    BARATZ, JOAN C.

    THE PURPOSE OF THIS EXPERIMENT WAS TO COMPARE THE LANGUAGE BEHAVIOR OF STANDARD AND NONSTANDARD ENGLISH SPEAKERS WHEN ASKED TO REPEAT STANDARD AND NONSTANDARD SENTENCES. THE SUBJECTS (47 THIRD AND FIFTH GRADERS AT A NEGRO SCHOOL IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND 30 OF THEIR WHITE COUNTERPARTS AT A SUBURBAN MARYLAND SCHOOL) WERE ASKED TO REPEAT 30 TAPED…

  16. Analysis of English language learner performance on the biology Massachusetts comprehensive assessment system: The impact of english proficiency, first language characteristics, and late-entry ELL status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Mary A.

    This study analyzed English language learner (ELL) performance on the June 2012 Biology MCAS, namely on item attributes of domain, cognitive skill, and linguistic complexity. It examined the impact of English proficiency, Latinate first language, first language orthography, and late-entry ELL status. The results indicated that English proficiency was a strong predictor of performance and that ELLs at higher levels of English proficiency overwhelmingly passed. The results further indicated that English proficiency introduced a construct-irrelevant variance on the Biology MCAS and raised validity issues for using this assessment at lower levels of English proficiency. This study also found that ELLs with a Latinate first language consistently had statistically significant lower performance. Late-entry ELL status did not predict Biology MCAS performance.

  17. Heritage Language Proficiency in Relation to Attitudes, Motivation, and Age at Immigration: A Case of Korean-Australians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jee, Min Jung

    2018-01-01

    This study investigated Korean heritage speakers' Korean language proficiency (i.e. morphosyntax, collocation, and lexicon) in relation to their attitudes, motivation, and age at immigration (AI). Seventy-six adult Korean-Australians with Korean literacy participated. Overall, participants showed high levels of Korean proficiency in all three…

  18. Education in the World System: The Demand for Language and International Proficiencies in Economic Development and National Security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoegl, Juergen K.

    1986-01-01

    Discusses the role of second-language proficiency from international, national, and state perspectives, including consideration of the need for such proficiency in science, technology, and research for economic development. Trends indicate that a more internationalized curricula in higher education and a greater demand for second-language…

  19. Facilitating Exposure to Sign Languages of the World: The Case for Mobile Assisted Language Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parton, Becky Sue

    2014-01-01

    Foreign sign language instruction is an important, but overlooked area of study. Thus the purpose of this paper was two-fold. First, the researcher sought to determine the level of knowledge and interest in foreign sign language among Deaf teenagers along with their learning preferences. Results from a survey indicated that over a third of the…

  20. Pointing and Reference in Sign Language and Spoken Language: Anchoring vs. Identifying

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barberà, Gemma; Zwets, Martine

    2013-01-01

    In both signed and spoken languages, pointing serves to direct an addressee's attention to a particular entity. This entity may be either present or absent in the physical context of the conversation. In this article we focus on pointing directed to nonspeaker/nonaddressee referents in Sign Language of the Netherlands (Nederlandse Gebarentaal,…

  1. Language policies and sign language translation and interpreting: connections between Brazil and Mozambique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvana Aguiar dos Santos

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/1984-8420.2015v16n2p101 This paper is the result of an initial attempt to establish a connection between Brazil and Mozambique regarding sign language translation and interpreting. It reviews some important landmarks in language policies aimed at sign languages in these countries and discusses how certain actions directly impact political decisions related to sign lan­guage translation and interpreting. In this context, two lines of argument are developed. The first one addresses the role of sign language translation and interpreting in the Por­tuguese-speaking context, since Portuguese is the official language in both countries; the other offers some reflections about the Deaf movements and the movements of sign lan­guage translators and interpreters, the legal recognition of sign languages, the develop­ment of undergraduate courses and the contemporary challenges in the work of transla­tion professionals. Finally, it is suggested that sign language translators and interpreters in both Brazil and Mozambique undertake efforts to press government bodies to invest in: (i area-specific training for translators and interpreters, (ii qualification of the ser­vices provided by such professionals, and (iii development of human resources at mas­ter’s and doctoral levels in order to strengthen research on sign language translation and interpreting in the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries.

  2. Imitation, Sign Language Skill and the Developmental Ease of Language Understanding (D-ELU) Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmer, Emil; Heimann, Mikael; Rudner, Mary

    2016-01-01

    Imitation and language processing are closely connected. According to the Ease of Language Understanding (ELU) model (Rönnberg et al., 2013) pre-existing mental representation of lexical items facilitates language understanding. Thus, imitation of manual gestures is likely to be enhanced by experience of sign language. We tested this by eliciting imitation of manual gestures from deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) signing and hearing non-signing children at a similar level of language and cognitive development. We predicted that the DHH signing children would be better at imitating gestures lexicalized in their own sign language (Swedish Sign Language, SSL) than unfamiliar British Sign Language (BSL) signs, and that both groups would be better at imitating lexical signs (SSL and BSL) than non-signs. We also predicted that the hearing non-signing children would perform worse than DHH signing children with all types of gestures the first time (T1) we elicited imitation, but that the performance gap between groups would be reduced when imitation was elicited a second time (T2). Finally, we predicted that imitation performance on both occasions would be associated with linguistic skills, especially in the manual modality. A split-plot repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated that DHH signers imitated manual gestures with greater precision than non-signing children when imitation was elicited the second but not the first time. Manual gestures were easier to imitate for both groups when they were lexicalized than when they were not; but there was no difference in performance between familiar and unfamiliar gestures. For both groups, language skills at T1 predicted imitation at T2. Specifically, for DHH children, word reading skills, comprehension and phonological awareness of sign language predicted imitation at T2. For the hearing participants, language comprehension predicted imitation at T2, even after the effects of working memory capacity and motor skills were taken into

  3. Imitation, sign language skill and the Developmental Ease of Language Understanding (D-ELU model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emil eHolmer

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Imitation and language processing are closely connected. According to the Ease of Language Understanding (ELU model (Rönnberg et al., 2013 pre-existing mental representation of lexical items facilitates language understanding. Thus, imitation of manual gestures is likely to be enhanced by experience of sign language. We tested this by eliciting imitation of manual gestures from deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH signing and hearing non-signing children at a similar level of language and cognitive development. We predicted that the DHH signing children would be better at imitating gestures lexicalized in their own sign language (Swedish Sign Language, SSL than unfamiliar British Sign Language (BSL signs, and that both groups would be better at imitating lexical signs (SSL and BSL than non-signs. We also predicted that the hearing non-signing children would perform worse than DHH signing children with all types of gestures the first time (T1 we elicited imitation, but that the performance gap between groups would be reduced when imitation was elicited a second time (T2. Finally, we predicted that imitation performance on both occasions would be associated with linguistic skills, especially in the manual modality. A split-plot repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated that DHH signers imitated manual gestures with greater precision than non-signing children when imitation was elicited the second but not the first time. Manual gestures were easier to imitate for both groups when they were lexicalized than when they were not; but there was no difference in performance between familiar and unfamiliar gestures. For both groups, language skills at the T1 predicted imitation at T2. Specifically, for DHH children, word reading skills, comprehension and phonological awareness of sign language predicted imitation at T2. For the hearing participants, language comprehension predicted imitation at T2, even after the effects of working memory capacity and motor skills

  4. Information Transfer Capacity of Articulators in American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malaia, Evie; Borneman, Joshua D; Wilbur, Ronnie B

    2018-03-01

    The ability to convey information is a fundamental property of communicative signals. For sign languages, which are overtly produced with multiple, completely visible articulators, the question arises as to how the various channels co-ordinate and interact with each other. We analyze motion capture data of American Sign Language (ASL) narratives, and show that the capacity of information throughput, mathematically defined, is highest on the dominant hand (DH). We further demonstrate that information transfer capacity is also significant for the non-dominant hand (NDH), and the head channel too, as compared to control channels (ankles). We discuss both redundancy and independence in articulator motion in sign language, and argue that the NDH and the head articulators contribute to the overall information transfer capacity, indicating that they are neither completely redundant to, nor completely independent of, the DH.

  5. Sign language processing and the mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corina, David P; Knapp, Heather

    2006-05-01

    In this paper we review evidence for frontal and parietal lobe involvement in sign language comprehension and production, and evaluate the extent to which these data can be interpreted within the context of a mirror neuron system for human action observation and execution. We present data from three literatures--aphasia, cortical stimulation, and functional neuroimaging. Generally, we find support for the idea that sign language comprehension and production can be viewed in the context of a broadly-construed frontal-parietal human action observation/execution system. However, sign language data cannot be fully accounted for under a strict interpretation of the mirror neuron system. Additionally, we raise a number of issues concerning the lack of specificity in current accounts of the human action observation/execution system.

  6. On the temporal dynamics of sign production: An ERP study in Catalan Sign Language (LSC).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baus, Cristina; Costa, Albert

    2015-06-03

    This study investigates the temporal dynamics of sign production and how particular aspects of the signed modality influence the early stages of lexical access. To that end, we explored the electrophysiological correlates associated to sign frequency and iconicity in a picture signing task in a group of bimodal bilinguals. Moreover, a subset of the same participants was tested in the same task but naming the pictures instead. Our results revealed that both frequency and iconicity influenced lexical access in sign production. At the ERP level, iconicity effects originated very early in the course of signing (while absent in the spoken modality), suggesting a stronger activation of the semantic properties for iconic signs. Moreover, frequency effects were modulated by iconicity, suggesting that lexical access in signed language is determined by the iconic properties of the signs. These results support the idea that lexical access is sensitive to the same phenomena in word and sign production, but its time-course is modulated by particular aspects of the modality in which a lexical item will be finally articulated. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Identifying Overlapping Language Communities: The Case of Chiriquí and Panamanian Signed Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Elizabeth S.

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, I use a holographic metaphor to explain the identification of overlapping sign language communities in Panama. By visualizing Panama's complex signing communities as emitting community "hotspots" through social drama on multiple stages, I employ ethnographic methods to explore overlapping contours of Panama's sign language…

  8. Why Doesn't Everyone Here Speak Sign Language? Questions of Language Policy, Ideology and Economics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayman, Jennifer

    2009-01-01

    This paper is a thought experiment exploring the possibility of establishing universal bilingualism in Sign Languages. Focusing in the first part on historical examples of inclusive signing societies such as Martha's Vineyard, the author suggests that it is not possible to create such naturally occurring practices of Sign Bilingualism in societies…

  9. From gesture to sign language: conventionalization of classifier constructions by adult hearing learners of British Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Chloë R; Morgan, Gary

    2015-01-01

    There has long been interest in why languages are shaped the way they are, and in the relationship between sign language and gesture. In sign languages, entity classifiers are handshapes that encode how objects move, how they are located relative to one another, and how multiple objects of the same type are distributed in space. Previous studies have shown that hearing adults who are asked to use only manual gestures to describe how objects move in space will use gestures that bear some similarities to classifiers. We investigated how accurately hearing adults, who had been learning British Sign Language (BSL) for 1-3 years, produce and comprehend classifiers in (static) locative and distributive constructions. In a production task, learners of BSL knew that they could use their hands to represent objects, but they had difficulty choosing the same, conventionalized, handshapes as native signers. They were, however, highly accurate at encoding location and orientation information. Learners therefore show the same pattern found in sign-naïve gesturers. In contrast, handshape, orientation, and location were comprehended with equal (high) accuracy, and testing a group of sign-naïve adults showed that they too were able to understand classifiers with higher than chance accuracy. We conclude that adult learners of BSL bring their visuo-spatial knowledge and gestural abilities to the tasks of understanding and producing constructions that contain entity classifiers. We speculate that investigating the time course of adult sign language acquisition might shed light on how gesture became (and, indeed, becomes) conventionalized during the genesis of sign languages. Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  10. Bi-channel Sensor Fusion for Automatic Sign Language Recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kim, Jonghwa; Wagner, Johannes; Rehm, Matthias

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate the mutual-complementary functionality of accelerometer (ACC) and electromyogram (EMG) for recognizing seven word-level sign vocabularies in German sign language (GSL). Results are discussed for the single channels and for feature-level fusion for the bichannel senso......-independent condition, where subjective differences do not allow for high recognition rates. Finally we discuss a problem of feature-level fusion caused by high disparity between accuracies of each single channel classification....

  11. Functional changes in people with different hearing status and experiences of using Chinese sign language: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiang; Xia, Shuang; Zhao, Fei; Qi, Ji

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess functional changes in the cerebral cortex in people with different sign language experience and hearing status whilst observing and imitating Chinese Sign Language (CSL) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). 50 participants took part in the study, and were divided into four groups according to their hearing status and experience of using sign language: prelingual deafness signer group (PDS), normal hearing non-signer group (HnS), native signer group with normal hearing (HNS), and acquired signer group with normal hearing (HLS). fMRI images were scanned from all subjects when they performed block-designed tasks that involved observing and imitating sign language stimuli. Nine activation areas were found in response to undertaking either observation or imitation CSL tasks and three activated areas were found only when undertaking the imitation task. Of those, the PDS group had significantly greater activation areas in terms of the cluster size of the activated voxels in the bilateral superior parietal lobule, cuneate lobe and lingual gyrus in response to undertaking either the observation or the imitation CSL task than the HnS, HNS and HLS groups. The PDS group also showed significantly greater activation in the bilateral inferior frontal gyrus which was also found in the HNS or the HLS groups but not in the HnS group. This indicates that deaf signers have better sign language proficiency, because they engage more actively with the phonetic and semantic elements. In addition, the activations of the bilateral superior temporal gyrus and inferior parietal lobule were only found in the PDS group and HNS group, and not in the other two groups, which indicates that the area for sign language processing appears to be sensitive to the age of language acquisition. After reading this article, readers will be able to: discuss the relationship between sign language and its neural mechanisms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc

  12. Sign language in dental education-A new nexus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, T; Cumberbatch, K

    2017-08-14

    The introduction of the landmark mandatory teaching of sign language to undergraduate dental students at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus in Kingston, Jamaica, to bridge the communication gap between dentists and their patients is reviewed. A review of over 90 Doctor of Dental Surgery and Doctor of Dental Medicine curricula in North America, the United Kingdom, parts of Europe and Australia showed no inclusion of sign language in those curricula as a mandatory component. In Jamaica, the government's training school for dental auxiliaries served as the forerunner to the UWI's introduction of formal training of sign language in 2012. Outside of the UWI, a couple of dental schools have sign language courses, but none have a mandatory programme as the one at the UWI. Dentists the world over have had to rely on interpreters to sign with their deaf patients. The deaf in Jamaica have not appreciated the fact that dentists cannot sign and they have felt insulted and only go to the dentist in emergency situations. The mandatory inclusion of sign language in the Undergraduate Dental Programme curriculum at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, sought to establish a direct communication channel to formally bridge this gap. The programme of two sign language courses and a direct clinical competency requirement was developed during the second year of the first cohort of the newly introduced undergraduate dental programme through a collaborating partnership between two faculties on the Mona Campus. The programme was introduced in 2012 in the third year of the 5-year undergraduate dental programme. To date, two cohorts have completed the programme, and the preliminary findings from an ongoing clinical study have shown a positive impact on dental care access and dental treatment for deaf patients at the UWI Mona Dental Polyclinic. The development of a direct communication channel between dental students and the deaf that has led to increased dental

  13. Language Learning Strategies Used By Different English Proficiency Students Of State Senior High School 3 Malang

    OpenAIRE

    EMANTO, YUANITA

    2013-01-01

    English is one of International languages in the world and mainly used in International forums. Because of its importance, Indonesian government decides to make English as a formal subject in schools. Students are expected to have basic competences in four skills those are listening, speaking, reading, and writing comprehensively to reach functional literate. Students should have strategies to improve their proficiency and skill in English. The aims of this study are to find out (1) how langu...

  14. PROFICIENCY LEVEL AND LANGUAGE LEARNING STRATEGIES AMONG JORDANIAN STUDENTS AT UNIVERSITI UTARA MALAYSIA

    OpenAIRE

    Jaradat, Eshraq Mahmoud Mustafa; Bakrin, Haryati

    2017-01-01

    This study examines the relationship between proficiency level and language learning strategies (LLSs) among Jordanian students enrolled at Universiti Utara Malaysia. The frequency level of the LLSs employed by the students was also investigated. The theoretical foundation for the study was provided by three comprehensive theories which are the Behaviorism, the Cognitive Psychology, and the Schema Theory. The data for the LLSs was obtained from using Oxford’s (1990) Strategy Inventory for Lan...

  15. Language Proficiency and Cultural Identity as Two Facets of the Acculturation Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kmiotek Łukasz

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available This article describes a cross-cultural study comparing bicultural identity of first generation Poles and high school students in the Rhône Alpes region (France, as well as French language university students in Poland. Studies show that two components, language and identity, are related. This article intends to answer questions regarding the relationship between the migrant’s bicultural identity and language proficiency. Bilingualism is operationalized as (i listening comprehension and (ii bidirectional translation. The results do not confirm that there is a relation between bilingual skills and identification with shared French and Polish values. Cultural identity appears to be inversely related to country of residence: Polish identity is strongest amongst immigrant youth in France and French identity is strongest amongst Polish students of French language and culture. These identities run in opposite direction to language competencies. The results suggest internalization of one of the cultures' negative stereotypes towards the other or towards itself.

  16. Deficits in narrative abilities in child British Sign Language users with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Ros; Rowley, Katherine; Mason, Kathryn; Morgan, Gary

    2014-01-01

    This study details the first ever investigation of narrative skills in a group of 17 deaf signing children who have been diagnosed with disorders in their British Sign Language development compared with a control group of 17 deaf child signers matched for age, gender, education, quantity, and quality of language exposure and non-verbal intelligence. Children were asked to generate a narrative based on events in a language free video. Narratives were analysed for global structure, information content and local level grammatical devices, especially verb morphology. The language-impaired group produced shorter, less structured and grammatically simpler narratives than controls, with verb morphology particularly impaired. Despite major differences in how sign and spoken languages are articulated, narrative is shown to be a reliable marker of language impairment across the modality boundaries. © 2014 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

  17. Increasing Language Awareness and Self-Efficacy of FL Students Using Self-Assessment and the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kissling, Elizabeth M.; O'Donnell, Mary E.

    2015-01-01

    This study describes how oral language was assessed in an advanced-level college foreign language (FL) conversation course. Learners used the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Proficiency Guidelines to guide self-analyses of their oral production at intervals throughout the course. The intent was to provide opportunities for…

  18. Languages Are More than Words: Spanish and American Sign Language in Early Childhood Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, Judy; Torres-Crespo, Marisel N.

    2015-01-01

    Capitalizing on preschoolers' inherent enthusiasm and capacity for learning, the authors developed and implemented a dual-language program to enable young children to experience diversity and multiculturalism by learning two new languages: Spanish and American Sign Language. Details of the curriculum, findings, and strategies are shared.

  19. Teaching and Learning Sign Language as a “Foreign” Language ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In recent years, there has been a growing debate in the United States, Europe, and Australia about the nature of the Deaf community as a cultural community,1 and the recognition of signed languages as “real” or “legitimate” languages comparable in all meaningful ways to spoken languages. An important element of this ...

  20. A human mirror neuron system for language: Perspectives from signed languages of the deaf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Heather Patterson; Corina, David P

    2010-01-01

    Language is proposed to have developed atop the human analog of the macaque mirror neuron system for action perception and production [Arbib M.A. 2005. From monkey-like action recognition to human language: An evolutionary framework for neurolinguistics (with commentaries and author's response). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 105-167; Arbib M.A. (2008). From grasp to language: Embodied concepts and the challenge of abstraction. Journal de Physiologie Paris 102, 4-20]. Signed languages of the deaf are fully-expressive, natural human languages that are perceived visually and produced manually. We suggest that if a unitary mirror neuron system mediates the observation and production of both language and non-linguistic action, three prediction can be made: (1) damage to the human mirror neuron system should non-selectively disrupt both sign language and non-linguistic action processing; (2) within the domain of sign language, a given mirror neuron locus should mediate both perception and production; and (3) the action-based tuning curves of individual mirror neurons should support the highly circumscribed set of motions that form the "vocabulary of action" for signed languages. In this review we evaluate data from the sign language and mirror neuron literatures and find that these predictions are only partially upheld. 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. The benefits of sign language for deaf learners with language challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Staden, Annalene

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available This article argues the importance of allowing deaf children to acquire sign language from an early age. It demonstrates firstly that the critical/sensitive period hypothesis for language acquisition can be applied to specific language aspects of spoken language as well as sign languages (i.e. phonology, grammatical processing and syntax. This makes early diagnosis and early intervention of crucial importance. Moreover, research findings presented in this article demonstrate the advantage that sign language offers in the early years of a deaf child’s life by comparing the language development milestones of deaf learners exposed to sign language from birth to those of late-signers, orally trained deaf learners and hearing learners exposed to spoken language. The controversy over the best medium of instruction for deaf learners is briefly discussed, with emphasis placed on the possible value of bilingual-bicultural programmes to facilitate the development of deaf learners’ literacy skills. Finally, this paper concludes with a discussion of the implications/recommendations of sign language teaching and Deaf education in South Africa.

  2. Impacts of Visual Sonority and Handshape Markedness on Second Language Learning of American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Joshua T; Newman, Sharlene D

    2016-04-01

    The roles of visual sonority and handshape markedness in sign language acquisition and production were investigated. In Experiment 1, learners were taught sign-nonobject correspondences that varied in sign movement sonority and handshape markedness. Results from a sign-picture matching task revealed that high sonority signs were more accurately matched, especially when the sign contained a marked handshape. In Experiment 2, learners produced these familiar signs in addition to novel signs, which differed based on sonority and markedness. Results from a key-release reaction time reproduction task showed that learners tended to produce high sonority signs much more quickly than low sonority signs, especially when the sign contained an unmarked handshape. This effect was only present in familiar signs. Sign production accuracy rates revealed that high sonority signs were more accurate than low sonority signs. Similarly, signs with unmarked handshapes were produced more accurately than those with marked handshapes. Together, results from Experiments 1 and 2 suggested that signs that contain high sonority movements are more easily processed, both perceptually and productively, and handshape markedness plays a differential role in perception and production. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. THE BENEFIT OF EARLY EXPOSURE TO SIGN LANGUAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ljubica PRIBANIKJ

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Early diagnosis and intervention are now recognized as undeniable rights of deaf and hard-of-hearing children and their families. The deaf child’s family must have the opportunity to socialize with deaf children and deaf adults. The deaf child’s family must also have access to all the information on the general development of their child, and to special information on hearing impairment, communication options and linguistic development of the deaf child.The critical period hypothesis for language acquisition proposes that the outcome of language acquisition is not uniform over the lifespan but rather is best during early childhood. Individuals who learned sign language from birth performed better on linguistic and memory tasks than individuals who did not start learning sign language until after puberty. The old prejudice that the deaf child must learn the spoken language at a very young age, and that sign language can wait because it can be easily learned by any person at any age, cannot be maintained anymore.The cultural approach to deafness emphasizes three necessary components in the development of a deaf child: 1. stimulating early communication using natural sign language within the family and interacting with the Deaf community; 2. bilingual / bicultural education and 3. ensuring deaf persons’ rights to enjoy the services of high quality interpreters throughout their education from kindergarten to university. This new view of the phenomenology of deafness means that the environment needs to be changed in order to meet the deaf person’s needs, not the contrary.

  4. The impact of teachers' limited english proficiency on english second language learners in South African schools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norma Nel

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The importance of the role of language in teacher education programmes and in children's learning is crucial. This study focuses on the use of English as the language of learning and teaching and its impact on the language development of English second language (ESL student teachers and ESL learners. Against the background of major theories in second language (L2 acquisition and learning, this topic is contextualized within the South African education system. An empirical inquiry was carried out in which portfolios (evidence of practical teaching including lesson plans and learners' work submitted by final year student teachers enrolled at a large distance teaching university for the Advanced Certificate in Education: Inclusive Education were scrutinised. A comparison of teacher and learner written errors was made. Based on the findings, a questionnaire was designed to determine the extent of the impact of teachers' limited English proficiency on learners' English proficiency. The findings of the questionnaire responses are presented. Recommendations are made on how student teachers can improve their teaching practice to ensure quality ESL teacher input and ESL learner performance.

  5. Sign Language Legislation as a Tool for Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pabsch, Annika

    2017-01-01

    This article explores three models of sustainability (environmental, economic, and social) and identifies characteristics of a sustainable community necessary to sustain the Deaf community as a whole. It is argued that sign language legislation is a valuable tool for achieving sustainability for the generations to come.

  6. On Selected Phonological Patterns in Saudi Arabian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomita, Nozomi; Kozak, Viola

    2012-01-01

    This paper focuses on two selected phonological patterns that appear unique to Saudi Arabian Sign Language (SASL). For both sections of this paper, the overall methodology is the same as that discussed in Stephen and Mathur (this volume), with some additional modifications tailored to the specific studies discussed here, which will be expanded…

  7. Achieving mutual understanding in Argentine Sign Language (LSA)

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    Manrique Cordeje, M.E.

    2017-01-01

    How does (mis)understanding works in conversation? Problems of understanding occur all the time in our everyday social life. How does miscommunication happen and how do we deal with it? This thesis reports on how sign language users manage to understand each other based on a large Conversational

  8. Gesture and Signing in Support of Expressive Language Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker-Ramos, Leslie K.

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this teacher inquiry is to explore the effects of signing and gesturing on the expressive language development of non-verbal children. The first phase of my inquiry begins with the observations of several non-verbal students with various etiologies in three different educational settings. The focus of these observations is to…

  9. Face Recognition Is Shaped by the Use of Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoll, Chloé; Palluel-Germain, Richard; Caldara, Roberto; Lao, Junpeng; Dye, Matthew W. G.; Aptel, Florent; Pascalis, Olivier

    2018-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that early deaf signers differ in face processing. Which aspects of face processing are changed and the role that sign language may have played in that change are however unclear. Here, we compared face categorization (human/non-human) and human face recognition performance in early profoundly deaf signers, hearing…

  10. Space and iconicity in German Sign Language (DGS)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perniss, P.M.

    2007-01-01

    This dissertation investigates the expression of spatial relationships in German Sign Language (Deutsche Gebärdensprache, DGS). The analysis focuses on linguistic expression in the spatial domain in two types of discourse: static scene description (location) and event narratives (location and

  11. Sign language interpreting education : Reflections on interpersonal skills

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hammer, A.; van den Bogaerde, B.; Cirillo, L.; Niemants, N.

    2017-01-01

    We present a description of our didactic approach to train undergraduate sign language interpreters on their interpersonal and reflective skills. Based predominantly on the theory of role-space by Llewellyn-Jones and Lee (2014), we argue that dialogue settings require a dynamic role of the

  12. Sign language interpreting education : Reflections on interpersonal skills

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Annemiek Hammer; Dr. Beppie van den Bogaerde

    2017-01-01

    We present a description of our didactic approach to train undergraduate sign language interpreters on their interpersonal and reflective skills. Based pre-dominantly on the theory of role-space by Llewellyn-Jones and Lee (2014), we argue that dialogue settings require a dynamic role of the

  13. Sign language indexation within the MPEG-7 framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaharia, Titus; Preda, Marius; Preteux, Francoise J.

    1999-06-01

    In this paper, we address the issue of sign language indexation/recognition. The existing tools, like on-like Web dictionaries or other educational-oriented applications, are making exclusive use of textural annotations. However, keyword indexing schemes have strong limitations due to the ambiguity of the natural language and to the huge effort needed to manually annotate a large amount of data. In order to overcome these drawbacks, we tackle sign language indexation issue within the MPEG-7 framework and propose an approach based on linguistic properties and characteristics of sing language. The method developed introduces the concept of over time stable hand configuration instanciated on natural or synthetic prototypes. The prototypes are indexed by means of a shape descriptor which is defined as a translation, rotation and scale invariant Hough transform. A very compact representation is available by considering the Fourier transform of the Hough coefficients. Such an approach has been applied to two data sets consisting of 'Letters' and 'Words' respectively. The accuracy and robustness of the result are discussed and a compete sign language description schema is proposed.

  14. Social construction of American sign language--English interpreters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermid, Campbell

    2009-01-01

    Instructors in 5 American Sign Language--English Interpreter Programs and 4 Deaf Studies Programs in Canada were interviewed and asked to discuss their experiences as educators. Within a qualitative research paradigm, their comments were grouped into a number of categories tied to the social construction of American Sign Language--English interpreters, such as learners' age and education and the characteristics of good citizens within the Deaf community. According to the participants, younger students were adept at language acquisition, whereas older learners more readily understood the purpose of lessons. Children of deaf adults were seen as more culturally aware. The participants' beliefs echoed the theories of P. Freire (1970/1970) that educators consider the reality of each student and their praxis and were responsible for facilitating student self-awareness. Important characteristics in the social construction of students included independence, an appropriate attitude, an understanding of Deaf culture, ethical behavior, community involvement, and a willingness to pursue lifelong learning.

  15. Phonological Development in Hearing Learners of a Sign Language: The Influence of Phonological Parameters, Sign Complexity, and Iconicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Gerardo; Morgan, Gary

    2015-01-01

    The present study implemented a sign-repetition task at two points in time to hearing adult learners of British Sign Language and explored how each phonological parameter, sign complexity, and iconicity affected sign production over an 11-week (22-hour) instructional period. The results show that training improves articulation accuracy and that…

  16. Computerized Sign Language-Based Literacy Training for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmer, Emil; Heimann, Mikael; Rudner, Mary

    2017-01-01

    Strengthening the connections between sign language and written language may improve reading skills in deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) signing children. The main aim of the present study was to investigate whether computerized sign language-based literacy training improves reading skills in DHH signing children who are learning to read. Further,…

  17. Development of Geography and Geology Terminology in British Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meara, Rhian; Cameron, Audrey; Quinn, Gary; O'Neill, Rachel

    2016-04-01

    The BSL Glossary Project, run by the Scottish Sensory Centre at the University of Edinburgh focuses on developing scientific terminology in British Sign Language for use in the primary, secondary and tertiary education of deaf and hard of hearing students within the UK. Thus far, the project has developed 850 new signs and definitions covering Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Astronomy and Mathematics. The project has also translated examinations into BSL for students across Scotland. The current phase of the project has focused on developing terminology for Geography and Geology subjects. More than 189 new signs have been developed in these subjects including weather, rivers, maps, natural hazards and Geographical Information Systems. The signs were developed by a focus group with expertise in Geography and Geology, Chemistry, Ecology, BSL Linguistics and Deaf Education all of whom are deaf fluent BSL users.

  18. Production and Comprehension of Prosodic Markers in Sign Language Imperatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane Brentari

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In signed and spoken language sentences, imperative mood and the corresponding speech acts such as for instance, command, permission or advice, can be distinguished by morphosyntactic structures, but also solely by prosodic cues, which are the focus of this paper. These cues can express paralinguistic mental states or grammatical meaning, and we show that in American Sign Language (ASL, they also exhibit the function, scope, and alignment of prosodic, linguistic elements of sign languages. The production and comprehension of prosodic facial expressions and temporal patterns therefore can shed light on how cues are grammaticalized in sign languages. They can also be informative about the formal semantic and pragmatic properties of imperative types not only in ASL, but also more broadly. This paper includes three studies: one of production (Study 1 and two of comprehension (Studies 2 and 3. In Study 1, six prosodic cues are analyzed in production: temporal cues of sign and hold duration, and non-manual cues including tilts of the head, head nods, widening of the eyes, and presence of mouthings. Results of Study 1 show that neutral sentences and commands are well distinguished from each other and from other imperative speech acts via these prosodic cues alone; there is more limited differentiation among explanation, permission, and advice. The comprehension of these five speech acts is investigated in Deaf ASL signers in Study 2, and in three additional groups in Study 3: Deaf signers of German Sign Language (DGS, hearing non-signers from the United States, and hearing non-signers from Germany. Results of Studies 2 and 3 show that the ASL group performs significantly better than the other 3 groups and that all groups perform above chance for all meaning types in comprehension. Language-specific knowledge, therefore, has a significant effect on identifying imperatives based on targeted cues. Command has the most cues associated with it and is the

  19. Effects of Iconicity and Semantic Relatedness on Lexical Access in American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosworth, Rain G.; Emmorey, Karen

    2010-01-01

    Iconicity is a property that pervades the lexicon of many sign languages, including American Sign Language (ASL). Iconic signs exhibit a motivated, nonarbitrary mapping between the form of the sign and its meaning. We investigated whether iconicity enhances semantic priming effects for ASL and whether iconic signs are recognized more quickly than…

  20. Children creating language: how Nicaraguan sign language acquired a spatial grammar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senghas, A; Coppola, M

    2001-07-01

    It has long been postulated that language is not purely learned, but arises from an interaction between environmental exposure and innate abilities. The innate component becomes more evident in rare situations in which the environment is markedly impoverished. The present study investigated the language production of a generation of deaf Nicaraguans who had not been exposed to a developed language. We examined the changing use of early linguistic structures (specifically, spatial modulations) in a sign language that has emerged since the Nicaraguan group first came together: In tinder two decades, sequential cohorts of learners systematized the grammar of this new sign language. We examined whether the systematicity being added to the language stems from children or adults: our results indicate that such changes originate in children aged 10 and younger Thus, sequential cohorts of interacting young children collectively: possess the capacity not only to learn, but also to create, language.

  1. The Relationship between Language Learners’ Willingness to Communicate and Their Oral Language Proficiency with Regard to Gender Differences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir Valadi

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Willingness to communicate (WTC, which is defined as the intention to communicate given a choice, continues to establish itself as a determining construct in bringing about success or failure in  learning a second language (Dӧrnyei, 2005, Peng & Woodrow, 2010. The majority of studies done on the issue are oriented towards ESL contexts leaving us with a gap in English as a foreign language (EFL context literature. The paucity of studies in EFL contexts caused us to investigate whether WTC and language learners’ oral proficiency were related in an Iranian context. To this end, 70 male and female intermediate language learners learning English at a private institute were chosen as the participants of the study. The WTC questionnaire was given to the participants and a standard speaking test was administered. Also, individual semi-structured interviews with some of the participants were used to obtain supportive data. The results of correlational analyses revealed that there was a strong relationship between learners’ WTC and their oral proficiency with no significant gender difference. The possible reasons for the correlation are discussed with regard to different motivational, contextual, and attitudinal factors.

  2. Universal brain signature of proficient reading: Evidence from four contrasting languages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueckl, Jay G; Paz-Alonso, Pedro M; Molfese, Peter J; Kuo, Wen-Jui; Bick, Atira; Frost, Stephen J; Hancock, Roeland; Wu, Denise H; Mencl, William Einar; Duñabeitia, Jon Andoni; Lee, Jun-Ren; Oliver, Myriam; Zevin, Jason D; Hoeft, Fumiko; Carreiras, Manuel; Tzeng, Ovid J L; Pugh, Kenneth R; Frost, Ram

    2015-12-15

    We propose and test a theoretical perspective in which a universal hallmark of successful literacy acquisition is the convergence of the speech and orthographic processing systems onto a common network of neural structures, regardless of how spoken words are represented orthographically in a writing system. During functional MRI, skilled adult readers of four distinct and highly contrasting languages, Spanish, English, Hebrew, and Chinese, performed an identical semantic categorization task to spoken and written words. Results from three complementary analytic approaches demonstrate limited language variation, with speech-print convergence emerging as a common brain signature of reading proficiency across the wide spectrum of selected languages, whether their writing system is alphabetic or logographic, whether it is opaque or transparent, and regardless of the phonological and morphological structure it represents.

  3. Language and Literacy Acquisition through Parental Mediation in American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailes, Cynthia Neese; Erting, Lynne C.; Thumann-Prezioso, Carlene; Erting, Carol J.

    2009-01-01

    This longitudinal case study examined the language and literacy acquisition of a Deaf child as mediated by her signing Deaf parents during her first three years of life. Results indicate that the parents' interactions with their child were guided by linguistic and cultural knowledge that produced an intuitive use of child-directed signing (CDSi)…

  4. Proactive Interference & Language Change in Hearing Adult Students of American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoemann, Harry W.; Kreske, Catherine M.

    1995-01-01

    Describes a study that found, contrary to previous reports, that a strong, symmetrical release from proactive interference (PI) is the normal outcome for switches between American Sign Language (ASL) signs and English words and with switches between Manual and English alphabet characters. Subjects were college students enrolled in their first ASL…

  5. Neural correlates of British sign language comprehension: spatial processing demands of topographic language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacSweeney, Mairéad; Woll, Bencie; Campbell, Ruth; Calvert, Gemma A; McGuire, Philip K; David, Anthony S; Simmons, Andrew; Brammer, Michael J

    2002-10-01

    In all signed languages used by deaf people, signs are executed in "sign space" in front of the body. Some signed sentences use this space to map detailed "real-world" spatial relationships directly. Such sentences can be considered to exploit sign space "topographically." Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we explored the extent to which increasing the topographic processing demands of signed sentences was reflected in the differential recruitment of brain regions in deaf and hearing native signers of the British Sign Language. When BSL signers performed a sentence anomaly judgement task, the occipito-temporal junction was activated bilaterally to a greater extent for topographic than nontopographic processing. The differential role of movement in the processing of the two sentence types may account for this finding. In addition, enhanced activation was observed in the left inferior and superior parietal lobules during processing of topographic BSL sentences. We argue that the left parietal lobe is specifically involved in processing the precise configuration and location of hands in space to represent objects, agents, and actions. Importantly, no differences in these regions were observed when hearing people heard and saw English translations of these sentences. Despite the high degree of similarity in the neural systems underlying signed and spoken languages, exploring the linguistic features which are unique to each of these broadens our understanding of the systems involved in language comprehension.

  6. Iconicity as a general property of language: evidence from spoken and signed languages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamela Perniss

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Current views about language are dominated by the idea of arbitrary connections between linguistic form and meaning. However, if we look beyond the more familiar Indo-European languages and also include both spoken and signed language modalities, we find that motivated, iconic form-meaning mappings are, in fact, pervasive in language. In this paper, we review the different types of iconic mappings that characterize languages in both modalities, including the predominantly visually iconic mappings in signed languages. Having shown that iconic mapping are present across languages, we then proceed to review evidence showing that language users (signers and speakers exploit iconicity in language processing and language acquisition. While not discounting the presence and importance of arbitrariness in language, we put forward the idea that iconicity need also be recognized as a general property of language, which may serve the function of reducing the gap between linguistic form and conceptual representation to allow the language system to hook up to motor and perceptual experience.

  7. Limited english proficiency, primary language at home, and disparities in children's health care: how language barriers are measured matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, Glenn; Abreu, Milagros; Tomany-Korman, Sandra C

    2005-01-01

    Approximately 3.5 million U.S. schoolchildren are limited in English proficiency (LEP). Disparities in children's health and health care are associated with both LEP and speaking a language other than English at home, but prior research has not examined which of these two measures of language barriers is most useful in examining health care disparities. Our objectives were to compare primary language spoken at home vs. parental LEP and their associations with health status, access to care, and use of health services in children. We surveyed parents at urban community sites in Boston, asking 74 questions on children's health status, access to health care, and use of health services. Some 98% of the 1,100 participating children and families were of non-white race/ethnicity, 72% of parents were LEP, and 13 different primary languages were spoken at home. "Dose-response" relationships were observed between parental English proficiency and several child and parental sociodemographic features, including children's insurance coverage, parental educational attainment, citizenship and employment, and family income. Similar "dose-response" relationships were noted between the primary language spoken at home and many but not all of the same sociodemographic features. In multivariate analyses, LEP parents were associated with triple the odds of a child having fair/poor health status, double the odds of the child spending at least one day in bed for illness in the past year, and significantly greater odds of children not being brought in for needed medical care for six of nine access barriers to care. None of these findings were observed in analyses of the primary language spoken at home. Individual parental LEP categories were associated with different risks of adverse health status and outcomes. Parental LEP is superior to the primary language spoken at home as a measure of the impact of language barriers on children's health and health care. Individual parental LEP

  8. Learning Strategies in Alleviating English Writing Anxiety for English Language Learners (ELLs) with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chia-Pei; Lin, Huey-Ju

    2016-01-01

    This study utilized the Oxford Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) and an English writing anxiety scale to examine the relationship between learning strategies and English writing anxiety in 102 university-level English language learners (ELLs) with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) in a university in Taiwan. Kruskal Wallis Test…

  9. Neural convergence for language comprehension and grammatical class production in highly proficient bilinguals is independent of age of acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Consonni, Monica; Cafiero, Riccardo; Marin, Dario; Tettamanti, Marco; Iadanza, Antonella; Fabbro, Franco; Perani, Daniela

    2013-05-01

    In bilinguals, native (L1) and second (L2) languages are processed by the same neural resources that can be modulated by age of second language acquisition (AOA), proficiency level, and daily language exposure and usage. AOA seems to particularly affect grammar processing, where a complete neural convergence has been shown only in bilinguals with parallel language acquisition from birth. Despite the fact that proficiency-related neuroanatomical differences have been well documented in language comprehension (LC) and production, few reports have addressed the influence of language exposure. A still unanswered question pertains to the role of AOA, when proficiency is comparably high across languages, with respect to its modulator effects both on LC and production. Here, we evaluated with fMRI during sentence comprehension and verb and noun production tasks, two groups of highly proficient bilinguals only differing in AOA. One group learned Italian and Friulian in parallel from birth, whereas the second group learned Italian between 3 and 6 years. All participants were highly exposed to both languages, but more to Italian than Friulian. The results indicate a complete overlap of neural activations for the comprehension of both languages, not only in bilinguals from birth, but also in late bilinguals. A slightly extra activation in the left thalamus for the less-exposed language confirms that exposure may affect language processing. Noteworthy, we report for the first time that, when proficiency and exposure are kept high, noun and verb production recruit the same neural networks for L1 and L2, independently of AOA. These results support the neural convergence hypothesis. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Language Justice for Sign Language Peoples: The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batterbury, Sarah C. E.

    2012-01-01

    Sign Language Peoples (SLPs) across the world have developed their own languages and visuo-gestural-tactile cultures embodying their collective sense of Deafhood (Ladd 2003). Despite this, most nation-states treat their respective SLPs as disabled individuals, favoring disability benefits, cochlear implants, and mainstream education over language…

  11. South African Sign Language and language-in-education policy in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    KATEVG

    As this passage suggests, there is extensive and growing literature, both in .... For instance, sign language mediates experience in a unique way, as of ..... entail Deaf students studying together, in a setting not unlike that provided by residential .... of ASL as a foreign language option in secondary schools and universities.

  12. Sign languages and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages : Descriptors and approaches to assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L. Leeson; Dr. Beppie van den Bogaerde; Tobias Haug; C. Rathmann

    2015-01-01

    This resource establishes European standards for sign languages for professional purposes in line with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and provides an overview of assessment descriptors and approaches. Drawing on preliminary work undertaken in adapting the CEFR to

  13. Continuous Chinese sign language recognition with CNN-LSTM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Su; Zhu, Qing

    2017-07-01

    The goal of sign language recognition (SLR) is to translate the sign language into text, and provide a convenient tool for the communication between the deaf-mute and the ordinary. In this paper, we formulate an appropriate model based on convolutional neural network (CNN) combined with Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) network, in order to accomplish the continuous recognition work. With the strong ability of CNN, the information of pictures captured from Chinese sign language (CSL) videos can be learned and transformed into vector. Since the video can be regarded as an ordered sequence of frames, LSTM model is employed to connect with the fully-connected layer of CNN. As a recurrent neural network (RNN), it is suitable for sequence learning tasks with the capability of recognizing patterns defined by temporal distance. Compared with traditional RNN, LSTM has performed better on storing and accessing information. We evaluate this method on our self-built dataset including 40 daily vocabularies. The experimental results show that the recognition method with CNN-LSTM can achieve a high recognition rate with small training sets, which will meet the needs of real-time SLR system.

  14. Directionality effects in simultaneous language interpreting: the case of sign language interpreters in The Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Dijk, Rick; Boers, Eveline; Christoffels, Ingrid; Hermans, Daan

    2011-01-01

    The quality of interpretations produced by sign language interpreters was investigated. Twenty-five experienced interpreters were instructed to interpret narratives from (a) spoken Dutch to Sign Language of The Netherlands (SLN), (b) spoken Dutch to Sign Supported Dutch (SSD), and (c) SLN to spoken Dutch. The quality of the interpreted narratives was assessed by 5 certified sign language interpreters who did not participate in the study. Two measures were used to assess interpreting quality: the propositional accuracy of the interpreters' interpretations and a subjective quality measure. The results showed that the interpreted narratives in the SLN-to-Dutch interpreting direction were of lower quality (on both measures) than the interpreted narratives in the Dutch-to-SLN and Dutch-to-SSD directions. Furthermore, interpreters who had begun acquiring SLN when they entered the interpreter training program performed as well in all 3 interpreting directions as interpreters who had acquired SLN from birth.

  15. Broken English, broken bones? Mechanisms linking language proficiency and occupational health in a Montreal garment factory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Premji, Stéphanie; Messing, Karen; Lippel, Katherine

    2008-01-01

    Language barriers are often cited as a factor contributing to ethnic inequalities in occupational health; however, little information is available about the mechanisms at play. The authors describe the multiple ways in which language influences occupational health in a large garment factory employing many immigrants in Montreal. Between 2004 and 2006, individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 women and 10 men from 14 countries of birth. Interviews were conducted in French and English, Canada's official languages, as well as in non-official languages with the help of colleague-interpreters. Observation within the workplace was also carried out at various times during the project. The authors describe how proficiency in the official languages influences occupational health by affecting workers' ability to understand and communicate information, and supporting relationships that can affect work-related health. They also describe workers' strategies to address communication barriers and discuss the implications of these strategies from an occupational health standpoint. Along with the longer-term objectives of integrating immigrants into the linguistic majority and addressing structural conditions that can affect health, policies and practices need to be put in place to protect the health and well-being of those who face language barriers in the short term.

  16. Child Modifiability as a Predictor of Language Abilities in Deaf Children Who Use American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Wolfgang; Peña, Elizabeth D; Morgan, Gary

    2015-08-01

    This research explored the use of dynamic assessment (DA) for language-learning abilities in signing deaf children from deaf and hearing families. Thirty-seven deaf children, aged 6 to 11 years, were identified as either stronger (n = 26) or weaker (n = 11) language learners according to teacher or speech-language pathologist report. All children received 2 scripted, mediated learning experience sessions targeting vocabulary knowledge—specifically, the use of semantic categories that were carried out in American Sign Language. Participant responses to learning were measured in terms of an index of child modifiability. This index was determined separately at the end of the 2 individual sessions. It combined ratings reflecting each child's learning abilities and responses to mediation, including social-emotional behavior, cognitive arousal, and cognitive elaboration. Group results showed that modifiability ratings were significantly better for stronger language learners than for weaker language learners. The strongest predictors of language ability were cognitive arousal and cognitive elaboration. Mediator ratings of child modifiability (i.e., combined score of social-emotional factors and cognitive factors) are highly sensitive to language-learning abilities in deaf children who use sign language as their primary mode of communication. This method can be used to design targeted interventions.

  17. Generation of Signs within Semantic and Phonological Categories: Data from Deaf Adults and Children Who Use American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beal-Alvarez, Jennifer S.; Figueroa, Daileen M.

    2017-01-01

    Two key areas of language development include semantic and phonological knowledge. Semantic knowledge relates to word and concept knowledge. Phonological knowledge relates to how language parameters combine to create meaning. We investigated signing deaf adults' and children's semantic and phonological sign generation via one-minute tasks,…

  18. Monitoring Different Phonological Parameters of Sign Language Engages the Same Cortical Language Network but Distinctive Perceptual Ones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardin, Velia; Orfanidou, Eleni; Kästner, Lena; Rönnberg, Jerker; Woll, Bencie; Capek, Cheryl M; Rudner, Mary

    2016-01-01

    The study of signed languages allows the dissociation of sensorimotor and cognitive neural components of the language signal. Here we investigated the neurocognitive processes underlying the monitoring of two phonological parameters of sign languages: handshape and location. Our goal was to determine if brain regions processing sensorimotor characteristics of different phonological parameters of sign languages were also involved in phonological processing, with their activity being modulated by the linguistic content of manual actions. We conducted an fMRI experiment using manual actions varying in phonological structure and semantics: (1) signs of a familiar sign language (British Sign Language), (2) signs of an unfamiliar sign language (Swedish Sign Language), and (3) invented nonsigns that violate the phonological rules of British Sign Language and Swedish Sign Language or consist of nonoccurring combinations of phonological parameters. Three groups of participants were tested: deaf native signers, deaf nonsigners, and hearing nonsigners. Results show that the linguistic processing of different phonological parameters of sign language is independent of the sensorimotor characteristics of the language signal. Handshape and location were processed by different perceptual and task-related brain networks but recruited the same language areas. The semantic content of the stimuli did not influence this process, but phonological structure did, with nonsigns being associated with longer RTs and stronger activations in an action observation network in all participants and in the supramarginal gyrus exclusively in deaf signers. These results suggest higher processing demands for stimuli that contravene the phonological rules of a signed language, independently of previous knowledge of signed languages. We suggest that the phonological characteristics of a language may arise as a consequence of more efficient neural processing for its perception and production.

  19. How to describe mouth patterns in the Danish Sign Language Dictionary

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristoffersen, Jette Hedegaard; Boye Niemela, Janne

    2008-01-01

    The Danish Sign Language dictionary project aims at creating an electronic dictionary of the basic vocabulary of Danish Sign Language. One of many issues in compiling the dictionary has been to analyse the status of mouth patterns in Danish Sign Language and, consequently, to decide at which level...

  20. Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Sign Language Test Development: Results of an International Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haug, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Sign language test development is a relatively new field within sign linguistics, motivated by the practical need for assessment instruments to evaluate language development in different groups of learners (L1, L2). Due to the lack of research on the structure and acquisition of many sign languages, developing an assessment instrument poses…

  1. Semantic Fluency in Deaf Children Who Use Spoken and Signed Language in Comparison with Hearing Peers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, C. R.; Jones, A.; Fastelli, A.; Atkinson, J.; Botting, N.; Morgan, G.

    2018-01-01

    Background: Deafness has an adverse impact on children's ability to acquire spoken languages. Signed languages offer a more accessible input for deaf children, but because the vast majority are born to hearing parents who do not sign, their early exposure to sign language is limited. Deaf children as a whole are therefore at high risk of language…

  2. Medical Signbank as a Model for Sign Language Planning? A Review of Community Engagement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Napier, Jemina; Major, George; Ferrara, Lindsay; Johnston, Trevor

    2015-01-01

    This paper reviews a sign language planning project conducted in Australia with deaf Auslan users. The Medical Signbank project utilised a cooperative language planning process to engage with the Deaf community and sign language interpreters to develop an online interactive resource of health-related signs, in order to address a gap in the health…

  3. Deaf college students' mathematical skills relative to morphological knowledge, reading level, and language proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Ronald R; Gaustad, Martha G

    2007-01-01

    This study of deaf college students examined specific relationships between their mathematics performance and their assessed skills in reading, language, and English morphology. Simple regression analyses showed that deaf college students' language proficiency scores, reading grade level, and morphological knowledge regarding word segmentation and meaning were all significantly correlated with both the ACT Mathematics Subtest and National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) Mathematics Placement Test scores. Multiple regression analyses identified the best combination from among these potential independent predictors of students' performance on both the ACT and NTID mathematics tests. Additionally, the participating deaf students' grades in their college mathematics courses were significantly and positively associated with their reading grade level and their knowledge of morphological components of words.

  4. How much does language proficiency by non-native listeners influence speech audiometric tests in noise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warzybok, Anna; Brand, Thomas; Wagener, Kirsten C; Kollmeier, Birger

    2015-01-01

    The current study investigates the extent to which the linguistic complexity of three commonly employed speech recognition tests and second language proficiency influence speech recognition thresholds (SRTs) in noise in non-native listeners. SRTs were measured for non-natives and natives using three German speech recognition tests: the digit triplet test (DTT), the Oldenburg sentence test (OLSA), and the Göttingen sentence test (GÖSA). Sixty-four non-native and eight native listeners participated. Non-natives can show native-like SRTs in noise only for the linguistically easy speech material (DTT). Furthermore, the limitation of phonemic-acoustical cues in digit triplets affects speech recognition to the same extent in non-natives and natives. For more complex and less familiar speech materials, non-natives, ranging from basic to advanced proficiency in German, require on average 3-dB better signal-to-noise ratio for the OLSA and 6-dB for the GÖSA to obtain 50% speech recognition compared to native listeners. In clinical audiology, SRT measurements with a closed-set speech test (i.e. DTT for screening or OLSA test for clinical purposes) should be used with non-native listeners rather than open-set speech tests (such as the GÖSA or HINT), especially if a closed-set version in the patient's own native language is available.

  5. An ERP study of second language learning after childhood: effects of proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojima, Shiro; Nakata, Hiroki; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2005-08-01

    Whether there is an absolute critical period for acquiring language is a matter of continuous debate. One approach to address this issue is to compare the processes of second language (L2) learning after childhood and those of first language (L1) learning during childhood. To study the cortical process of postchildhood L2 learning, we compared event-related brain potentials recorded from two groups of adult Japanese speakers who attained either high or intermediate proficiency in English after childhood (J-High and J-Low), and adult native English speakers (ENG). Semantic anomalies embedded in English sentences evoked a clear N400 component in all three groups, with only the time course of the brain activation varying among the groups. Syntactic violations elicited a left-lateralized negativity similar to the left anterior negativity in ENG and J-High, but not in J-Low. In ENG, a P600 component was additionally found. These results suggest that semantic processing is robust from early on in L2 learning, whereas the development of syntactic processing is more dependent on proficiency as evidenced by the lack of the left-lateralized negativity in J-Low. Because early maturation and stability of semantic processing as opposed to syntactic processing are also a feature of L1 processing, postchildhood L2 learning may be governed by the same brain properties as those which govern childhood L1 learning. We argue that these processes are qualitatively similar in many respects, with only restricted domains of language processing being subject to absolute critical period effects.

  6. Setting Language Proficiency Score Requirements for English-as-a-Second-Language Placement Decisions in Secondary Education. Research Report. ETS RR-16-17

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Patricia A.; Papageorgiou, Spiros

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to collect recommendations for minimum score requirements (cut scores) on the "TOEFL Junior"® English language proficiency test in order to guide decisions on the placement of learners into English as a second language (ESL) support classes. The TOEFL Junior test, intended primarily for students ages 11 and…

  7. The Home Language Environment of Monolingual and Bilingual Children and Their Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheele, Anna F.; Leseman, Paul P. M.; Mayo, Aziza Y.

    2010-01-01

    This study investigated the relationships between home language learning activities and vocabulary in a sample of monolingual native Dutch (n = 58) and bilingual immigrant Moroccan-Dutch (n = 46) and Turkish-Dutch (n = 55) 3-year-olds, speaking Tarifit-Berber, a nonscripted language, and Turkish as their first language (L1), respectively. Despite…

  8. Second language proficiency modulates conflict-monitoring in an oculomotor Stroop task: evidence from Hindi-English bilinguals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niharika eSingh

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Many studies have confirmed the presence of a bilingual advantage which is manifested as enhanced cognitive and attention control. However, very few studies have investigated the role of second language proficiency on the modulation of conflict-monitoring in bilinguals. We investigated this by comparing high and low proficient Hindi-English bilinguals on a modified saccadic arrow Stroop task under different monitoring conditions, and tested the predictions of the bilingual executive control advantage proposal. The task of the participants was to make an eye movement towards the colour patch in the same colour as the central arrow, ignoring the patch to which the arrow was pointing. High-proficient bilinguals had overall faster saccade latency on all types of trials as compared to the low proficient bilinguals. The overall saccadic latency for high proficiency bilinguals was similarly affected by the different types of monitoring conditions, whereas conflict resolution advantage was found only for high monitoring demanding condition. The results support a conflict-monitoring account in a novel oculomotor task and also suggest that language proficiency could modulate executive control in bilinguals.

  9. Metacognitive awareness of reading strategies of University of Botswana English as Second Language students of different academic reading proficiencies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel M. Magogwe

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available This study explored metacognitive awareness level of University of Botswana students in the Faculty of Social Sciences. It also considered the more recent research focusing on the role of metacognitive awareness in reading and how it relates to proficiency. The following questions are addressed: (1 What are the self-reported reading proficiencies of the University of Botswana students? (2 Are the University of Botswana students aware of their metacognitive reading strategies? (3 What kind of metacognitive reading strategies are frequently used? (4 Is there a difference in metacognitive awareness of reading strategies used by high- and low-proficiency students respectively? The Survey of Reading Strategies Questionnaire (SORS developed by Mokhtari and Sheorey (2002, and the semi-structured interview technique were used to collect data for this study. The findings indicate that University of Botswana English as Second Language (ESL students reported high reading proficiency and high use of metacognitive strategies, but there was no vast difference in terms of proficiency. Students who reported their proficiency as high had an edge over low-proficiency ones mainly because their management and monitoring of reading was guided more by the goals they have set themselves than by the tests and assignments they were supposed to write.

  10. Numeral-Incorporating Roots in Numeral Systems: A Comparative Analysis of Two Sign Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Mariana; Massone, Maria Ignacia; Fernandez-Viader, Maria del Pilar; Makotrinsky, Alejandro; Pulgarin, Francisca

    2010-01-01

    Numeral-incorporating roots in the numeral systems of Argentine Sign Language (LSA) and Catalan Sign Language (LSC), as well as the main features of the number systems of both languages, are described and compared. Informants discussed the use of numerals and roots in both languages (in most cases in natural contexts). Ten informants took part in…

  11. Hierarchical levels of representation in language prediction: The influence of first language acquisition in highly proficient bilinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinaro, Nicola; Giannelli, Francesco; Caffarra, Sendy; Martin, Clara

    2017-07-01

    Language comprehension is largely supported by predictive mechanisms that account for the ease and speed with which communication unfolds. Both native and proficient non-native speakers can efficiently handle contextual cues to generate reliable linguistic expectations. However, the link between the variability of the linguistic background of the speaker and the hierarchical format of the representations predicted is still not clear. We here investigate whether native language exposure to typologically highly diverse languages (Spanish and Basque) affects the way early balanced bilingual speakers carry out language predictions. During Spanish sentence comprehension, participants developed predictions of words the form of which (noun ending) could be either diagnostic of grammatical gender values (transparent) or totally ambiguous (opaque). We measured electrophysiological prediction effects time-locked both to the target word and to its determiner, with the former being expected or unexpected. Event-related (N200-N400) and oscillatory activity in the low beta-band (15-17Hz) frequency channel showed that both Spanish and Basque natives optimally carry out lexical predictions independently of word transparency. Crucially, in contrast to Spanish natives, Basque natives displayed visual word form predictions for transparent words, in consistency with the relevance that noun endings (post-nominal suffixes) play in their native language. We conclude that early language exposure largely shapes prediction mechanisms, so that bilinguals reading in their second language rely on the distributional regularities that are highly relevant in their first language. More importantly, we show that individual linguistic experience hierarchically modulates the format of the predicted representation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. South African sign language human-computer interface in the context of the national accessibility portal

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Olivrin, GJ

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available example, between a deaf person who can sign and an able person or a person with a different disability who cannot sign). METHODOLOGY A signing avatar is set up to work together with a chatterbot. The chatterbot is a natural language dialogue interface... are then offered in sign language as the replies are interpreted by a signing avatar, a living character that can reproduce human-like gestures and expressions. To make South African Sign Language (SASL) available digitally, computational models of the language...

  13. Lexical Variation and Change in British Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamp, Rose; Schembri, Adam; Fenlon, Jordan; Rentelis, Ramas; Woll, Bencie; Cormier, Kearsy

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents results from a corpus-based study investigating lexical variation in BSL. An earlier study investigating variation in BSL numeral signs found that younger signers were using a decreasing variety of regionally distinct variants, suggesting that levelling may be taking place. Here, we report findings from a larger investigation looking at regional lexical variants for colours, countries, numbers and UK placenames elicited as part of the BSL Corpus Project. Age, school location and language background were significant predictors of lexical variation, with younger signers using a more levelled variety. This change appears to be happening faster in particular sub-groups of the deaf community (e.g., signers from hearing families). Also, we find that for the names of some UK cities, signers from outside the region use a different sign than those who live in the region. PMID:24759673

  14. A Proposed Pedagogical Mobile Application for Learning Sign Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samir Abou El-Seoud

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A handheld device system, such as cellular phone or a PDA, can be used in acquiring Sign Language (SL. The developed system uses graphic applications. The user uses the graphical system to view and to acquire knowledge about sign grammar and syntax based on the local vernacular particular to the country. This paper explores and exploits the possibility of the development of a mobile system to help the deaf and other people to communicate and learn using handheld devices. The pedagogical assessment of the prototype application that uses a recognition-based interface e.g., images and videos, gave evidence that the mobile application is memorable and learnable. Additionally, considering primary and recency effects in the interface design will improve memorability and learnability.

  15. Multimodal semantic quantity representations: further evidence from Korean Sign Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank eDomahs

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Korean deaf signers performed a number comparison task on pairs of Arabic digits. In their RT profiles, the expected magnitude effect was systematically modified by properties of number signs in Korean Sign Language in a culture-specific way (not observed in hearing and deaf Germans or hearing Chinese. We conclude that finger-based quantity representations are automatically activated even in simple tasks with symbolic input although this may be irrelevant and even detrimental for task performance. These finger-based numerical representations are accessed in addition to another, more basic quantity system which is evidenced by the magnitude effect. In sum, these results are inconsistent with models assuming only one single amodal representation of numerical quantity.

  16. Mother-tongue training in school as a determinant of global language proficiency: A Belgian case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danesi, Marcel

    1988-12-01

    Experimental models of education that incorporate the mother tongue of immigrant children into the structure of their curricula constitute obvious cases-in-point for assessing the validity of bilingual or multilingual education for such children. The present case study of one such model, the so-called `Foyer Bicultural Education Project' of Brussels, is intended to shed some light on the relationship between formal mother-tongue training and the development of global language proficiency in minority-language children. Since this particular case-in-point involves three languages — Italian (the mother tongue), Flemish and French — it is especially interesting with regard to the validity of the so-called `interdependence principle', as formulated by Cummins (1979). The findings presented here confirm Cummins' principle that the development of literacy in the mother tongue is a determinant of global language proficiency in minority-language children.

  17. Sign Language and Spoken Language for Children With Hearing Loss: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth M; Hamel, Candyce; Stevens, Adrienne; Pratt, Misty; Moher, David; Doucet, Suzanne P; Neuss, Deirdre; Bernstein, Anita; Na, Eunjung

    2016-01-01

    Permanent hearing loss affects 1 to 3 per 1000 children and interferes with typical communication development. Early detection through newborn hearing screening and hearing technology provide most children with the option of spoken language acquisition. However, no consensus exists on optimal interventions for spoken language development. To conduct a systematic review of the effectiveness of early sign and oral language intervention compared with oral language intervention only for children with permanent hearing loss. An a priori protocol was developed. Electronic databases (eg, Medline, Embase, CINAHL) from 1995 to June 2013 and gray literature sources were searched. Studies in English and French were included. Two reviewers screened potentially relevant articles. Outcomes of interest were measures of auditory, vocabulary, language, and speech production skills. All data collection and risk of bias assessments were completed and then verified by a second person. Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) was used to judge the strength of evidence. Eleven cohort studies met inclusion criteria, of which 8 included only children with severe to profound hearing loss with cochlear implants. Language development was the most frequently reported outcome. Other reported outcomes included speech and speech perception. Several measures and metrics were reported across studies, and descriptions of interventions were sometimes unclear. Very limited, and hence insufficient, high-quality evidence exists to determine whether sign language in combination with oral language is more effective than oral language therapy alone. More research is needed to supplement the evidence base. Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  18. DAISY, the best way to author sign language publications

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Olivrin, G

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available /detail.shtml?i=41 Eberius, Wolfram (2008): Multimodale Erwiterung Und Distribution Von Digital Talking Books. Germany: Technische universität Dresden. Fédération Internationale de Football Association (2008): Laws of the Game 2008/2009. Switzerland: FIFA... are further discussed that will influence the design of future DAISY standards. 2.1 Creation of Sign Language Content To create a full-text/full-audio and full-text/full-video DAISY test-book, the original content of “Laws of the Game 2008/2009” (FIFA...

  19. Initial Spanish Proficiency and English Language Development among Spanish-Speaking English Learner Students in New Mexico. REL 2018-286

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arellano, Brenda; Liu, Feng; Stoker, Ginger; Slama, Rachel

    2018-01-01

    To what extent do Spanish-speaking English learner students develop English proficiency and grade-level readiness in English language arts and math from early elementary school to upper elementary school? Is there a relationship between proficiency in a student's primary home language, Spanish, and the amount of time needed to attain fluency in…

  20. Child, family, and school characteristics related to English proficiency development among low-income, dual language learners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yoon Kyong; Curby, Timothy W; Winsler, Adam

    2014-12-01

    Little is known about 2nd language development among young, low-income, language-minority children. This article examined the longitudinal English development of low-income, dual language learners (DLLs) in Miami (n = 18,532) from kindergarten through 5th grade. Growth curve modeling indicated that social skills, good behavior, Spanish (L1) competence in preschool, having a mother born in the United States, and attending larger schools with fewer DLLs were associated with higher initial levels of English proficiency in kindergarten and/or steeper growth over time. Survival analyses indicated that it took about 2 years for half of the sample to become proficient in English according to the school district's criterion. Higher initial proficiency in kindergarten, not receiving free/reduced lunch, not being Hispanic or Black, strong cognitive, language, and socioemotional skills at age 4, and maternal education were associated with faster attainment of English proficiency. It is important for teachers, parents, researchers, and policy makers to understand that DLL students come from diverse backgrounds and that poverty and other factors influence the speed of English language development for DLLs. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  1. The "SignOn"-Model for Teaching Written Language to Deaf People

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlene Hilzensauer

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper shows a method of teaching written language to deaf people using sign language as the language of instruction. Written texts in the target language are combined with sign language videos which provide the users with various modes of translation (words/phrases/sentences. As examples, two EU projects for English for the Deaf are presented which feature English texts and translations into the national sign languages of all the partner countries plus signed grammar explanations and interactive exercises. Both courses are web-based; the programs may be accessed free of charge via the respective homepages (without any download or log-in.

  2. Immigration, Language Proficiency, and Autobiographical Memories: Lifespan Distribution and Second-Language Access

    OpenAIRE

    Esposito, Alena G.; Baker-Ward, Lynne

    2015-01-01

    This investigation examined two controversies in the autobiographical literature: how cross-language immigration affects the distribution of autobiographical memories across the lifespan and under what circumstances language-dependent recall is observed. Both Spanish/English bilingual immigrants and English monolingual non-immigrants participated in a cue word study, with the bilingual sample taking part in a within-subject language manipulation. The expected bump in the num...

  3. Methodological and Theoretical Issues in the Adaptation of Sign Language Tests: An Example from the Adaptation of a Test to German Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haug, Tobias

    2012-01-01

    Despite the current need for reliable and valid test instruments in different countries in order to monitor the sign language acquisition of deaf children, very few tests are commercially available that offer strong evidence for their psychometric properties. This mirrors the current state of affairs for many sign languages, where very little…

  4. Critique of a language enrichment programme for Grade 4 ESL learners with limited English proficiency: a pilot study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirna Neli

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Some Grade 4 educators have expressed feelings of ineptitude regarding the support of ESL (English Second Language learners with limited English proficiency as they do not know how to support these learners effectively. Their litany emphasises ESL educators' need for supportive and preventive intervention. A Story-based Language Enrichment Programme (SLEP was compiled to suit the needs of educators teaching Grade 4 ESL learners with limited English proficiency. The programme was designed to maintain or improve the English proficiency of ESL learners. An intervention research method was followed to test the efficacy of SLEP. Forty teachers implemented SLEP over a six-week period. Thirty-nine teachers provided constructive feedback at the end of this period. Between 92% and 100% of the participants rated SLEP positively. Rural participants suggested some refinements to the programme. The overall conclusion was that SLEP makes a useful contribution to ESL practice.

  5. Audiovisual News, Cartoons, and Films as Sources of Authentic Language Input and Language Proficiency Enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrani, Taher; Sim, Tam Shu

    2012-01-01

    In today's audiovisually driven world, various audiovisual programs can be incorporated as authentic sources of potential language input for second language acquisition. In line with this view, the present research aimed at discovering the effectiveness of exposure to news, cartoons, and films as three different types of authentic audiovisual…

  6. Assessment of second language proficiency in bilingual children with specific language impairment: a clinical perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhoeven, Ludo; Steenge, Judit; van Weerdenburg, Marjolijn; van Balkom, Hans

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this study was to examine to what extent the conditions of restricted input of L2 and SLI have an additive impact on language acquisition. Therefore, the Dutch language achievement of 6-, 7-, and 8-year-old bilingual children with SLI was compared with that of typically developing monolingual Dutch children, typically developing bilingual children, and monolingual Dutch children with SLI. Assuming that speaking a language in varying environments involves distinct subskills that can be acquired in differential patterns, the achievement of phonological, lexical, morphosyntactic and textual abilities were assessed separately. For each of these abilities, it was determined to what extent the conditions of restricted input (first vs. second language) and language deficit (typically developing vs. SLI) cause stagnation or a delay in language acquisition. Bilingual children with SLI perform at a lower level than the other groups in almost all aspects of achievement in Dutch. For language tasks related to the mental lexicon and grammar, an additional disadvantage was evidenced as a result of the combination of learning Dutch as second language and having SLI. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Emergency Department utilization among Deaf American Sign Language users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Michael M; Winters, Paul C; Sen, Ananda; Zazove, Philip; Fiscella, Kevin

    2015-10-01

    Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users comprise a linguistic minority population with poor health care access due to communication barriers and low health literacy. Potentially, these health care barriers could increase Emergency Department (ED) use. To compare ED use between deaf and non-deaf patients. A retrospective cohort from medical records. The sample was derived from 400 randomly selected charts (200 deaf ASL users and 200 hearing English speakers) from an outpatient primary care health center with a high volume of deaf patients. Abstracted data included patient demographics, insurance, health behavior, and ED use in the past 36 months. Deaf patients were more likely to be never smokers and be insured through Medicaid. In an adjusted analysis, deaf individuals were significantly more likely to use the ED (odds ratio [OR], 1.97; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11-3.51) over the prior 36 months. Deaf American Sign Language users appear to be at greater odds for elevated ED utilization when compared to the general hearing population. Efforts to further understand the drivers for increased ED utilization among deaf ASL users are much needed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Assessing Health Literacy in Deaf American Sign Language Users

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Michael M.; Paasche-Orlow, Michael; Winters, Paul C.; Fiscella, Kevin; Zazove, Philip; Sen, Ananda; Pearson, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Communication and language barriers isolate Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users from mass media, healthcare messages, and health care communication, which when coupled with social marginalization, places them at a high risk for inadequate health literacy. Our objectives were to translate, adapt, and develop an accessible health literacy instrument in ASL and to assess the prevalence and correlates of inadequate health literacy among Deaf ASL users and hearing English speakers using a cross-sectional design. A total of 405 participants (166 Deaf and 239 hearing) were enrolled in the study. The Newest Vital Sign was adapted, translated, and developed into an ASL version of the NVS (ASL-NVS). Forty-eight percent of Deaf participants had inadequate health literacy, and Deaf individuals were 6.9 times more likely than hearing participants to have inadequate health literacy. The new ASL-NVS, available on a self-administered computer platform, demonstrated good correlation with reading literacy. The prevalence of Deaf ASL users with inadequate health literacy is substantial, warranting further interventions and research. PMID:26513036

  9. Recognition of Arabic Sign Language Alphabet Using Polynomial Classifiers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Al-Rousan

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available Building an accurate automatic sign language recognition system is of great importance in facilitating efficient communication with deaf people. In this paper, we propose the use of polynomial classifiers as a classification engine for the recognition of Arabic sign language (ArSL alphabet. Polynomial classifiers have several advantages over other classifiers in that they do not require iterative training, and that they are highly computationally scalable with the number of classes. Based on polynomial classifiers, we have built an ArSL system and measured its performance using real ArSL data collected from deaf people. We show that the proposed system provides superior recognition results when compared with previously published results using ANFIS-based classification on the same dataset and feature extraction methodology. The comparison is shown in terms of the number of misclassified test patterns. The reduction in the rate of misclassified patterns was very significant. In particular, we have achieved a 36% reduction of misclassifications on the training data and 57% on the test data.

  10. ANALYSIS OF MODERN REQUIREMENTS FOR THE LEVEL OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY OF ENGINEERING SPECIALISTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. M. Inozemtseva

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. At present, in Russian higher professional education we can observe a shift to the new educational paradigm based on Professional Standards (PS. According to the Federal Law of 02.05.2015 № 122 «About amendments to the Labour Code of Russian Federation and the articles 11 and 73 of «The Law on Education in Russian Federation» formation of the Federal State Educational Standards of Higher Education requirements for expected learning outcomes on universities’ main educational programs is implemented on the basis of relevant Professional Standards. This causes necessity of work on conjunction of Professional Standards, Federal State Educational Standards and universities’ main educational programs.The aim of this article is to demonstrate the influence of a new educational paradigm on the choice of contents, technologies and activities used in foreign language teaching at Russian technical universities.Methodology and research methods. The research methodology is based on the concept of diversification of engineers’ continuous professional foreign language training (T. Yu. Polyakova. In view of priority value of PS for developing universities’ main educational programs the updating of the above concept needs thorough analysis of both PS requirements for the level of foreign language proficiency of engineering specialists and study of scientific literature on the above problem.Results. This research results in interpretation and clarification of generalized PS requirements for the actual needs of industries and individuals in foreign language proficiency. The research also causes Language for Specific Purposes (LSP program developers’ and LSP teachers’ pedagogical reflection about their readiness to form foreign language (FL professional communicative competence of an engineer. It is concluded that a teacher needs to consider axiological aspects of engineering activity in order to understand the nature of the work

  11. Outdoor Class Project: the Potential Benefits to Foster EFL Students’ Language Proficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indah Fajaria

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available There are such myriad ideas upon English teaching-learning process. Everybody can share each fabulous idea through various media. One of fun English learnings that can motivate EFL students’ eagerness to practice English easily is an outdoor class activity. This project could sometimes deals with an outbound activities which provide the numerous contextualized values to shape more students’ character and their language proficiency as well. Moreover, nowadays the development of technology can be also integrated into the EFL classrooms. Therefore, the outdoor class project is potentially implemented through the technology-enhanced teaching. The most crucial materials that is urgently to be prepared are the tutorial models & methods, and the thermalized subject based on the objective itself.

  12. The Relationship between English Language Proficiency, Academic Achievement and Self-Esteem of Non-Native-English-Speaking Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dev, Smitha; Qiqieh, Sura

    2016-01-01

    The present study aims to find out the relationship between English Language proficiency, self-esteem, and academic achievement of the students in Abu Dhabi University (ADU). The variables were analyzed using "t" test, chi-squire and Pearson's product moment correlation. In addition, Self-rating scale, Self-esteem inventory and Language…

  13. Assessment of Young English Language Learners in Arizona: Questioning the Validity of the State Measure of English Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Eugene E.; Lawton, Kerry; Diniz de Figueiredo, Eduardo H.

    2010-01-01

    This study analyzes the Arizona policy of utilizing a single assessment of English proficiency to determine if students should be exited from the ELL program, which is ostensibly designed to make it possible for them to succeed in the mainstream classroom without any further language support. The study examines the predictive validity of this…

  14. The Influence of Instructional Minutes on Grade 11 Language Arts and Mathematics High School Proficiency Assessment Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welcome, Simone E.

    2017-01-01

    The purpose for this cross-sectional, non-experimental explanatory quantitative research study was to explain the amount of variance in the High School Proficiency Assessment-11 Language Arts and Mathematics scores accounted for by the amount of instructional minutes at high schools in New Jersey. A proportional, stratified random sample which…

  15. Competitive Team-Based Learning versus Group Investigation with Reference to the Language Proficiency of Iranian EFL Intermediate Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosseini, Seyed Mohammad Hassan

    2014-01-01

    This paper is a report on an experimental study which intended to look into the possible effects of Competitive Team-Based Learning (CTBL) vis-à-vis Group Investigation (GI) method of Cooperative Learning (CL) on the language proficiency of Iranian EFL intermediate students. Seventy homogeneous Iranian intermediate students were selected out of a…

  16. Folic acid knowledge and use in a multi-ethnic pregnancy cohort: the role of language proficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Eijsden, M.; van der Wal, M. F.; Bonsel, G. J.

    2006-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the role of language proficiency as determinant of folic acid knowledge and use in a multi-ethnic pregnancy cohort. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING AND POPULATION: Pregnant women from Amsterdam attending obstetric care for their first antenatal visit. Number

  17. Home and Community Language Proficiency in Spanish-English Early Bilingual University Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidtke, Jens

    2017-10-17

    This study assessed home and community language proficiency in Spanish-English bilingual university students to investigate whether the vocabulary gap reported in studies of bilingual children persists into adulthood. Sixty-five early bilinguals (mean age = 21 years) were assessed in English and Spanish vocabulary and verbal reasoning ability using subtests of the Woodcock-Muñoz Language Survey-Revised (Schrank & Woodcock, 2009). Their English scores were compared to 74 monolinguals matched in age and level of education. Participants also completed a background questionnaire. Bilinguals scored below the monolingual control group on both subtests, and the difference was larger for vocabulary compared to verbal reasoning. However, bilinguals were close to the population mean for verbal reasoning. Spanish scores were on average lower than English scores, but participants differed widely in their degree of balance. Participants with an earlier age of acquisition of English and more current exposure to English tended to be more dominant in English. Vocabulary tests in the home or community language may underestimate bilingual university students' true verbal ability and should be interpreted with caution in high-stakes situations. Verbal reasoning ability may be more indicative of a bilingual's verbal ability.

  18. Prediction in a visual language: real-time sentence processing in American Sign Language across development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Amy M; Borovsky, Arielle; Mayberry, Rachel I

    2018-01-01

    Prediction during sign language comprehension may enable signers to integrate linguistic and non-linguistic information within the visual modality. In two eyetracking experiments, we investigated American Sign language (ASL) semantic prediction in deaf adults and children (aged 4-8 years). Participants viewed ASL sentences in a visual world paradigm in which the sentence-initial verb was either neutral or constrained relative to the sentence-final target noun. Adults and children made anticipatory looks to the target picture before the onset of the target noun in the constrained condition only, showing evidence for semantic prediction. Crucially, signers alternated gaze between the stimulus sign and the target picture only when the sentential object could be predicted from the verb. Signers therefore engage in prediction by optimizing visual attention between divided linguistic and referential signals. These patterns suggest that prediction is a modality-independent process, and theoretical implications are discussed.

  19. Language Proficiency and Sustained Attention in Monolingual and Bilingual Children with and without Language Impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tessel Boerma

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The language profiles of children with language impairment (LI and bilingual children can show partial, and possibly temporary, overlap. The current study examined the persistence of this overlap over time. Furthermore, we aimed to better understand why the language profiles of these two groups show resemblance, testing the hypothesis that the language difficulties of children with LI reflect a weakened ability to maintain attention to the stream of linguistic information. Consequent incomplete processing of language input may lead to delays that are similar to those originating from reductions in input frequency.Methods: Monolingual and bilingual children with and without LI (N = 128, aged 5–8 years old, participated in this study. Dutch receptive vocabulary and grammatical morphology were assessed at three waves. In addition, auditory and visual sustained attention were tested at wave 1. Mediation analyses were performed to examine relationships between LI, sustained attention, and language skills.Results: Children with LI and bilingual children were outperformed by their typically developing (TD and monolingual peers, respectively, on vocabulary and morphology at all three waves. The vocabulary difference between monolinguals and bilinguals decreased over time. In addition, children with LI had weaker auditory and visual sustained attention skills relative to TD children, while no differences between monolinguals and bilinguals emerged. Auditory sustained attention mediated the effect of LI on vocabulary and morphology in both the monolingual and bilingual groups of children. Visual sustained attention only acted as a mediator in the bilingual group.Conclusion: The findings from the present study indicate that the overlap between the language profiles of children with LI and bilingual children is particularly large for vocabulary in early (preschool years and reduces over time. Results furthermore suggest that the overlap may be

  20. Making Cancer Health Text on the Internet Easier to Read for Deaf People Who Use American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushalnagar, Poorna; Smith, Scott; Hopper, Melinda; Ryan, Claire; Rinkevich, Micah; Kushalnagar, Raja

    2018-02-01

    People with relatively limited English language proficiency find the Internet's cancer and health information difficult to access and understand. The presence of unfamiliar words and complex grammar make this particularly difficult for Deaf people. Unfortunately, current technology does not support low-cost, accurate translations of online materials into American Sign Language. However, current technology is relatively more advanced in allowing text simplification, while retaining content. This research team developed a two-step approach for simplifying cancer and other health text. They then tested the approach, using a crossover design with a sample of 36 deaf and 38 hearing college students. Results indicated that hearing college students did well on both the original and simplified text versions. Deaf college students' comprehension, in contrast, significantly benefitted from the simplified text. This two-step translation process offers a strategy that may improve the accessibility of Internet information for Deaf, as well as other low-literacy individuals.

  1. Atypical Speech and Language Development: A Consensus Study on Clinical Signs in the Netherlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser-Bochane, Margot I.; Gerrits, Ellen; van der Schans, Cees P.; Reijneveld, Sijmen A.; Luinge, Margreet R.

    2017-01-01

    Background: Atypical speech and language development is one of the most common developmental difficulties in young children. However, which clinical signs characterize atypical speech-language development at what age is not clear. Aim: To achieve a national and valid consensus on clinical signs and red flags (i.e. most urgent clinical signs) for…

  2. The Link between Form and Meaning in American Sign Language: Lexical Processing Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Robin L.; Vinson, David P.; Vigliocco, Gabriella

    2009-01-01

    Signed languages exploit iconicity (the transparent relationship between meaning and form) to a greater extent than spoken languages. where it is largely limited to onomatopoeia. In a picture-sign matching experiment measuring reaction times, the authors examined the potential advantage of iconicity both for 1st- and 2nd-language learners of…

  3. Comic Books: A Learning Tool for Meaningful Acquisition of Written Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guimarães, Cayley; Oliveira Machado, Milton César; Fernandes, Sueli F.

    2018-01-01

    Deaf people use Sign Language (SL) for intellectual development, communications and other human activities that are mediated by language--such as the expression of complex and abstract thoughts and feelings; and for literature, culture and knowledge. The Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) is a complete linguistic system of visual-spatial manner,…

  4. Standardizing Chinese Sign Language for Use in Post-Secondary Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Christina Mien-Chun; Gerner de Garcia, Barbara; Chen-Pichler, Deborah

    2009-01-01

    There are over 100 languages in China, including Chinese Sign Language. Given the large population and geographical dispersion of the country's deaf community, sign variation is to be expected. Language barriers due to lexical variation may exist for deaf college students in China, who often live outside their home regions. In presenting an…

  5. The Relationship between Learner Autonomy and Vocabulary Learning Strategies in Iranian EFL Learners with Different Language Proficiency Level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ebrahim Azimi Mohammad Abadi

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Vocabulary learning is incredibly noteworthy to English language acquisition. It is unfeasible for a learner to communicate without the required vocabulary. In high education levels, learners are habitually forced to become autonomous and make conscious effort to learn vocabulary outside of the classroom. Consequently, the autonomy of the learners plays an important role in developing and enhancing their vocabulary. Learner autonomy is a huge assistance for learners in vocabulary learning since it provides the learners with numerous diverse privileges such as independency from teacher. The researcher investigated whether there is any statistically significant relationship between learner autonomy and vocabulary learning strategies use in Iranian EFL learners with different language proficiency levels. To meet the above purpose, a total number of 190 male and female EFL learners participated in this study. The methodology underlying this study was quantitative (thorough the administration of two questionnaires and two language proficiency test – TOEFL for advanced group, and Nelson for intermediate level. The quantitative data was analyzed using a set of correlational analysis revealing a significant positive correlation between learner autonomy and vocabulary learning strategies use in high proficient group, and a significant positive relationship between these two constructs in low proficient group, however not as strong as in the advanced group.

  6. Sign Language Translator Application Using OpenCV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triyono, L.; Pratisto, E. H.; Bawono, S. A. T.; Purnomo, F. A.; Yudhanto, Y.; Raharjo, B.

    2018-03-01

    This research focuses on the development of sign language translator application using OpenCV Android based, this application is based on the difference in color. The author also utilizes Support Machine Learning to predict the label. Results of the research showed that the coordinates of the fingertip search methods can be used to recognize a hand gesture to the conditions contained open arms while to figure gesture with the hand clenched using search methods Hu Moments value. Fingertip methods more resilient in gesture recognition with a higher success rate is 95% on the distance variation is 35 cm and 55 cm and variations of light intensity of approximately 90 lux and 100 lux and light green background plain condition compared with the Hu Moments method with the same parameters and the percentage of success of 40%. While the background of outdoor environment applications still can not be used with a success rate of only 6 managed and the rest failed.

  7. Tools for language: patterned iconicity in sign language nouns and verbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padden, Carol; Hwang, So-One; Lepic, Ryan; Seegers, Sharon

    2015-01-01

    When naming certain hand-held, man-made tools, American Sign Language (ASL) signers exhibit either of two iconic strategies: a handling strategy, where the hands show holding or grasping an imagined object in action, or an instrument strategy, where the hands represent the shape or a dimension of the object in a typical action. The same strategies are also observed in the gestures of hearing nonsigners identifying pictures of the same set of tools. In this paper, we compare spontaneously created gestures from hearing nonsigning participants to commonly used lexical signs in ASL. Signers and gesturers were asked to respond to pictures of tools and to video vignettes of actions involving the same tools. Nonsigning gesturers overwhelmingly prefer the handling strategy for both the Picture and Video conditions. Nevertheless, they use more instrument forms when identifying tools in pictures, and more handling forms when identifying actions with tools. We found that ASL signers generally favor the instrument strategy when naming tools, but when describing tools being used by an actor, they are significantly more likely to use more handling forms. The finding that both gesturers and signers are more likely to alternate strategies when the stimuli are pictures or video suggests a common cognitive basis for differentiating objects from actions. Furthermore, the presence of a systematic handling/instrument iconic pattern in a sign language demonstrates that a conventionalized sign language exploits the distinction for grammatical purpose, to distinguish nouns and verbs related to tool use. Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  8. Multilingual Interaction and Minority Languages: Proficiency and Language Practices in Education and Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorter, Durk

    2015-01-01

    In this plenary speech I examine multilingual interaction in a number of European regions in which minority languages are being revitalized. Education is a crucial variable, but the wider society is equally significant. The context of revitalization is no longer bilingual but increasingly multilingual. I draw on the results of a long-running…

  9. The Road to Language Learning Is Not Entirely Iconic: Iconicity, Neighborhood Density, and Frequency Facilitate Acquisition of Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caselli, Naomi K; Pyers, Jennie E

    2017-07-01

    Iconic mappings between words and their meanings are far more prevalent than once estimated and seem to support children's acquisition of new words, spoken or signed. We asked whether iconicity's prevalence in sign language overshadows two other factors known to support the acquisition of spoken vocabulary: neighborhood density (the number of lexical items phonologically similar to the target) and lexical frequency. Using mixed-effects logistic regressions, we reanalyzed 58 parental reports of native-signing deaf children's productive acquisition of 332 signs in American Sign Language (ASL; Anderson & Reilly, 2002) and found that iconicity, neighborhood density, and lexical frequency independently facilitated vocabulary acquisition. Despite differences in iconicity and phonological structure between signed and spoken language, signing children, like children learning a spoken language, track statistical information about lexical items and their phonological properties and leverage this information to expand their vocabulary.

  10. A Comparison of Comprehension Processes in Sign Language Interpreter Videos with or without Captions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debevc, Matjaž; Milošević, Danijela; Kožuh, Ines

    2015-01-01

    One important theme in captioning is whether the implementation of captions in individual sign language interpreter videos can positively affect viewers' comprehension when compared with sign language interpreter videos without captions. In our study, an experiment was conducted using four video clips with information about everyday events. Fifty-one deaf and hard of hearing sign language users alternately watched the sign language interpreter videos with, and without, captions. Afterwards, they answered ten questions. The results showed that the presence of captions positively affected their rates of comprehension, which increased by 24% among deaf viewers and 42% among hard of hearing viewers. The most obvious differences in comprehension between watching sign language interpreter videos with and without captions were found for the subjects of hiking and culture, where comprehension was higher when captions were used. The results led to suggestions for the consistent use of captions in sign language interpreter videos in various media.

  11. Bimodal bilingualism as multisensory training?: Evidence for improved audiovisual speech perception after sign language exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Joshua T; Darcy, Isabelle; Newman, Sharlene D

    2016-02-15

    The aim of the present study was to characterize effects of learning a sign language on the processing of a spoken language. Specifically, audiovisual phoneme comprehension was assessed before and after 13 weeks of sign language exposure. L2 ASL learners performed this task in the fMRI scanner. Results indicated that L2 American Sign Language (ASL) learners' behavioral classification of the speech sounds improved with time compared to hearing nonsigners. Results indicated increased activation in the supramarginal gyrus (SMG) after sign language exposure, which suggests concomitant increased phonological processing of speech. A multiple regression analysis indicated that learner's rating on co-sign speech use and lipreading ability was correlated with SMG activation. This pattern of results indicates that the increased use of mouthing and possibly lipreading during sign language acquisition may concurrently improve audiovisual speech processing in budding hearing bimodal bilinguals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Competitive Team-Based Learning versus Group Investigation with Reference to the Language Proficiency of Iranian EFL Intermediate Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Mohammad Hassan Hosseini

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper is a report on an experimental study which intended to look into the possible effects of Competitive Team-Based Learning (CTBL vis-à-vis Group Investigation (GI method of Cooperative Learning (CL on the language proficiency of Iranian EFL intermediate students. Seventy homogeneous Iranian intermediate students were selected out of a total population of 110 to serve the present study. The results of the study indicated the advantage of CTBL over GI in terms of its effect on improving the target group’s language proficiency. The results of the study were in contrast to the reports of researchers like Ab-Raza (2007, an Israeli language specialist, who have argued that students in Islamic countries “do not value diversity of ideas, beliefs, and perspectives” (p. 5 and so cannot be taught through modern methods like those of CL.

  13. Psychometric properties of a sign language version of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI)

    OpenAIRE

    Øhre, Beate; Saltnes, Hege; von Tetzchner, Stephen; Falkum, Erik

    2014-01-01

    Background There is a need for psychiatric assessment instruments that enable reliable diagnoses in persons with hearing loss who have sign language as their primary language. The objective of this study was to assess the validity of the Norwegian Sign Language (NSL) version of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Methods The MINI was translated into NSL. Forty-one signing patients consecutively referred to two specialised psychiatric units were assessed with a diagnos...

  14. Social Interaction Affects Neural Outcomes of Sign Language Learning As a Foreign Language in Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusa, Noriaki; Kim, Jungho; Koizumi, Masatoshi; Sugiura, Motoaki; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2017-01-01

    Children naturally acquire a language in social contexts where they interact with their caregivers. Indeed, research shows that social interaction facilitates lexical and phonological development at the early stages of child language acquisition. It is not clear, however, whether the relationship between social interaction and learning applies to adult second language acquisition of syntactic rules. Does learning second language syntactic rules through social interactions with a native speaker or without such interactions impact behavior and the brain? The current study aims to answer this question. Adult Japanese participants learned a new foreign language, Japanese sign language (JSL), either through a native deaf signer or via DVDs. Neural correlates of acquiring new linguistic knowledge were investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The participants in each group were indistinguishable in terms of their behavioral data after the instruction. The fMRI data, however, revealed significant differences in the neural activities between two groups. Significant activations in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) were found for the participants who learned JSL through interactions with the native signer. In contrast, no cortical activation change in the left IFG was found for the group who experienced the same visual input for the same duration via the DVD presentation. Given that the left IFG is involved in the syntactic processing of language, spoken or signed, learning through social interactions resulted in an fMRI signature typical of native speakers: activation of the left IFG. Thus, broadly speaking, availability of communicative interaction is necessary for second language acquisition and this results in observed changes in the brain.

  15. Assessing oral proficiency in computer-assisted foreign language learning: A study in the context of teletandem interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas Altamiro CONSOLO

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT An innovative aspect in the area of language assessment has been to evaluate oral language proficiency in distant interactions by means of computers. In this paper, we present the results of a qualitative research study that aimed at analyzing features of language spoken in a computer-aided learning and teaching context, which is constituted by teletandem interactions. The data were collected in the scope of the Teletandem Brazil project by means of interviews, audio and video recordings of online interactions, questionnaires and field notes. The results offer contributions for the areas of assessment, teacher education and teaching Portuguese for foreigners.

  16. Signing Earth Science: Accommodations for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Whose First Language Is Sign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vesel, J.; Hurdich, J.

    2014-12-01

    TERC and Vcom3D used the SigningAvatar® accessibility software to research and develop a Signing Earth Science Dictionary (SESD) of approximately 750 standards-based Earth science terms for high school students who are deaf and hard of hearing and whose first language is sign. The partners also evaluated the extent to which use of the SESD furthers understanding of Earth science content, command of the language of Earth science, and the ability to study Earth science independently. Disseminated as a Web-based version and App, the SESD is intended to serve the ~36,000 grade 9-12 students who are deaf or hard of hearing and whose first language is sign, the majority of whom leave high school reading at the fifth grade or below. It is also intended for teachers and interpreters who interact with members of this population and professionals working with Earth science education programs during field trips, internships etc. The signed SESD terms have been incorporated into a Mobile Communication App (MCA). This App for Androids is intended to facilitate communication between English speakers and persons who communicate in American Sign Language (ASL) or Signed English. It can translate words, phrases, or whole sentences from written or spoken English to animated signing. It can also fingerspell proper names and other words for which there are no signs. For our presentation, we will demonstrate the interactive features of the SigningAvatar® accessibility software that support the three principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and have been incorporated into the SESD and MCA. Results from national field-tests will provide insight into the SESD's and MCA's potential applicability beyond grade 12 as accommodations that can be used for accessing the vocabulary deaf and hard of hearing students need for study of the geosciences and for facilitating communication about content. This work was funded in part by grants from NSF and the U.S. Department of Education.

  17. Assessing the Language Proficiency of Tribal Heritage Language Learners: Issues and Concerns for American Indian Pueblo Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sims, Christine

    2008-01-01

    Among American Indian Pueblo tribes, community-based language revitalisation initiatives have been established in response to a growing language shift towards English. This has been most prominent among school age children, prompting some tribes to extend tribal language programmes into local public schools. For centuries, the transmission of…

  18. How sensory-motor systems impact the neural organization for language: direct contrasts between spoken and signed language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmorey, Karen; McCullough, Stephen; Mehta, Sonya; Grabowski, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    To investigate the impact of sensory-motor systems on the neural organization for language, we conducted an H215O-PET study of sign and spoken word production (picture-naming) and an fMRI study of sign and audio-visual spoken language comprehension (detection of a semantically anomalous sentence) with hearing bilinguals who are native users of American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Directly contrasting speech and sign production revealed greater activation in bilateral parietal cortex for signing, while speaking resulted in greater activation in bilateral superior temporal cortex (STC) and right frontal cortex, likely reflecting auditory feedback control. Surprisingly, the language production contrast revealed a relative increase in activation in bilateral occipital cortex for speaking. We speculate that greater activation in visual cortex for speaking may actually reflect cortical attenuation when signing, which functions to distinguish self-produced from externally generated visual input. Directly contrasting speech and sign comprehension revealed greater activation in bilateral STC for speech and greater activation in bilateral occipital-temporal cortex for sign. Sign comprehension, like sign production, engaged bilateral parietal cortex to a greater extent than spoken language. We hypothesize that posterior parietal activation in part reflects processing related to spatial classifier constructions in ASL and that anterior parietal activation may reflect covert imitation that functions as a predictive model during sign comprehension. The conjunction analysis for comprehension revealed that both speech and sign bilaterally engaged the inferior frontal gyrus (with more extensive activation on the left) and the superior temporal sulcus, suggesting an invariant bilateral perisylvian language system. We conclude that surface level differences between sign and spoken languages should not be dismissed and are critical for understanding the neurobiology of language

  19. Discourses of prejudice in the professions: the case of sign languages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, Tom; Kushalnagar, Poorna; Mathur, Gaurav; Napoli, Donna Jo; Padden, Carol; Rathmann, Christian; Smith, Scott

    2017-09-01

    There is no evidence that learning a natural human language is cognitively harmful to children. To the contrary, multilingualism has been argued to be beneficial to all. Nevertheless, many professionals advise the parents of deaf children that their children should not learn a sign language during their early years, despite strong evidence across many research disciplines that sign languages are natural human languages. Their recommendations are based on a combination of misperceptions about (1) the difficulty of learning a sign language, (2) the effects of bilingualism, and particularly bimodalism, (3) the bona fide status of languages that lack a written form, (4) the effects of a sign language on acquiring literacy, (5) the ability of technologies to address the needs of deaf children and (6) the effects that use of a sign language will have on family cohesion. We expose these misperceptions as based in prejudice and urge institutions involved in educating professionals concerned with the healthcare, raising and educating of deaf children to include appropriate information about first language acquisition and the importance of a sign language for deaf children. We further urge such professionals to advise the parents of deaf children properly, which means to strongly advise the introduction of a sign language as soon as hearing loss is detected. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  20. Functional activity and white matter microstructure reveal the independent effects of age of acquisition and proficiency on second-language learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Emily S; Joanisse, Marc F

    2016-12-01

    Two key factors govern how bilingual speakers neurally maintain two languages: the speakers' second language age of acquisition (AoA) and their subsequent proficiency. However, the relative roles of these two factors have been difficult to disentangle given that the two can be closely correlated, and most prior studies have examined the two factors in isolation. Here, we combine functional magnetic resonance imaging with diffusion tensor imaging to identify specific brain areas that are independently modulated by AoA and proficiency in second language speakers. First-language Mandarin Chinese speakers who are second language speakers of English were scanned as they performed a picture-word matching task in either language. In the same session we also acquired diffusion-weighted scans to assess white matter microstructure, along with behavioural measures of language proficiency prior to entering the scanner. Results reveal gray- and white-matter networks involving both the left and right hemisphere that independently vary as a function of a second-language speaker's AoA and proficiency, focused on the superior temporal gyrus, middle and inferior frontal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, and the basal ganglia. These results indicate that proficiency and AoA explain separate functional and structural networks in the bilingual brain, which we interpret as suggesting distinct types of plasticity for age-dependent effects (i.e., AoA) versus experience and/or predisposition (i.e., proficiency). Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Language proficiency among immigrants and the establishment of interethnic relations: a comparative analysis of Bilbao, Lisbon and Rotterdam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Esteves

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite the increasing interest in exploring language proficiency among immigrants as a quintessential element for their economic integration in the host country, less attention has been devoted to the social impacts that destination-language proficiency may have on enhancing interethnic contacts between immigrants and the native population. This research aims to shed light on this latter topic, discussing if being a native-speaker immigrant in the host country or, for those immigrants who are non-native speakers, having a stronger command of the destination-language may increase their likelihood of interacting with the native population. Moreover, we question if there are significant differences in the interaction patterns between these two groups and the natives, presenting the cities of Bilbao, Lisbon and Rotterdam as a territorial frame. The analysis is based on data gathered through the GEITONIES survey. The results obtained indicate that native-speaker immigrants generally tend to show more interaction with the natives. Nevertheless, for immigrants not sharing such cultural similarity, those with a higher level of second-language proficiency clearly show stronger bonds with the native population; in both cases this can also be related to individual, group or place related variables.

  2. Use of veterinary services by Latino dog and cat owners with various degrees of English-language proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landau, Ruth E; Beck, Alan; Glickman, Larry T; Litster, Annette; Widmar, Nicole J Olynk; Moore, George E

    2016-03-15

    To characterize patterns of dog and cat ownership and veterinary service use among Latino dog and cat owners with various degrees of English-language proficiency. DESIGN :Cross-sectional telephone survey. Data from 393 Latino pet owners. Telephone surveys were conducted with Latino dog and cat owners from a random sample of US households to determine the number of dogs and cats owned, factors associated with veterinary service use, and satisfaction with veterinary care. 393 of 1,026 (38.3%) respondents were pet owners. Two hundred fifty-nine of 330 (78.5%) dog owners and 70 of 115 (60.9%) cat owners reported taking their pet to the veterinarian in the past 12 months, most commonly for vaccination or examination or because of illness. Respondents were most satisfied with veterinary care provided, least satisfied with cost, and moderately satisfied with quality of communication. English-language proficiency was not significantly associated with whether owners sought veterinary care. A large proportion of respondents who wanted to receive pet health information in Spanish described themselves as speaking English well or very well. Although having limited proficiency in English was not associated with Latino pet owners seeking veterinary care, opportunities exist for veterinary personnel to improve communications with these clients. Personnel can assess their clients' language needs by asking each about the language in which they would prefer to receive their pet's health information.

  3. The Effects of First- and Second-Language Proficiency on Conflict Resolution and Goal Maintenance in Bilinguals: Evidence from Reaction Time Distributional Analyses in a Stroop Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tse, Chi-Shing; Altarriba, Jeanette

    2012-01-01

    By administering a Stroop task to college-student bilinguals varied in self-rated first- (L1) and second-language (L2) proficiency, the current study examined the effects of L1 and L2 proficiencies on selective attention performance. We conducted ex-Gaussian analyses to capture the modal and positive-tail components of participants' reaction time…

  4. Towards a Sign Language Synthesizer: a Bridge to Communication Gap of the Hearing/Speech Impaired Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maarif, H. A.; Akmeliawati, R.; Gunawan, T. S.; Shafie, A. A.

    2013-12-01

    Sign language synthesizer is a method to visualize the sign language movement from the spoken language. The sign language (SL) is one of means used by HSI people to communicate to normal people. But, unfortunately the number of people, including the HSI people, who are familiar with sign language is very limited. These cause difficulties in the communication between the normal people and the HSI people. The sign language is not only hand movement but also the face expression. Those two elements have complimentary aspect each other. The hand movement will show the meaning of each signing and the face expression will show the emotion of a person. Generally, Sign language synthesizer will recognize the spoken language by using speech recognition, the grammatical process will involve context free grammar, and 3D synthesizer will take part by involving recorded avatar. This paper will analyze and compare the existing techniques of developing a sign language synthesizer, which leads to IIUM Sign Language Synthesizer.

  5. Extricating Manual and Non-Manual Features for Subunit Level Medical Sign Modelling in Automatic Sign Language Classification and Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    R, Elakkiya; K, Selvamani

    2017-09-22

    Subunit segmenting and modelling in medical sign language is one of the important studies in linguistic-oriented and vision-based Sign Language Recognition (SLR). Many efforts were made in the precedent to focus the functional subunits from the view of linguistic syllables but the problem is implementing such subunit extraction using syllables is not feasible in real-world computer vision techniques. And also, the present recognition systems are designed in such a way that it can detect the signer dependent actions under restricted and laboratory conditions. This research paper aims at solving these two important issues (1) Subunit extraction and (2) Signer independent action on visual sign language recognition. Subunit extraction involved in the sequential and parallel breakdown of sign gestures without any prior knowledge on syllables and number of subunits. A novel Bayesian Parallel Hidden Markov Model (BPaHMM) is introduced for subunit extraction to combine the features of manual and non-manual parameters to yield better results in classification and recognition of signs. Signer independent action aims in using a single web camera for different signer behaviour patterns and for cross-signer validation. Experimental results have proved that the proposed signer independent subunit level modelling for sign language classification and recognition has shown improvement and variations when compared with other existing works.

  6. Reproducing American Sign Language Sentences: Cognitive Scaffolding in Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ted eSupalla

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The American Sign Language Sentence Reproduction Test (ASL-SRT requires the precise reproduction of a series of ASL sentences increasing in complexity and length. Error analyses of such tasks provides insight into working memory and scaffolding processes. Data was collected from three groups expected to differ in fluency: deaf children, deaf adults and hearing adults, all users of ASL. Quantitative (correct/incorrect recall and qualitative error analyses were performed. Percent correct on the reproduction task supports its sensitivity to fluency as test performance clearly differed across the three groups studied. A linguistic analysis of errors further documented differing strategies and bias across groups. Subjects’ recall projected the affordance and constraints of deep linguistic representations to differing degrees, with subjects resorting to alternate processing strategies in the absence of linguistic knowledge. A qualitative error analysis allows us to capture generalizations about the relationship between error pattern and the cognitive scaffolding, which governs the sentence reproduction process. Highly fluent signers and less-fluent signers share common chokepoints on particular words in sentences. However, they diverge in heuristic strategy. Fluent signers, when they make an error, tend to preserve semantic details while altering morpho-syntactic domains. They produce syntactically correct sentences with equivalent meaning to the to-be-reproduced one, but these are not verbatim reproductions of the original sentence. In contrast, less-fluent signers tend to use a more linear strategy, preserving lexical status and word ordering while omitting local inflections, and occasionally resorting to visuo-motoric imitation. Thus, whereas fluent signers readily use top-down scaffolding in their working memory, less fluent signers fail to do so. Implications for current models of working memory across spoken and signed modalities are

  7. Sign Language Recognition with the Kinect Sensor Based on Conditional Random Fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hee-Deok Yang

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Sign language is a visual language used by deaf people. One difficulty of sign language recognition is that sign instances of vary in both motion and shape in three-dimensional (3D space. In this research, we use 3D depth information from hand motions, generated from Microsoft’s Kinect sensor and apply a hierarchical conditional random field (CRF that recognizes hand signs from the hand motions. The proposed method uses a hierarchical CRF to detect candidate segments of signs using hand motions, and then a BoostMap embedding method to verify the hand shapes of the segmented signs. Experiments demonstrated that the proposed method could recognize signs from signed sentence data at a rate of 90.4%.

  8. Using micro-contexts to describe a writing process in Estonian as a second language across proficiency levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Pastuhhova

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to describe the writing process of native Russian‑speaking students in Estonian as a second language. 34 participants were given the assignment of writing a text in the L2. The written texts were then rated as being at levels from A2 to C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR. The data were collected by computer keystroke logging and analysed based on the concept of a ‘micro-context’. Micro-contexts were analysed according to their frequency and duration and were compared across proficiency levels. The results show that writing in the L2 is not a smooth process. The longest transitions in micro-contexts reveal that the most cognitive effort is made between paragraphs and sentences and when deletions are involved. The growing number of consecutive deletions demonstrates that even with developing proficiency, the linear production text is subject to constant revision, correction and modification.

  9. The effect of sign language structure on complex word reading in Chinese deaf adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Aitao; Yu, Yanping; Niu, Jiaxin; Zhang, John X

    2015-01-01

    The present study was carried out to investigate whether sign language structure plays a role in the processing of complex words (i.e., derivational and compound words), in particular, the delay of complex word reading in deaf adolescents. Chinese deaf adolescents were found to respond faster to derivational words than to compound words for one-sign-structure words, but showed comparable performance for two-sign-structure words. For both derivational and compound words, response latencies to one-sign-structure words were shorter than to two-sign-structure words. These results provide strong evidence that the structure of sign language affects written word processing in Chinese. Additionally, differences between derivational and compound words in the one-sign-structure condition indicate that Chinese deaf adolescents acquire print morphological awareness. The results also showed that delayed word reading was found in derivational words with two signs (DW-2), compound words with one sign (CW-1), and compound words with two signs (CW-2), but not in derivational words with one sign (DW-1), with the delay being maximum in DW-2, medium in CW-2, and minimum in CW-1, suggesting that the structure of sign language has an impact on the delayed processing of Chinese written words in deaf adolescents. These results provide insight into the mechanisms about how sign language structure affects written word processing and its delayed processing relative to their hearing peers of the same age.

  10. The effect of sign language structure on complex word reading in Chinese deaf adolescents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aitao Lu

    Full Text Available The present study was carried out to investigate whether sign language structure plays a role in the processing of complex words (i.e., derivational and compound words, in particular, the delay of complex word reading in deaf adolescents. Chinese deaf adolescents were found to respond faster to derivational words than to compound words for one-sign-structure words, but showed comparable performance for two-sign-structure words. For both derivational and compound words, response latencies to one-sign-structure words were shorter than to two-sign-structure words. These results provide strong evidence that the structure of sign language affects written word processing in Chinese. Additionally, differences between derivational and compound words in the one-sign-structure condition indicate that Chinese deaf adolescents acquire print morphological awareness. The results also showed that delayed word reading was found in derivational words with two signs (DW-2, compound words with one sign (CW-1, and compound words with two signs (CW-2, but not in derivational words with one sign (DW-1, with the delay being maximum in DW-2, medium in CW-2, and minimum in CW-1, suggesting that the structure of sign language has an impact on the delayed processing of Chinese written words in deaf adolescents. These results provide insight into the mechanisms about how sign language structure affects written word processing and its delayed processing relative to their hearing peers of the same age.

  11. COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE STRUCTURE OF THE AMERICAN AND MACEDONIAN SIGN LANGUAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandra KAROVSKA RISTOVSKA

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Aleksandra Karovska Ristovska, M.A. in special education and rehabilitation sciences, defended her doctoral thesis on 9 of March 2014 at the Institute of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Philosophy, University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius”- Skopje in front of the commission composed of: Prof. Zora Jachova, PhD; Prof. Jasmina Kovachevikj, PhD; Prof. Ljudmil Spasov, PhD; Prof. Goran Ajdinski, PhD; Prof. Daniela Dimitrova Radojicikj, PhD. The Macedonian Sign Language is a natural language, used by the community of Deaf in the Republic of Macedonia. This doctoral paper aimed towards the analyses of the characteristics of the Macedonian Sign Language: its phonology, morphology and syntax as well as towards the comparison of the Macedonian and the American Sign Language. William Stokoe was the first one who in the 1960’s started the research of the American Sign Language. He set the base of the linguistic research in sign languages. The analysis of the signs in the Macedonian Sign Language was made according Stokoe’s parameters: location, hand shape and movement. Lexicostatistics showed that MSL and ASL belong to a different language family. Beside this fact, they share some iconic signs, whose presence can be attributed to the phenomena of lexical borrowings. Phonologically, in ASL and MSL, if we make a change of one of Stokoe’s categories, the meaning of the word changes as well. Non-manual signs which are grammatical markers in sign languages are identical in ASL and MSL. The production of compounds and the production of plural forms are identical in both sign languages. The inflection of verbs is also identical. The research showed that the most common order of words in ASL and MSL is the SVO order (subject-verb-object, while the SOV and OVS order can seldom be met. Questions and negative sentences are produced identically in ASL and MSL.

  12. The link between Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety, Second Language Tolerance of Ambiguity and Self-rated English proficiency among Chinese learners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Marc Dewaele

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Previous research has suggested that high levels of Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety (FLCA have a negative effect on foreign language learning (Horwitz, 2001; Lu & Liu, 2011 while moderate levels of Second Language Tolerance of Ambiguity (SLTA are believed to boost foreign language learning (Ely, 1995. There is prima facie evidence that both dimensions are inversely related as Foreign Language Learning contexts are full of ambiguities which may contribute to anxiety. However, the relationship between FLCA and SLTA has been under-researched. The present study is an attempt to fill this gap by investigating the link between SLTA and FLCA in English of 73 secondary school students in Hong Kong. They filled out an online questionnaire consisting of the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986 and the Second Language Tolerance of Ambiguity Scale (Ely, 1995. Statistical analyses revealed that FLCA, SLTA and Self-rated English proficiency predict half of the variance in each other; in other words, students who were more tolerant of second language ambiguity were less anxious in their EFL classes and they also felt more proficient.

  13. Health Websites: Accessibility and Usability for American Sign Language Users

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushalnagar, Poorna; Naturale, Joan; Paludneviciene, Raylene; Smith, Scott R.; Werfel, Emily; Doolittle, Richard; Jacobs, Stephen; DeCaro, James

    2015-01-01

    To date, there have been efforts towards creating better health information access for Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users. However, the usability of websites with access to health information in ASL has not been evaluated. Our paper focuses on the usability of four health websites that include ASL videos. We seek to obtain ASL users’ perspectives on the navigation of these ASL-accessible websites, finding the health information that they needed, and perceived ease of understanding ASL video content. ASL users (N=32) were instructed to find specific information on four ASL-accessible websites, and answered questions related to: 1) navigation to find the task, 2) website usability, and 3) ease of understanding ASL video content for each of the four websites. Participants also gave feedback on what they would like to see in an ASL health library website, including the benefit of added captioning and/or signer model to medical illustration of health videos. Participants who had lower health literacy had greater difficulty in finding information on ASL-accessible health websites. This paper also describes the participants’ preferences for an ideal ASL-accessible health website, and concludes with a discussion on the role of accessible websites in promoting health literacy in ASL users. PMID:24901350

  14. Arabic sign language recognition based on HOG descriptor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Jmaa, Ahmed; Mahdi, Walid; Ben Jemaa, Yousra; Ben Hamadou, Abdelmajid

    2017-02-01

    We present in this paper a new approach for Arabic sign language (ArSL) alphabet recognition using hand gesture analysis. This analysis consists in extracting a histogram of oriented gradient (HOG) features from a hand image and then using them to generate an SVM Models. Which will be used to recognize the ArSL alphabet in real-time from hand gesture using a Microsoft Kinect camera. Our approach involves three steps: (i) Hand detection and localization using a Microsoft Kinect camera, (ii) hand segmentation and (iii) feature extraction using Arabic alphabet recognition. One each input image first obtained by using a depth sensor, we apply our method based on hand anatomy to segment hand and eliminate all the errors pixels. This approach is invariant to scale, to rotation and to translation of the hand. Some experimental results show the effectiveness of our new approach. Experiment revealed that the proposed ArSL system is able to recognize the ArSL with an accuracy of 90.12%.

  15. Accessibility perspectives on enabling South African sign language in the South African National Accessibility Portal

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Coetzee, L

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available and services. One such mechanism is by embedding animated Sign Language in Web pages. This paper analyses the effectiveness and appropriateness of using this approach by embedding South African Sign Language in the South African National Accessibility Portal...

  16. The non- (existent) native signer: sign language research in a small deaf population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Costello, B.; Fernández, J.; Landa, A.; Quadros, R.; Möller de Quadros,

    2008-01-01

    This paper examines the concept of a native language user and looks at the different definitions of native signer within the field of sign language research. A description of the deaf signing population in the Basque Country shows that the figure of 5-10% typically cited for deaf individuals born

  17. Lexical Properties of Slovene Sign Language: A Corpus-Based Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vintar, Špela

    2015-01-01

    Slovene Sign Language (SZJ) has as yet received little attention from linguists. This article presents some basic facts about SZJ, its history, current status, and a description of the Slovene Sign Language Corpus and Pilot Grammar (SIGNOR) project, which compiled and annotated a representative corpus of SZJ. Finally, selected quantitative data…

  18. Comprehending Sentences with the Body: Action Compatibility in British Sign Language?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinson, David; Perniss, Pamela; Fox, Neil; Vigliocco, Gabriella

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies show that reading sentences about actions leads to specific motor activity associated with actually performing those actions. We investigate how sign language input may modulate motor activation, using British Sign Language (BSL) sentences, some of which explicitly encode direction of motion, versus written English, where motion…

  19. Constructing an Online Test Framework, Using the Example of a Sign Language Receptive Skills Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haug, Tobias; Herman, Rosalind; Woll, Bencie

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents the features of an online test framework for a receptive skills test that has been adapted, based on a British template, into different sign languages. The online test includes features that meet the needs of the different sign language versions. Features such as usability of the test, automatic saving of scores, and score…

  20. Deaf Students' Receptive and Expressive American Sign Language Skills: Comparisons and Relations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beal-Alvarez, Jennifer S.

    2014-01-01

    This article presents receptive and expressive American Sign Language skills of 85 students, 6 through 22 years of age at a residential school for the deaf using the American Sign Language Receptive Skills Test and the Ozcaliskan Motion Stimuli. Results are presented by ages and indicate that students' receptive skills increased with age and…

  1. The Link between Form and Meaning in British Sign Language: Effects of Iconicity for Phonological Decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Robin L.; Vinson, David P.; Vigliocco, Gabriella

    2010-01-01

    Signed languages exploit the visual/gestural modality to create iconic expression across a wide range of basic conceptual structures in which the phonetic resources of the language are built up into an analogue of a mental image (Taub, 2001). Previously, we demonstrated a processing advantage when iconic properties of signs were made salient in a…

  2. English language proficiency and academic performance: A study of a medical preparatory year program in Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaliyadan, Feroze; Thalamkandathil, Nazer; Parupalli, Srinivas Rao; Amin, Tarek Tawfik; Balaha, Magdy Hassan; Al Bu Ali, Waleed Hamad

    2015-01-01

    All medical schools in Saudi Arabia have English as the primary official medium of instruction. Most of the high school education, however, is delivered in Arabic and hence the transition to an English based learning environment tends to be difficult for some students. Our study aims to correlate English language proficiency with academic performance among medical students in their preparatory year. A cross-sectional study design was used. Test scores of 103 preparatory year students (54 female and 49 male) were analyzed after the students completed an English language course and medical introductory course in their preparatory year. The total score obtained in the English course assessment was compared to each component of the medical content assessment. A significantly positive correlation (Spearman's Rho, at 0.01 levels) was seen between the scores of the English exam and the written exam (P English exam score was not obtained for the other components of the medical assessment, namely; student assignments, presentations and portfolios. English language proficiency is an important factor in determining academic proficiency of medical students in our college at the preparatory year level.

  3. Language Proficiency, Collocational Knowledge and the Role of L1 Transfer: A Correlational Study of Iranian EFL Learners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustapha Hajebi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The present study investigates the correlation between language proficiency, collocations and the role of L1 transfer with collocations. This is a quantitative research. The research places more emphases on collecting data in the form of numbers. It is also experimental research in the sense that it tests participants to measure their variables. The participants of the study were 57 Persian B.A students, both male and female from Islamic Azad University of Bandar Abbas, Iran. The results showed that there is a significant relationship between Iranian subjects’ language proficiency, as measured by the Michigan proficiency test and their knowledge of collocations, as measured by their performance on a collocation test designed for the current study. The results obtained from the research indicate that Iranian EFL learners are more likely to use the right collocation in cases of L1 transfer. This suggests that positive transfer plays a major role when it comes to EFL learners’ ability to produce the right collocations in their L2. The findings of this study have some implications for language teaching. Teachers can put emphasis on the inclusion of selected grammatical and lexical collocations in reading comprehension passages.

  4. Brain responses before and after intensive second language learning: proficiency based changes and first language background effects in adult learners.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin Jacquelyn White

    Full Text Available This longitudinal study tracked the neuro-cognitive changes associated with second language (L2 grammar learning in adults in order to investigate how L2 processing is shaped by a learner's first language (L1 background and L2 proficiency. Previous studies using event-related potentials (ERPs have argued that late L2 learners cannot elicit a P600 in response to L2 grammatical structures that do not exist in the L1 or that are different in the L1 and L2. We tested whether the neuro-cognitive processes underlying this component become available after intensive L2 instruction. Korean- and Chinese late-L2-learners of English were tested at the beginning and end of a 9-week intensive English-L2 course. ERPs were recorded while participants read English sentences containing violations of regular past tense (a grammatical structure that operates differently in Korean and does not exist in Chinese. Whereas no P600 effects were present at the start of instruction, by the end of instruction, significant P600s were observed for both L1 groups. Latency differences in the P600 exhibited by Chinese and Korean speakers may be attributed to differences in L1-L2 reading strategies. Across all participants, larger P600 effects at session 2 were associated with: 1 higher levels of behavioural performance on an online grammaticality judgment task; and 2 with correct, rather than incorrect, behavioural responses. These findings suggest that the neuro-cognitive processes underlying the P600 (e.g., "grammaticalization" are modulated by individual levels of L2 behavioural performance and learning.

  5. Brain Responses before and after Intensive Second Language Learning: Proficiency Based Changes and First Language Background Effects in Adult Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Erin Jacquelyn; Genesee, Fred; Steinhauer, Karsten

    2012-01-01

    This longitudinal study tracked the neuro-cognitive changes associated with second language (L2) grammar learning in adults in order to investigate how L2 processing is shaped by a learner’s first language (L1) background and L2 proficiency. Previous studies using event-related potentials (ERPs) have argued that late L2 learners cannot elicit a P600 in response to L2 grammatical structures that do not exist in the L1 or that are different in the L1 and L2. We tested whether the neuro-cognitive processes underlying this component become available after intensive L2 instruction. Korean- and Chinese late-L2-learners of English were tested at the beginning and end of a 9-week intensive English-L2 course. ERPs were recorded while participants read English sentences containing violations of regular past tense (a grammatical structure that operates differently in Korean and does not exist in Chinese). Whereas no P600 effects were present at the start of instruction, by the end of instruction, significant P600s were observed for both L1 groups. Latency differences in the P600 exhibited by Chinese and Korean speakers may be attributed to differences in L1–L2 reading strategies. Across all participants, larger P600 effects at session 2 were associated with: 1) higher levels of behavioural performance on an online grammaticality judgment task; and 2) with correct, rather than incorrect, behavioural responses. These findings suggest that the neuro-cognitive processes underlying the P600 (e.g., “grammaticalization”) are modulated by individual levels of L2 behavioural performance and learning. PMID:23300641

  6. Brain responses before and after intensive second language learning: proficiency based changes and first language background effects in adult learners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Erin Jacquelyn; Genesee, Fred; Steinhauer, Karsten

    2012-01-01

    This longitudinal study tracked the neuro-cognitive changes associated with second language (L2) grammar learning in adults in order to investigate how L2 processing is shaped by a learner's first language (L1) background and L2 proficiency. Previous studies using event-related potentials (ERPs) have argued that late L2 learners cannot elicit a P600 in response to L2 grammatical structures that do not exist in the L1 or that are different in the L1 and L2. We tested whether the neuro-cognitive processes underlying this component become available after intensive L2 instruction. Korean- and Chinese late-L2-learners of English were tested at the beginning and end of a 9-week intensive English-L2 course. ERPs were recorded while participants read English sentences containing violations of regular past tense (a grammatical structure that operates differently in Korean and does not exist in Chinese). Whereas no P600 effects were present at the start of instruction, by the end of instruction, significant P600s were observed for both L1 groups. Latency differences in the P600 exhibited by Chinese and Korean speakers may be attributed to differences in L1-L2 reading strategies. Across all participants, larger P600 effects at session 2 were associated with: 1) higher levels of behavioural performance on an online grammaticality judgment task; and 2) with correct, rather than incorrect, behavioural responses. These findings suggest that the neuro-cognitive processes underlying the P600 (e.g., "grammaticalization") are modulated by individual levels of L2 behavioural performance and learning.

  7. Event representations constrain the structure of language: Sign language as a window into universally accessible linguistic biases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, Brent; Geraci, Carlo; Chemla, Emmanuel; Schlenker, Philippe; Kelepir, Meltem; Pfau, Roland

    2015-05-12

    According to a theoretical tradition dating back to Aristotle, verbs can be classified into two broad categories. Telic verbs (e.g., "decide," "sell," "die") encode a logical endpoint, whereas atelic verbs (e.g., "think," "negotiate," "run") do not, and the denoted event could therefore logically continue indefinitely. Here we show that sign languages encode telicity in a seemingly universal way and moreover that even nonsigners lacking any prior experience with sign language understand these encodings. In experiments 1-5, nonsigning English speakers accurately distinguished between telic (e.g., "decide") and atelic (e.g., "think") signs from (the historically unrelated) Italian Sign Language, Sign Language of the Netherlands, and Turkish Sign Language. These results were not due to participants' inferring that the sign merely imitated the action in question. In experiment 6, we used pseudosigns to show that the presence of a salient visual boundary at the end of a gesture was sufficient to elicit telic interpretations, whereas repeated movement without salient boundaries elicited atelic interpretations. Experiments 7-10 confirmed that these visual cues were used by all of the sign languages studied here. Together, these results suggest that signers and nonsigners share universally accessible notions of telicity as well as universally accessible "mapping biases" between telicity and visual form.

  8. A Case of Specific Language Impairment in a Deaf Signer of American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinto-Pozos, David; Singleton, Jenny L; Hauser, Peter C

    2017-04-01

    This article describes the case of a deaf native signer of American Sign Language (ASL) with a specific language impairment (SLI). School records documented normal cognitive development but atypical language development. Data include school records; interviews with the child, his mother, and school professionals; ASL and English evaluations; and a comprehensive neuropsychological and psychoeducational evaluation, and they span an approximate period of 7.5 years (11;10-19;6) including scores from school records (11;10-16;5) and a 3.5-year period (15;10-19;6) during which we collected linguistic and neuropsychological data. Results revealed that this student has average intelligence, intact visual perceptual skills, visuospatial skills, and motor skills but demonstrates challenges with some memory and sequential processing tasks. Scores from ASL testing signaled language impairment and marked difficulty with fingerspelling. The student also had significant deficits in English vocabulary, spelling, reading comprehension, reading fluency, and writing. Accepted SLI diagnostic criteria exclude deaf individuals from an SLI diagnosis, but the authors propose modified criteria in this work. The results of this study have practical implications for professionals including school psychologists, speech language pathologists, and ASL specialists. The results also support the theoretical argument that SLI can be evident regardless of the modality in which it is communicated. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Towards a Transcription System of Sign Language for 3D Virtual Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Do Amaral, Wanessa Machado; de Martino, José Mario

    Accessibility is a growing concern in computer science. Since virtual information is mostly presented visually, it may seem that access for deaf people is not an issue. However, for prelingually deaf individuals, those who were deaf since before acquiring and formally learn a language, written information is often of limited accessibility than if presented in signing. Further, for this community, signing is their language of choice, and reading text in a spoken language is akin to using a foreign language. Sign language uses gestures and facial expressions and is widely used by deaf communities. To enabling efficient production of signed content on virtual environment, it is necessary to make written records of signs. Transcription systems have been developed to describe sign languages in written form, but these systems have limitations. Since they were not originally designed with computer animation in mind, in general, the recognition and reproduction of signs in these systems is an easy task only to those who deeply know the system. The aim of this work is to develop a transcription system to provide signed content in virtual environment. To animate a virtual avatar, a transcription system requires explicit enough information, such as movement speed, signs concatenation, sequence of each hold-and-movement and facial expressions, trying to articulate close to reality. Although many important studies in sign languages have been published, the transcription problem remains a challenge. Thus, a notation to describe, store and play signed content in virtual environments offers a multidisciplinary study and research tool, which may help linguistic studies to understand the sign languages structure and grammar.

  10. A Kinect-Based Sign Language Hand Gesture Recognition System for Hearing- and Speech-Impaired: A Pilot Study of Pakistani Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halim, Zahid; Abbas, Ghulam

    2015-01-01

    Sign language provides hearing and speech impaired individuals with an interface to communicate with other members of the society. Unfortunately, sign language is not understood by most of the common people. For this, a gadget based on image processing and pattern recognition can provide with a vital aid for detecting and translating sign language into a vocal language. This work presents a system for detecting and understanding the sign language gestures by a custom built software tool and later translating the gesture into a vocal language. For the purpose of recognizing a particular gesture, the system employs a Dynamic Time Warping (DTW) algorithm and an off-the-shelf software tool is employed for vocal language generation. Microsoft(®) Kinect is the primary tool used to capture video stream of a user. The proposed method is capable of successfully detecting gestures stored in the dictionary with an accuracy of 91%. The proposed system has the ability to define and add custom made gestures. Based on an experiment in which 10 individuals with impairments used the system to communicate with 5 people with no disability, 87% agreed that the system was useful.

  11. Sign language recognition and translation: a multidisciplined approach from the field of artificial intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parton, Becky Sue

    2006-01-01

    In recent years, research has progressed steadily in regard to the use of computers to recognize and render sign language. This paper reviews significant projects in the field beginning with finger-spelling hands such as "Ralph" (robotics), CyberGloves (virtual reality sensors to capture isolated and continuous signs), camera-based projects such as the CopyCat interactive American Sign Language game (computer vision), and sign recognition software (Hidden Markov Modeling and neural network systems). Avatars such as "Tessa" (Text and Sign Support Assistant; three-dimensional imaging) and spoken language to sign language translation systems such as Poland's project entitled "THETOS" (Text into Sign Language Automatic Translator, which operates in Polish; natural language processing) are addressed. The application of this research to education is also explored. The "ICICLE" (Interactive Computer Identification and Correction of Language Errors) project, for example, uses intelligent computer-aided instruction to build a tutorial system for deaf or hard-of-hearing children that analyzes their English writing and makes tailored lessons and recommendations. Finally, the article considers synthesized sign, which is being added to educational material and has the potential to be developed by students themselves.

  12. German Language Proficiency among Students of Business and Management in the Czech Republic and its Perception: The Importance of German Language Skills on the Labour Market and the Role of Universities in Foreign Language Training

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zinecker Marek

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the results of an empirical study designed to map German language proficiency among students at Czech universities of business and management. The results of this empirical survey can be summarised as follows. First, the ability of students at Czech universities of business and management to communicate in German is poor, and exceeds the general German language proficiency of the Czech population only to an insignificant extent. Second, the school environment (the opportunity to learn the language, compulsory subject, language study motivation has a decisive influence on the respondents’ ability to communicate in German. Third, nearly three-quarters of the respondents perceive German as a language that is very or rather important for their profession and career growth. Fourth, almost two-thirds of the respondents consider the role played by a university of business and management in the improvement of German language proficiency rather or very important. In conclusion, the study proposes directions for the potential development of the national educational system in the area of German language proficiency of university graduates in business and management in the Czech Republic, with an emphasis on the concept of content and language integrated learning (CLIL. We believe that the survey results are also very important from the point of view of enterprises operating in the Czech Republic because of the very close economic relations between the Czech Republic and German-speaking countries.

  13. ERP correlates of German Sign Language processing in deaf native signers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hänel-Faulhaber, Barbara; Skotara, Nils; Kügow, Monique; Salden, Uta; Bottari, Davide; Röder, Brigitte

    2014-05-10

    The present study investigated the neural correlates of sign language processing of Deaf people who had learned German Sign Language (Deutsche Gebärdensprache, DGS) from their Deaf parents as their first language. Correct and incorrect signed sentences were presented sign by sign on a computer screen. At the end of each sentence the participants had to judge whether or not the sentence was an appropriate DGS sentence. Two types of violations were introduced: (1) semantically incorrect sentences containing a selectional restriction violation (implausible object); (2) morphosyntactically incorrect sentences containing a verb that was incorrectly inflected (i.e., incorrect direction of movement). Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 74 scalp electrodes. Semantic violations (implausible signs) elicited an N400 effect followed by a positivity. Sentences with a morphosyntactic violation (verb agreement violation) elicited a negativity followed by a broad centro-parietal positivity. ERP correlates of semantic and morphosyntactic aspects of DGS clearly differed from each other and showed a number of similarities with those observed in other signed and oral languages. These data suggest a similar functional organization of signed and oral languages despite the visual-spacial modality of sign language.

  14. Sexual health behaviors of Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heiman, Erica; Haynes, Sharon; McKee, Michael

    2015-10-01

    Little is known about the sexual health behaviors of Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users. We sought to characterize the self-reported sexual behaviors of Deaf individuals. Responses from 282 Deaf participants aged 18-64 from the greater Rochester, NY area who participated in the 2008 Deaf Health were analyzed. These data were compared with weighted data from a general population comparison group (N = 1890). We looked at four sexual health-related outcomes: abstinence within the past year; number of sexual partners within the last year; condom use at last intercourse; and ever tested for HIV. We performed descriptive analyses, including stratification by gender, age, income, marital status, and educational level. Deaf respondents were more likely than the general population respondents to self-report two or more sexual partners in the past year (30.9% vs 10.1%) but self-reported higher condom use at last intercourse (28.0% vs 19.8%). HIV testing rates were similar between groups (47.5% vs 49.4%) but lower for certain Deaf groups: Deaf women (46.0% vs 58.1%), lower-income Deaf (44.4% vs 69.7%) and among less educated Deaf (31.3% vs 57.7%) than among respondents from corresponding general population groups. Deaf respondents self-reported higher numbers of sexual partners over the past year compared to the general population. Condom use was higher among Deaf participants. HIV was similar between groups, though HIV testing was significantly lower among lower income, less well-educated, and female Deaf respondents. Deaf individuals have a sexual health risk profile that is distinct from that of the general population. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Sexual Health Behaviors of Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) Users

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heiman, Erica; Haynes, Sharon; McKee, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Background Little is known about the sexual health behaviors of Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users. Objective We sought to characterize the self-reported sexual behaviors of Deaf individuals. Methods Responses from 282 Deaf participants aged 18–64 from the greater Rochester, NY area who participated in the 2008 Deaf Health were analyzed. These data were compared with weighted data from a general population comparison group (N=1890). We looked at four sexual health-related outcomes: abstinence within the past year; number of sexual partners within the last year; condom use at last intercourse; and ever tested for HIV. We performed descriptive analyses, including stratification by gender, age, income, marital status, and educational level. Results Deaf respondents were more likely than the general population respondents to self-report two or more sexual partners in the past year (30.9% vs 10.1%) but self-reported higher condom use at last intercourse (28.0% vs 19.8%). HIV testing rates were similar between groups (47.5% vs 49.4%) but lower for certain Deaf groups: Deaf women (46.0% vs. 58.1%), lower-income Deaf (44.4% vs. 69.7%) and among less educated Deaf (31.3% vs. 57.7%) than among respondents from corresponding general population groups. Conclusion Deaf respondents self-reported higher numbers of sexual partners over the past year compared to the general population. Condom use was higher among Deaf participants. HIV was similar between groups, though HIV testing was significantly lower among lower-income, less well-educated, and female Deaf respondents. Deaf individuals have a sexual health risk profile that is distinct from that of the general population. PMID:26242551

  16. The Subsystem of Numerals in Catalan Sign Language: Description and Examples from a Psycholinguistic Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Mariana; Tolchinsky, Liliana

    2004-01-01

    Linguistic descriptions of sign languages are important to the recognition of their linguistic status. These languages are an essential part of the cultural heritage of the communities that create and use them and vital in the education of deaf children. They are also the reference point in language acquisition studies. Ours is exploratory…

  17. Cross-Modal Recruitment of Auditory and Orofacial Areas During Sign Language in a Deaf Subject.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martino, Juan; Velasquez, Carlos; Vázquez-Bourgon, Javier; de Lucas, Enrique Marco; Gomez, Elsa

    2017-09-01

    Modern sign languages used by deaf people are fully expressive, natural human languages that are perceived visually and produced manually. The literature contains little data concerning human brain organization in conditions of deficient sensory information such as deafness. A deaf-mute patient underwent surgery of a left temporoinsular low-grade glioma. The patient underwent awake surgery with intraoperative electrical stimulation mapping, allowing direct study of the cortical and subcortical organization of sign language. We found a similar distribution of language sites to what has been reported in mapping studies of patients with oral language, including 1) speech perception areas inducing anomias and alexias close to the auditory cortex (at the posterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus and supramarginal gyrus); 2) speech production areas inducing speech arrest (anarthria) at the ventral premotor cortex, close to the lip motor area and away from the hand motor area; and 3) subcortical stimulation-induced semantic paraphasias at the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus at the temporal isthmus. The intraoperative setup for sign language mapping with intraoperative electrical stimulation in deaf-mute patients is similar to the setup described in patients with oral language. To elucidate the type of language errors, a sign language interpreter in close interaction with the neuropsychologist is necessary. Sign language is perceived visually and produced manually; however, this case revealed a cross-modal recruitment of auditory and orofacial motor areas. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Science as a second language: Analysis of Emergent Bilinguals performance and the impact of English language proficiency and first language characteristics on the Colorado measures of academic success for science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, Joanna K.

    In an age when communication is highly important and states across the nation, including Colorado, have adopted Common Core State Standards, the need for academic language is even more important than ever. The language of science has been compared to a second language in that it uses specific discourse patterns, semantic rules, and a very specific vocabulary. There is a need for educators to better understand how language impacts academic achievement, specifically concerning Emergent Bilinguals (EBs). Research has identified the need to study the role language plays in content assessments and the impact they have on EBs performance (Abedi, 2008b; Abedi, Hofestter & Lord, 2004; Abedi & Lord, 2001). Since language is the means through which content knowledge is assessed, it is important to analyze this aspect of learning. A review of literature identified the need to create more reliable and valid content assessments for EBs (Abedi, 2008b) and to further study the impact of English proficiency on EBs performance on standardized assessments (Solorzano, 2008; Wolf, & Leon, 2009). This study contributes to the literature by analyzing EBs performance on a state-level science content assessment, taking into consideration English language proficiency, receptive versus productive elements of language, and students' home language. This study further contributes by discussing the relationship between language proficiency, and the different strands of science (physical, life, and earth) on the state science assessment. Finally, this study demonstrates that home language, English language proficiency, and receptive and productive elements of language are predictive of EBs' achievement on the CMAS for science, overall and by strand. It is the blending of the social (listening and speaking) with the academic (reading and writing) that is also important and possibly more important.

  19. A Kinect based sign language recognition system using spatio-temporal features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memiş, Abbas; Albayrak, Songül

    2013-12-01

    This paper presents a sign language recognition system that uses spatio-temporal features on RGB video images and depth maps for dynamic gestures of Turkish Sign Language. Proposed system uses motion differences and accumulation approach for temporal gesture analysis. Motion accumulation method, which is an effective method for temporal domain analysis of gestures, produces an accumulated motion image by combining differences of successive video frames. Then, 2D Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) is applied to accumulated motion images and temporal domain features transformed into spatial domain. These processes are performed on both RGB images and depth maps separately. DCT coefficients that represent sign gestures are picked up via zigzag scanning and feature vectors are generated. In order to recognize sign gestures, K-Nearest Neighbor classifier with Manhattan distance is performed. Performance of the proposed sign language recognition system is evaluated on a sign database that contains 1002 isolated dynamic signs belongs to 111 words of Turkish Sign Language (TSL) in three different categories. Proposed sign language recognition system has promising success rates.

  20. Input processing at first exposure to a sign language

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ortega, G.; Morgan, G.

    2015-01-01

    There is growing interest in learners' cognitive capacities to process a second language (L2) at first exposure to the target language. Evidence suggests that L2 learners are capable of processing novel words by exploiting phonological information from their first language (L1). Hearing adult

  1. Phonological memory in sign language relies on the visuomotor neural system outside the left hemisphere language network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanazawa, Yuji; Nakamura, Kimihiro; Ishii, Toru; Aso, Toshihiko; Yamazaki, Hiroshi; Omori, Koichi

    2017-01-01

    Sign language is an essential medium for everyday social interaction for deaf people and plays a critical role in verbal learning. In particular, language development in those people should heavily rely on the verbal short-term memory (STM) via sign language. Most previous studies compared neural activations during signed language processing in deaf signers and those during spoken language processing in hearing speakers. For sign language users, it thus remains unclear how visuospatial inputs are converted into the verbal STM operating in the left-hemisphere language network. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the present study investigated neural activation while bilinguals of spoken and signed language were engaged in a sequence memory span task. On each trial, participants viewed a nonsense syllable sequence presented either as written letters or as fingerspelling (4-7 syllables in length) and then held the syllable sequence for 12 s. Behavioral analysis revealed that participants relied on phonological memory while holding verbal information regardless of the type of input modality. At the neural level, this maintenance stage broadly activated the left-hemisphere language network, including the inferior frontal gyrus, supplementary motor area, superior temporal gyrus and inferior parietal lobule, for both letter and fingerspelling conditions. Interestingly, while most participants reported that they relied on phonological memory during maintenance, direct comparisons between letters and fingers revealed strikingly different patterns of neural activation during the same period. Namely, the effortful maintenance of fingerspelling inputs relative to letter inputs activated the left superior parietal lobule and dorsal premotor area, i.e., brain regions known to play a role in visuomotor analysis of hand/arm movements. These findings suggest that the dorsal visuomotor neural system subserves verbal learning via sign language by relaying gestural inputs to

  2. Neural systems supporting linguistic structure, linguistic experience, and symbolic communication in sign language and gesture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Aaron J; Supalla, Ted; Fernandez, Nina; Newport, Elissa L; Bavelier, Daphne

    2015-09-15

    Sign languages used by deaf communities around the world possess the same structural and organizational properties as spoken languages: In particular, they are richly expressive and also tightly grammatically constrained. They therefore offer the opportunity to investigate the extent to which the neural organization for language is modality independent, as well as to identify ways in which modality influences this organization. The fact that sign languages share the visual-manual modality with a nonlinguistic symbolic communicative system-gesture-further allows us to investigate where the boundaries lie between language and symbolic communication more generally. In the present study, we had three goals: to investigate the neural processing of linguistic structure in American Sign Language (using verbs of motion classifier constructions, which may lie at the boundary between language and gesture); to determine whether we could dissociate the brain systems involved in deriving meaning from symbolic communication (including both language and gesture) from those specifically engaged by linguistically structured content (sign language); and to assess whether sign language experience influences the neural systems used for understanding nonlinguistic gesture. The results demonstrated that even sign language constructions that appear on the surface to be similar to gesture are processed within the left-lateralized frontal-temporal network used for spoken languages-supporting claims that these constructions are linguistically structured. Moreover, although nonsigners engage regions involved in human action perception to process communicative, symbolic gestures, signers instead engage parts of the language-processing network-demonstrating an influence of experience on the perception of nonlinguistic stimuli.

  3. EFL Students’ Attitudes and Perception towards English Language Learning and Their English Language Proficiency: A Study from Assa’adah Islamic Boarding School, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Falita G. Jaliyya

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The English language has been given the status of Foreign Language (FL in Indonesia, unlike the language being a second language in its neighbouring countries. However, the language has becoming quite popular and dominant in certain parts of Indonesian schools, especially private schools and colleges. Thus, this investigation sought to examine the attitudes and perceptions of selected Indonesian English language learners. It also aspired to find out how these attitudes and perceptions towards the English language affect their proficiency. A qualitative research design employing the in-depth semi-structured interview was carried out with 12 students at the As’saadah Islamic Boarding School in Banten, West Java.  Thematic analyses were also performed to analyse the data. The findings point to the direction of students’ motivation in learning English as a foreign language. Students were found to have positive attitudes  and were motivated  to learn the language although learning the language might not stem from their own willingness to learn.

  4. A study of the effects of English language proficiency and scientific reasoning skills on the acquisition of science content knowledge of Hispanic English language learners and native English language-speaking students participating in grade 10 science classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Hector Neftali, Sr.

    2000-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of English language proficiency and levels of scientific reasoning skills of Hispanic English language learners and native English language speaking students on their acquisition of science content knowledge as measured by a state-wide standardized science test. The researcher studied a group of high school Hispanic English language learners and native English language speaking students participating in Grade 10 science classes. The language proficiency of the students was to be measured through the use of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) instrument. A Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning developed by Lawson (1978) was administered in either English or Spanish to the group of Hispanic English language learners and in English to the group of native English language-speaking students in order to determine their levels of scientific reasoning skills. The students' acquisition of science content knowledge was measured through the use of statewide-standardized science test developed by the State's Department of Education. This study suggests that the levels of English language proficiency appear to influence the acquisition of science content knowledge of Hispanic English language learners in the study. The results of the study also suggest that with regards to scientific reasoning skills, students that showed high levels or reflective reasoning skills for the most part performed better on the statewide-standardized science test than students with intuitive or transitional reasoning skills. This assertion was supported by the studies conducted by Lawson and his colleagues, which showed that high levels of reasoning or reflective reasoning skills are prerequisite for most high school science courses. The findings in this study imply that high order English language proficiency combined with high levels of reasoning skills enhances students' abilities to learn science content subject matter. This

  5. The Effect of Explicit Affective Strategy Training on Iranian EFL learners’ Oral Language Proficiency and Anxiety Reduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Mostafavi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The current study aimed at investigating the possible effects of explicit teaching of affective strategies on Iranian EFL learners’ oral language proficiency and the extent of their anxiety in EFL classroom.  First, PET test was administered to a total number of 120 female third grade high school EFL students.  Then, 60 participants whose score fell within the range of + 1 SD from the mean score were selected for the main study.  Next, they were randomly assigned into two groups (one control and one experimental.  The design of the study was Experimental comparison-group plan.  Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale adopted from Horwitz (1986 was used to examine the EFL learners’ anxiety level in English class.  Moreover, two equivalent oral tests adopted from Heaton (1975 were administered to the participants of the two groups both at the beginning and at the end of the study served as pre and post-tests.  The treatment for the experimental group included Oxford's (1990 taxonomy of affective strategies, which included explicit affective strategy instruction (in relaxation, music, visualization, humor, positive self-talk, risk-taking, and monitoring emotions.  The control group did not receive any special instruction in terms of affective strategies.  To investigate the possible effects of explicit affective strategy use instruction on the participants’ oral language proficiency and their anxiety level, the pre and posttests of oral tests and the participants’ self-reports of anxiety control in both groups were analyzed and compared.  The results of independent samples T- test indicated that while the two groups were homogeneous in terms of oral proficiency and level of anxiety control before introducing the treatment, the experimental group performed better than the control group in the oral post-test.  Moreover, the level of anxiety control for the experimental group was significantly different and higher than that of the

  6. Lexical prediction via forward models: N400 evidence from German Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosemann, Jana; Herrmann, Annika; Steinbach, Markus; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina; Schlesewsky, Matthias

    2013-09-01

    Models of language processing in the human brain often emphasize the prediction of upcoming input-for example in order to explain the rapidity of language understanding. However, the precise mechanisms of prediction are still poorly understood. Forward models, which draw upon the language production system to set up expectations during comprehension, provide a promising approach in this regard. Here, we present an event-related potential (ERP) study on German Sign Language (DGS) which tested the hypotheses of a forward model perspective on prediction. Sign languages involve relatively long transition phases between one sign and the next, which should be anticipated as part of a forward model-based prediction even though they are semantically empty. Native speakers of DGS watched videos of naturally signed DGS sentences which either ended with an expected or a (semantically) unexpected sign. Unexpected signs engendered a biphasic N400-late positivity pattern. Crucially, N400 onset preceded critical sign onset and was thus clearly elicited by properties of the transition phase. The comprehension system thereby clearly anticipated modality-specific information about the realization of the predicted semantic item. These results provide strong converging support for the application of forward models in language comprehension. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 18 Dictation as a Veritable Tool for Language Proficiency on Project ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    Dictation is a valuable language teaching and learning device that has been used for centuries ... English language among the second learners of English language in a ... through effective study English by developing the language curriculum and ... language teachers need to be abreast with different methods of language.

  8. Predicting the Proficiency of Arabic and Persian Linguists Trained at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    DeRamus, Nicole

    1999-01-01

    The mission of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) is to train, sustain, and evaluate foreign language skills of linguists under the guidelines of the Defense Foreign Language Program (DFLP...

  9. Using the "Common European Framework of Reference for Languages" to Teach Sign Language to Parents of Deaf Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snoddon, Kristin

    2015-01-01

    No formal Canadian curriculum presently exists for teaching American Sign Language (ASL) as a second language to parents of deaf and hard of hearing children. However, this group of ASL learners is in need of more comprehensive, research-based support, given the rapid expansion in Canada of universal neonatal hearing screening and the…

  10. The Relationship between American Sign Language Vocabulary and the Development of Language-Based Reasoning Skills in Deaf Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henner, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    The language-based analogical reasoning abilities of Deaf children are a controversial topic. Researchers lack agreement about whether Deaf children possess the ability to reason using language-based analogies, or whether this ability is limited by a lack of access to vocabulary, both written and signed. This dissertation examines factors that…

  11. The effects of sign language on spoken language acquisition in children with hearing loss: a systematic review protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth M; Stevens, Adrienne; Garritty, Chantelle; Moher, David

    2013-12-06

    Permanent childhood hearing loss affects 1 to 3 per 1000 children and frequently disrupts typical spoken language acquisition. Early identification of hearing loss through universal newborn hearing screening and the use of new hearing technologies including cochlear implants make spoken language an option for most children. However, there is no consensus on what constitutes optimal interventions for children when spoken language is the desired outcome. Intervention and educational approaches ranging from oral language only to oral language combined with various forms of sign language have evolved. Parents are therefore faced with important decisions in the first months of their child's life. This article presents the protocol for a systematic review of the effects of using sign language in combination with oral language intervention on spoken language acquisition. Studies addressing early intervention will be selected in which therapy involving oral language intervention and any form of sign language or sign support is used. Comparison groups will include children in early oral language intervention programs without sign support. The primary outcomes of interest to be examined include all measures of auditory, vocabulary, language, speech production, and speech intelligibility skills. We will include randomized controlled trials, controlled clinical trials, and other quasi-experimental designs that include comparator groups as well as prospective and retrospective cohort studies. Case-control, cross-sectional, case series, and case studies will be excluded. Several electronic databases will be searched (for example, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO) as well as grey literature and key websites. We anticipate that a narrative synthesis of the evidence will be required. We will carry out meta-analysis for outcomes if clinical similarity, quantity and quality permit quantitative pooling of data. We will conduct subgroup analyses if possible according to severity

  12. L'evaluation de la competence linguistique des membres des ordres professionnels au Quebec (The Quebec Region Evaluation of Professional Personnel's Language Proficiency).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gareau, Claude

    1981-01-01

    Describes a testing program designed to assess the French language proficiency of professionals desiring to practice in the Quebec region. Discusses the criteria used for the construction, administration, and scoring of the tests in compliance with the 1977 French language legislation. (MES)

  13. The Role of Ethnic Differences, Structural Background and Process Characteristics in the Family in Preschool Children's Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loboda, Liudmila; Vogelbacher, Markus; Gawlitzek, Ira

    2017-01-01

    Whereas recent research has shown a positive correlation between stimulating family activities and children's skills, little is known about the mediating role of the parenting style in the effect of the familial socioeconomic status (SES) and the influence of the family language on children's language proficiency. Our aim is to investigate the…

  14. Everyday activities and social contacts among older deaf sign language users

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Werngren-Elgström, Monica; Brandt, Ase; Iwarsson, Susanne

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe the everyday activities and social contacts among older deaf sign language users, and to investigate relationships between these phenomena and the health and well-being within this group. The study population comprised deaf sign language users, 65 years...... or older, in Sweden. Data collection was based on interviews in sign language, including open-ended questions covering everyday activities and social contacts as well as self-rated instruments measuring aspects of health and subjective well-being. The results demonstrated that the group of participants...... aspects of health and subjective well-being and the frequency of social contacts with family/relatives or visiting the deaf club and meeting friends. It is concluded that the variety of activities at the deaf clubs are important for the subjective well-being of older deaf sign language users. Further...

  15. Independent transmission of sign language interpreter in DVB: assessment of image compression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zatloukal, Petr; Bernas, Martin; Dvořák, LukáÅ.¡

    2015-02-01

    Sign language on television provides information to deaf that they cannot get from the audio content. If we consider the transmission of the sign language interpreter over an independent data stream, the aim is to ensure sufficient intelligibility and subjective image quality of the interpreter with minimum bit rate. The work deals with the ROI-based video compression of Czech sign language interpreter implemented to the x264 open source library. The results of this approach are verified in subjective tests with the deaf. They examine the intelligibility of sign language expressions containing minimal pairs for different levels of compression and various resolution of image with interpreter and evaluate the subjective quality of the final image for a good viewing experience.

  16. Deaf leaders’ strategies for working with signed language interpreters: An examination across seven countries.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haug, T.; Bontempo, K.; Leeson, L.; Napier, J.; Nicodemus, B.; Van den Bogaerde, B.; Vermeerbergen, M.

    In this paper, we report interview data from 14 Deaf leaders across seven countries (Australia, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States) regarding their perspectives on signed language interpreters. Using a semistructured survey questionnaire, seven

  17. HIV/AIDS knowledge among adolescent sign-language users in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    , particularly sign language users, in HIV-prevention programmes. Keywords: communication, disability, disability studies, hearing impairment, qualitative research, scoping study. African Journal of AIDS Research 2010, 9(3): 307–313 ...

  18. Making an Online Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language*

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    of a digital medium and an existing body of descriptive research on the language, ... ing lexemes and word class in a polysynthetic language, deriving usage ..... higher education, white-collar occupations, the arts, media, and political advo- cacy. ..... and Niemalä explain that if mouth patterns are treated as a formational ele-.

  19. Three-dimensional grammar in the brain: Dissociating the neural correlates of natural sign language and manually coded spoken language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Bola, Łukasz; Mostowski, Piotr; Szwed, Marcin; Boguszewski, Paweł M; Marchewka, Artur; Rutkowski, Paweł

    2015-05-01

    In several countries natural sign languages were considered inadequate for education. Instead, new sign-supported systems were created, based on the belief that spoken/written language is grammatically superior. One such system called SJM (system językowo-migowy) preserves the grammatical and lexical structure of spoken Polish and since 1960s has been extensively employed in schools and on TV. Nevertheless, the Deaf community avoids using SJM for everyday communication, its preferred language being PJM (polski język migowy), a natural sign language, structurally and grammatically independent of spoken Polish and featuring classifier constructions (CCs). Here, for the first time, we compare, with fMRI method, the neural bases of natural vs. devised communication systems. Deaf signers were presented with three types of signed sentences (SJM and PJM with/without CCs). Consistent with previous findings, PJM with CCs compared to either SJM or PJM without CCs recruited the parietal lobes. The reverse comparison revealed activation in the anterior temporal lobes, suggesting increased semantic combinatory processes in lexical sign comprehension. Finally, PJM compared with SJM engaged left posterior superior temporal gyrus and anterior temporal lobe, areas crucial for sentence-level speech comprehension. We suggest that activity in these two areas reflects greater processing efficiency for naturally evolved sign language. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Review of Data Preprocessing Methods for Sign Language Recognition Systems based on Artificial Neural Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zorins Aleksejs

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The article presents an introductory analysis of relevant research topic for Latvian deaf society, which is the development of the Latvian Sign Language Recognition System. More specifically the data preprocessing methods are discussed in the paper and several approaches are shown with a focus on systems based on artificial neural networks, which are one of the most successful solutions for sign language recognition task.

  1. Music and Sign Language to Promote Infant and Toddler Communication and Enhance Parent-Child Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colwell, Cynthia; Memmott, Jenny; Meeker-Miller, Anne

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of using music and/or sign language to promote early communication in infants and toddlers (6-20 months) and to enhance parent-child interactions. Three groups used for this study were pairs of participants (care-giver(s) and child) assigned to each group: 1) Music Alone 2) Sign Language…

  2. Testing Comprehension Abilities in Users of British Sign Language Following Cva

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, J.; Marshall, J.; Woll, B.; Thacker, A.

    2005-01-01

    Recent imaging (e.g., MacSweeney et al., 2002) and lesion (Hickok, Love-Geffen, & Klima, 2002) studies suggest that sign language comprehension depends primarily on left hemisphere structures. However, this may not be true of all aspects of comprehension. For example, there is evidence that the processing of topographic space in sign may be…

  3. The influence of the visual modality on language structure and conventionalization: insights from sign language and gesture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perniss, Pamela; Özyürek, Asli; Morgan, Gary

    2015-01-01

    For humans, the ability to communicate and use language is instantiated not only in the vocal modality but also in the visual modality. The main examples of this are sign languages and (co-speech) gestures. Sign languages, the natural languages of Deaf communities, use systematic and conventionalized movements of the hands, face, and body for linguistic expression. Co-speech gestures, though non-linguistic, are produced in tight semantic and temporal integration with speech and constitute an integral part of language together with speech. The articles in this issue explore and document how gestures and sign languages are similar or different and how communicative expression in the visual modality can change from being gestural to grammatical in nature through processes of conventionalization. As such, this issue contributes to our understanding of how the visual modality shapes language and the emergence of linguistic structure in newly developing systems. Studying the relationship between signs and gestures provides a new window onto the human ability to recruit multiple levels of representation (e.g., categorical, gradient, iconic, abstract) in the service of using or creating conventionalized communicative systems. Copyright © 2015 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  4. Health care accessibility and the role of sign language interpreters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Bogaerde, B.; de Lange, R.; Nicodemus, B.; Metzger, M.

    2014-01-01

    In healthcare, the accuracy of interpretation is the most critical component of safe and effective communication between providers and patients in medical settings characterized by language and cultural barriers. Although medical education should prepare healthcare providers for common issues they

  5. A Barking Dog That Never Bites? The British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Meulder, Maartje

    2015-01-01

    This article describes and analyses the pathway to the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill and the strategies used to reach it. Data collection has been done by means of interviews with key players, analysis of official documents, and participant observation. The article discusses the bill in relation to the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005…

  6. The Processing of Biologically Plausible and Implausible forms in American Sign Language: Evidence for Perceptual Tuning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Diogo; Poeppel, David; Corina, David

    The human auditory system distinguishes speech-like information from general auditory signals in a remarkably fast and efficient way. Combining psychophysics and neurophysiology (MEG), we demonstrate a similar result for the processing of visual information used for language communication in users of sign languages. We demonstrate that the earliest visual cortical responses in deaf signers viewing American Sign Language (ASL) signs show specific modulations to violations of anatomic constraints that would make the sign either possible or impossible to articulate. These neural data are accompanied with a significantly increased perceptual sensitivity to the anatomical incongruity. The differential effects in the early visual evoked potentials arguably reflect an expectation-driven assessment of somatic representational integrity, suggesting that language experience and/or auditory deprivation may shape the neuronal mechanisms underlying the analysis of complex human form. The data demonstrate that the perceptual tuning that underlies the discrimination of language and non-language information is not limited to spoken languages but extends to languages expressed in the visual modality.

  7. Role of sign language in intellectual and social development of deaf children: Review of foreign publications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khokhlova A. Yu.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The article provides an overview of foreign psychological publications concerning the sign language as a means of communication in deaf people. The article addresses the question of sing language's impact on cognitive development, efficiency and positive way of interacting with parents as well as academic achievement increase in deaf children.

  8. Assessment of Sign Language Development: The Case of Deaf Children in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hermans, D.; Knoors, H.E.T.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    2009-01-01

    In this article, we will describe the development of an assessment instrument for Sign Language of the Netherlands (SLN) for deaf children in bilingual education programs. The assessment instrument consists of nine computerized tests in which the receptive and expressive language skills of deaf

  9. Facilitating the Interpretation of English Language Proficiency Scores: Combining Scale Anchoring and Test Score Mapping Methodologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, Donald; Schedl, Mary; Papageorgiou, Spiros

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to develop, for the benefit of both test takers and test score users, enhanced "TOEFL ITP"® test score reports that go beyond the simple numerical scores that are currently reported. To do so, we applied traditional scale anchoring (proficiency scaling) to item difficulty data in order to develop performance…

  10. Cross-Linguistic Differences in the Neural Representation of Human Language: Evidence from Users of Signed Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corina, David P.; Lawyer, Laurel A.; Cates, Deborah

    2013-01-01

    Studies of deaf individuals who are users of signed languages have provided profound insight into the neural representation of human language. Case studies of deaf signers who have incurred left- and right-hemisphere damage have shown that left-hemisphere resources are a necessary component of sign language processing. These data suggest that, despite frank differences in the input and output modality of language, core left perisylvian regions universally serve linguistic function. Neuroimaging studies of deaf signers have generally provided support for this claim. However, more fine-tuned studies of linguistic processing in deaf signers are beginning to show evidence of important differences in the representation of signed and spoken languages. In this paper, we provide a critical review of this literature and present compelling evidence for language-specific cortical representations in deaf signers. These data lend support to the claim that the neural representation of language may show substantive cross-linguistic differences. We discuss the theoretical implications of these findings with respect to an emerging understanding of the neurobiology of language. PMID:23293624

  11. Exploring the use of dynamic language assessment with deaf children, who use American Sign Language: Two case studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Wolfgang; Peña, Elizabeth D; Morgan, Gary

    2014-01-01

    We describe a model for assessment of lexical-semantic organization skills in American Sign Language (ASL) within the framework of dynamic vocabulary assessment and discuss the applicability and validity of the use of mediated learning experiences (MLE) with deaf signing children. Two elementary students (ages 7;6 and 8;4) completed a set of four vocabulary tasks and received two 30-minute mediations in ASL. Each session consisted of several scripted activities focusing on the use of categorization. Both had experienced difficulties in providing categorically related responses in one of the vocabulary tasks used previously. Results showed that the two students exhibited notable differences with regards to their learning pace, information uptake, and effort required by the mediator. Furthermore, we observed signs of a shift in strategic behavior by the lower performing student during the second mediation. Results suggest that the use of dynamic assessment procedures in a vocabulary context was helpful in understanding children's strategies as related to learning potential. These results are discussed in terms of deaf children's cognitive modifiability with implications for planning instruction and how MLE can be used with a population that uses ASL. The reader will (1) recognize the challenges in appropriate language assessment of deaf signing children; (2) recall the three areas explored to investigate whether a dynamic assessment approach is sensitive to differences in deaf signing children's language learning profiles (3) discuss how dynamic assessment procedures can make deaf signing children's individual language learning differences visible. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Pronunciation proficiency and musical aptitude in Spanish as a foreign language: results of an experimental research project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lieve Vangehuchten

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the correlation between musical aptitude and pronunciation proficiency in an experiment with 29 university students of Spanish as a foreign language. The 29 participants took a test in Spanish pronunciation and prosody as well as in musicality. The pronunciation and prosody test consisted of two parts. The first part was a receptive phonemic discrimination test and the second part was a productive test in which they had to repeat words and sentences chosen for their prosodic characteristics. The musical aptitude test also consisted of a receptive part on musicality in general, as well as a productive part, which included the reproduction of tones, tone intervals, rhythms and the singing of a melody. The statistical analysis with Pearson’s correlation-coefficients revealed a positive correlation (although not for all aspects between the musical and foreign language pronunciation proficiency aptitudes. The results are commented on in the discussion. Relevant teaching implications are included in the conclusion.

  13. Sign Language Translation in State Administration in Germany: Barrier Free Web Accessibility

    OpenAIRE

    Lišková, Kateřina

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this thesis is to describe Web accessibility in state administration in the Federal Republic of Germany in relation to the socio-demographic group of deaf sign language users who did not have the opportunity to gain proper knowledge of a written form of the German language. The demand of the Deaf to information in an accessible form as based on legal documents is presented in relation to the theory of translation. How translating from written texts into sign language works in pract...

  14. Static sign language recognition using 1D descriptors and neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solís, José F.; Toxqui, Carina; Padilla, Alfonso; Santiago, César

    2012-10-01

    A frame work for static sign language recognition using descriptors which represents 2D images in 1D data and artificial neural networks is presented in this work. The 1D descriptors were computed by two methods, first one consists in a correlation rotational operator.1 and second is based on contour analysis of hand shape. One of the main problems in sign language recognition is segmentation; most of papers report a special color in gloves or background for hand shape analysis. In order to avoid the use of gloves or special clothing, a thermal imaging camera was used to capture images. Static signs were picked up from 1 to 9 digits of American Sign Language, a multilayer perceptron reached 100% recognition with cross-validation.

  15. Assessing language skills in adult key word signers with intellectual disabilities: Insights from sign linguistics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grove, Nicola; Woll, Bencie

    2017-03-01

    Manual signing is one of the most widely used approaches to support the communication and language skills of children and adults who have intellectual or developmental disabilities, and problems with communication in spoken language. A recent series of papers reporting findings from this population raises critical issues for professionals in the assessment of multimodal language skills of key word signers. Approaches to assessment will differ depending on whether key word signing (KWS) is viewed as discrete from, or related to, natural sign languages. Two available assessments from these different perspectives are compared. Procedures appropriate to the assessment of sign language production are recommended as a valuable addition to the clinician's toolkit. Sign and speech need to be viewed as multimodal, complementary communicative endeavours, rather than as polarities. Whilst narrative has been shown to be a fruitful context for eliciting language samples, assessments for adult users should be designed to suit the strengths, needs and values of adult signers with intellectual disabilities, using materials that are compatible with their life course stage rather than those designed for young children. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. On language acquisition in speech and sign:development drives combinatorial structure in both modalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary eMorgan

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Languages are composed of a conventionalized system of parts which allow speakers and signers to compose an infinite number of form-meaning mappings through phonological and morphological combinations. This level of linguistic organization distinguishes language from other communicative acts such as gestures. In contrast to signs, gestures are made up of meaning units that are mostly holistic. Children exposed to signed and spoken languages from early in life develop grammatical structure following similar rates and patterns. This is interesting, because signed languages are perceived and articulated in very different ways to their spoken counterparts with many signs displaying surface resemblances to gestures. The acquisition of forms and meanings in child signers and talkers might thus have been a different process. Yet in one sense both groups are faced with a similar problem: 'how do I make a language with combinatorial structure’? In this paper I argue first language development itself enables this to happen and by broadly similar mechanisms across modalities. Combinatorial structure is the outcome of phonological simplifications and productivity in using verb morphology by children in sign and speech.

  17. V2S: Voice to Sign Language Translation System for Malaysian Deaf People

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mean Foong, Oi; Low, Tang Jung; La, Wai Wan

    The process of learning and understand the sign language may be cumbersome to some, and therefore, this paper proposes a solution to this problem by providing a voice (English Language) to sign language translation system using Speech and Image processing technique. Speech processing which includes Speech Recognition is the study of recognizing the words being spoken, regardless of whom the speaker is. This project uses template-based recognition as the main approach in which the V2S system first needs to be trained with speech pattern based on some generic spectral parameter set. These spectral parameter set will then be stored as template in a database. The system will perform the recognition process through matching the parameter set of the input speech with the stored templates to finally display the sign language in video format. Empirical results show that the system has 80.3% recognition rate.

  18. A Particle of Indefiniteness in American Sign Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Neidle

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe here the characteristics of a very frequently-occurring ASL indefinite focus particle, which has not previously been recognized as such. We show here that, despite its similarity to the question sign "WHAT", the particle is distinct from that sign in terms of articulation, function, and distribution. The particle serves to express "uncertainty" in various ways, which can be formalized semantically in terms of a domain-widening effect of the same sort as that proposed for English "any" by Kadmon & Landman (1993. Its function is to widen the domain of possibilities under consideration from the typical to include the non-typical as well, along a dimension appropriate in the context.

  19. Referential shift in Nicaraguan Sign Language: a transition from lexical to spatial devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocab, Annemarie; Pyers, Jennie; Senghas, Ann

    2014-01-01

    Even the simplest narratives combine multiple strands of information, integrating different characters and their actions by expressing multiple perspectives of events. We examined the emergence of referential shift devices, which indicate changes among these perspectives, in Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL). Sign languages, like spoken languages, mark referential shift grammatically with a shift in deictic perspective. In addition, sign languages can mark the shift with a point or a movement of the body to a specified spatial location in the three-dimensional space in front of the signer, capitalizing on the spatial affordances of the manual modality. We asked whether the use of space to mark referential shift emerges early in a new sign language by comparing the first two age cohorts of deaf signers of NSL. Eight first-cohort signers and 10 second-cohort signers watched video vignettes and described them in NSL. Narratives were coded for lexical (use of words) and spatial (use of signing space) devices. Although the cohorts did not differ significantly in the number of perspectives represented, second-cohort signers used referential shift devices to explicitly mark a shift in perspective in more of their narratives. Furthermore, while there was no significant difference between cohorts in the use of non-spatial, lexical devices, there was a difference in spatial devices, with second-cohort signers using them in significantly more of their narratives. This suggests that spatial devices have only recently increased as systematic markers of referential shift. Spatial referential shift devices may have emerged more slowly because they depend on the establishment of fundamental spatial conventions in the language. While the modality of sign languages can ultimately engender the syntactic use of three-dimensional space, we propose that a language must first develop systematic spatial distinctions before harnessing space for grammatical functions.

  20. Using the Hands to Represent Objects in Space: Gesture as a Substrate for Signed Language Acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janke, Vikki; Marshall, Chloë R

    2017-01-01

    An ongoing issue of interest in second language research concerns what transfers from a speaker's first language to their second. For learners of a sign language, gesture is a potential substrate for transfer. Our study provides a novel test of gestural production by eliciting silent gesture from novices in a controlled environment. We focus on spatial relationships, which in sign languages are represented in a very iconic way using the hands, and which one might therefore predict to be easy for adult learners to acquire. However, a previous study by Marshall and Morgan (2015) revealed that this was only partly the case: in a task that required them to express the relative locations of objects, hearing adult learners of British Sign Language (BSL) could represent objects' locations and orientations correctly, but had difficulty selecting the correct handshapes to represent the objects themselves. If hearing adults are indeed drawing upon their gestural resources when learning sign languages, then their difficulties may have stemmed from their having in manual gesture only a limited repertoire of handshapes to draw upon, or, alternatively, from having too broad a repertoire. If the first hypothesis is correct, the challenge for learners is to extend their handshape repertoire, but if the second is correct, the challenge is instead to narrow down to the handshapes appropriate for that particular sign language. 30 sign-naïve hearing adults were tested on Marshall and Morgan's task. All used some handshapes that were different from those used by native BSL signers and learners, and the set of handshapes used by the group as a whole was larger than that employed by native signers and learners. Our findings suggest that a key challenge when learning to express locative relations might be reducing from a very large set of gestural resources, rather than supplementing a restricted one, in order to converge on the conventionalized classifier system that forms part of the

  1. The Importance of Early Sign Language Acquisition for Deaf Readers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, M. Diane; Hauser, Peter C.; Miller, Paul; Kargin, Tevhide; Rathmann, Christian; Guldenoglu, Birkan; Kubus, Okan; Spurgeon, Erin; Israel, Erica

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have used various theories to explain deaf individuals' reading skills, including the dual route reading theory, the orthographic depth theory, and the early language access theory. This study tested 4 groups of children--hearing with dyslexia, hearing without dyslexia, deaf early signers, and deaf late signers (N = 857)--from 4…

  2. The Effects of Electronic Communication on American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Erin; Kozak, L. Viola; Santiago, Roberto; Stephen, Anika

    2012-01-01

    Technological and language innovation often flow in concert with one another. Casual observation by researchers has shown that electronic communication memes, in the form of abbreviations, have found their way into spoken English. This study focuses on the current use of electronic modes of communication, such as cell smartphones, and e-mail, and…

  3. The effects of L2 proficiency level on the processing of wh-questions among Dutch second language speakers of English

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jackson, C.N.; Hell, J.G. van

    2011-01-01

    Using a self-paced reading task, the present study explores how Dutch-English L2 speakers parse English wh-subject-extractions and wh-object-extractions. Results suggest that English native speakers and highly-proficient Dutch–English L2 speakers do not always exhibit measurable signs of on-line

  4. Real-time lexical comprehension in young children learning American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Kyle; LaMarr, Todd; Corina, David; Marchman, Virginia A; Fernald, Anne

    2018-04-16

    When children interpret spoken language in real time, linguistic information drives rapid shifts in visual attention to objects in the visual world. This language-vision interaction can provide insights into children's developing efficiency in language comprehension. But how does language influence visual attention when the linguistic signal and the visual world are both processed via the visual channel? Here, we measured eye movements during real-time comprehension of a visual-manual language, American Sign Language (ASL), by 29 native ASL-learning children (16-53 mos, 16 deaf, 13 hearing) and 16 fluent deaf adult signers. All signers showed evidence of rapid, incremental language comprehension, tending to initiate an eye movement before sign offset. Deaf and hearing ASL-learners showed similar gaze patterns, suggesting that the in-the-moment dynamics of eye movements during ASL processing are shaped by the constraints of processing a visual language in real time and not by differential access to auditory information in day-to-day life. Finally, variation in children's ASL processing was positively correlated with age and vocabulary size. Thus, despite competition for attention within a single modality, the timing and accuracy of visual fixations during ASL comprehension reflect information processing skills that are important for language acquisition regardless of language modality. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. The Effects of a Communicative Approach on the Mathematical Problem Solving Proficiency of Language Minority Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Rochelle G.; Patino, Rodrigo A.

    Although it takes only 2 years to attain conversational competence in a second language, it takes up to 7 years to realize sufficient language competence to achieve academically at the level of native speakers. Specific adaptations in instructional methods in mathematics for language minority students should include techniques from English as a…

  6. American Sign Language Syntax and Analogical Reasoning Skills Are Influenced by Early Acquisition and Age of Entry to Signing Schools for the Deaf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henner, Jon; Caldwell-Harris, Catherine L; Novogrodsky, Rama; Hoffmeister, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Failing to acquire language in early childhood because of language deprivation is a rare and exceptional event, except in one population. Deaf children who grow up without access to indirect language through listening, speech-reading, or sign language experience language deprivation. Studies of Deaf adults have revealed that late acquisition of sign language is associated with lasting deficits. However, much remains unknown about language deprivation in Deaf children, allowing myths and misunderstandings regarding sign language to flourish. To fill this gap, we examined signing ability in a large naturalistic sample of Deaf children attending schools for the Deaf where American Sign Language (ASL) is used by peers and teachers. Ability in ASL was measured using a syntactic judgment test and language-based analogical reasoning test, which are two sub-tests of the ASL Assessment Inventory. The influence of two age-related variables were examined: whether or not ASL was acquired from birth in the home from one or more Deaf parents, and the age of entry to the school for the Deaf. Note that for non-native signers, this latter variable is often the age of first systematic exposure to ASL. Both of these types of age-dependent language experiences influenced subsequent signing ability. Scores on the two tasks declined with increasing age of school entry. The influence of age of starting school was not linear. Test scores were generally lower for Deaf children who entered the school of assessment after the age of 12. The positive influence of signing from birth was found for students at all ages tested (7;6-18;5 years old) and for children of all age-of-entry groupings. Our results reflect a continuum of outcomes which show that experience with language is a continuous variable that is sensitive to maturational age.

  7. Proficiency in English sentence stress production by Cantonese speakers who speak English as a second language (ESL).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Manwa L; Chen, Yang

    2011-12-01

    The present study examined English sentence stress produced by native Cantonese speakers who were speaking English as a second language (ESL). Cantonese ESL speakers' proficiency in English stress production as perceived by English-speaking listeners was also studied. Acoustical parameters associated with sentence stress including fundamental frequency (F0), vowel duration, and intensity were measured from the English sentences produced by 40 Cantonese ESL speakers. Data were compared with those obtained from 40 native speakers of American English. The speech samples were also judged by eight native listeners who were native speakers of American English for placement, degree, and naturalness of stress. Results showed that Cantonese ESL speakers were able to use F0, vowel duration, and intensity to differentiate sentence stress patterns. Yet, both female and male Cantonese ESL speakers exhibited consistently higher F0 in stressed words than English speakers. Overall, Cantonese ESL speakers were found to be proficient in using duration and intensity to signal sentence stress, in a way comparable with English speakers. In addition, F0 and intensity were found to correlate closely with perceptual judgement and the degree of stress with the naturalness of stress.

  8. Improving the provision of language services at an academic medical center: ensuring high-quality health communication for limited-English-proficient patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Standiford, Connie J; Nolan, Elizabeth; Harris, Michelle; Bernstein, Steven J

    2009-12-01

    To evaluate and improve the provision of language services at an academic medicine center caring for a diverse population including many limited-English-proficient (LEP) patients. The authors performed a prospective observational study between November 2006 and December 2008 evaluating the provision of language services at the University of Michigan Health System. The primary performance measures were (1) screening patients for their preferred language for health care, (2) assessing the proportion of LEP patients receiving language services from a qualified language services provider, and (3) assessing whether there were any disparities in diabetes care for LEP patients compared with English-speaking patients. The proportion of patients screened for preferred language increased from 59% to 96% with targeted inventions, such as training staff to capture preferred language for health care and correcting prior inaccurate primary language data entry. The proportion of LEP outpatients with a qualified language services provider increased from 19% to 83% through the use of staff and contract interpreters, over-the-phone interpreting and bilingual providers. There were no systematic differences in diabetes quality performance measures between LEP and English-proficient patients. Academic medical centers should measure their provision of language services and compare quality and safety data (e.g., performance measures and adverse events) between LEP and English-speaking patients to identify disparities in care. Leadership support and ongoing training are needed to ensure language-specific services are embedded into clinical care to meet the needs of our diverse patient populations.

  9. What You Don't Know Can Hurt You: The Risk of Language Deprivation by Impairing Sign Language Development in Deaf Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Wyatte C

    2017-05-01

    A long-standing belief is that sign language interferes with spoken language development in deaf children, despite a chronic lack of evidence supporting this belief. This deserves discussion as poor life outcomes continue to be seen in the deaf population. This commentary synthesizes research outcomes with signing and non-signing children and highlights fully accessible language as a protective factor for healthy development. Brain changes associated with language deprivation may be misrepresented as sign language interfering with spoken language outcomes of cochlear implants. This may lead to professionals and organizations advocating for preventing sign language exposure before implantation and spreading misinformation. The existence of one-time-sensitive-language acquisition window means a strong possibility of permanent brain changes when spoken language is not fully accessible to the deaf child and sign language exposure is delayed, as is often standard practice. There is no empirical evidence for the harm of sign language exposure but there is some evidence for its benefits, and there is growing evidence that lack of language access has negative implications. This includes cognitive delays, mental health difficulties, lower quality of life, higher trauma, and limited health literacy. Claims of cochlear implant- and spoken language-only approaches being more effective than sign language-inclusive approaches are not empirically supported. Cochlear implants are an unreliable standalone first-language intervention for deaf children. Priorities of deaf child development should focus on healthy growth of all developmental domains through a fully-accessible first language foundation such as sign language, rather than auditory deprivation and speech skills.

  10. BILINGUAL MULTIMODAL SYSTEM FOR TEXT-TO-AUDIOVISUAL SPEECH AND SIGN LANGUAGE SYNTHESIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Karpov

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available We present a conceptual model, architecture and software of a multimodal system for audio-visual speech and sign language synthesis by the input text. The main components of the developed multimodal synthesis system (signing avatar are: automatic text processor for input text analysis; simulation 3D model of human's head; computer text-to-speech synthesizer; a system for audio-visual speech synthesis; simulation 3D model of human’s hands and upper body; multimodal user interface integrating all the components for generation of audio, visual and signed speech. The proposed system performs automatic translation of input textual information into speech (audio information and gestures (video information, information fusion and its output in the form of multimedia information. A user can input any grammatically correct text in Russian or Czech languages to the system; it is analyzed by the text processor to detect sentences, words and characters. Then this textual information is converted into symbols of the sign language notation. We apply international «Hamburg Notation System» - HamNoSys, which describes the main differential features of each manual sign: hand shape, hand orientation, place and type of movement. On their basis the 3D signing avatar displays the elements of the sign language. The virtual 3D model of human’s head and upper body has been created using VRML virtual reality modeling language, and it is controlled by the software based on OpenGL graphical library. The developed multimodal synthesis system is a universal one since it is oriented for both regular users and disabled people (in particular, for the hard-of-hearing and visually impaired, and it serves for multimedia output (by audio and visual modalities of input textual information.

  11. Graph theoretical analysis of functional network for comprehension of sign language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lanfang; Yan, Xin; Liu, Jin; Xia, Mingrui; Lu, Chunming; Emmorey, Karen; Chu, Mingyuan; Ding, Guosheng

    2017-09-15

    Signed languages are natural human languages using the visual-motor modality. Previous neuroimaging studies based on univariate activation analysis show that a widely overlapped cortical network is recruited regardless whether the sign language is comprehended (for signers) or not (for non-signers). Here we move beyond previous studies by examining whether the functional connectivity profiles and the underlying organizational structure of the overlapped neural network may differ between signers and non-signers when watching sign language. Using graph theoretical analysis (GTA) and fMRI, we compared the large-scale functional network organization in hearing signers with non-signers during the observation of sentences in Chinese Sign Language. We found that signed sentences elicited highly similar cortical activations in the two groups of participants, with slightly larger responses within the left frontal and left temporal gyrus in signers than in non-signers. Crucially, further GTA revealed substantial group differences in the topologies of this activation network. Globally, the network engaged by signers showed higher local efficiency (t (24) =2.379, p=0.026), small-worldness (t (24) =2.604, p=0.016) and modularity (t (24) =3.513, p=0.002), and exhibited different modular structures, compared to the network engaged by non-signers. Locally, the left ventral pars opercularis served as a network hub in the signer group but not in the non-signer group. These findings suggest that, despite overlap in cortical activation, the neural substrates underlying sign language comprehension are distinguishable at the network level from those for the processing of gestural action. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Vocabulary Instruction through Books Read in American Sign Language for English-Language Learners with Hearing Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannon, Joanna E.; Fredrick, Laura D.; Easterbrooks, Susan R.

    2010-01-01

    Reading to children improves vocabulary acquisition through incidental exposure, and it is a best practice for parents and teachers of children who can hear. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing are at risk for not learning vocabulary as such. This article describes a procedure for using books read on DVD in American Sign Language with…

  13. Visual Iconicity Across Sign Languages: Large-Scale Automated Video Analysis of Iconic Articulators and Locations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Östling, Robert; Börstell, Carl; Courtaux, Servane

    2018-01-01

    We use automatic processing of 120,000 sign videos in 31 different sign languages to show a cross-linguistic pattern for two types of iconic form–meaning relationships in the visual modality. First, we demonstrate that the degree of inherent plurality of concepts, based on individual ratings by non-signers, strongly correlates with the number of hands used in the sign forms encoding the same concepts across sign languages. Second, we show that certain concepts are iconically articulated around specific parts of the body, as predicted by the associational intuitions by non-signers. The implications of our results are both theoretical and methodological. With regard to theoretical implications, we corroborate previous research by demonstrating and quantifying, using a much larger material than previously available, the iconic nature of languages in the visual modality. As for the methodological implications, we show how automatic methods are, in fact, useful for performing large-scale analysis of sign language data, to a high level of accuracy, as indicated by our manual error analysis.

  14. Deaf children attending different school environments: sign language abilities and theory of mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasuolo, Elena; Valeri, Giovanni; Di Renzo, Alessio; Pasqualetti, Patrizio; Volterra, Virginia

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined whether full access to sign language as a medium for instruction could influence performance in Theory of Mind (ToM) tasks. Three groups of Italian participants (age range: 6-14 years) participated in the study: Two groups of deaf signing children and one group of hearing-speaking children. The two groups of deaf children differed only in their school environment: One group attended a school with a teaching assistant (TA; Sign Language is offered only by the TA to a single deaf child), and the other group attended a bilingual program (Italian Sign Language and Italian). Linguistic abilities and understanding of false belief were assessed using similar materials and procedures in spoken Italian with hearing children and in Italian Sign Language with deaf children. Deaf children attending the bilingual school performed significantly better than deaf children attending school with the TA in tasks assessing lexical comprehension and ToM, whereas the performance of hearing children was in between that of the two deaf groups. As for lexical production, deaf children attending the bilingual school performed significantly better than the two other groups. No significant differences were found between early and late signers or between children with deaf and hearing parents.

  15. Next-Generation Summative English Language Proficiency Assessments for English Learners: Priorities for Policy and Research. Research Report. ETS RR-16-08

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Mikyung Kim; Guzman-Orth, Danielle; Hauck, Maurice Cogan

    2016-01-01

    This paper is the third in a series concerning English language proficiency (ELP) assessments for K-12 English learners (ELs). The series, produced from Educational Testing Service (ETS), is intended to provide theory- and evidence-based principles and recommendations for improving next-generation ELP assessment systems, policies, and practices…

  16. Voice over Instant Messaging as a Tool for Enhancing the Oral Proficiency and Motivation of English-as-a-Foreign-Language Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ya-Ting C.; Gamble, Jeffrey; Tang, Shiun-Yi S.

    2012-01-01

    The challenge of providing authentic experiences and interactions for fostering oral proficiency and motivation in foreign languages is an opportunity for innovation in educational technology and instructional design. Although several recent innovations have received the attention of scholars, empirical investigation and validation is often…

  17. English Language Proficiency and Test Performance: An Evaluation of Bilingual Students with the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sotelo-Dynega, Marlene; Ortiz, Samuel O.; Flanagan, Dawn P.; Chaplin, William F.

    2013-01-01

    In this article, we report the findings of an exploratory empirical study that investigated the relationship between English Language Proficiency (ELP) on performance on the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities-Third Edition (WJ III) when administered in English to bilingual students of varying levels of ELP. Sixty-one second-grade…

  18. Creating a Next-Generation System of K-12 English Learner Language Proficiency Assessments. Research Report. ETS RR-16-06

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauck, Maurice Cogan; Wolf, Mikyung Kim; Mislevy, Robert

    2016-01-01

    This paper is the first in a series from Educational Testing Service (ETS) concerning English language proficiency (ELP) assessments for K-12 English learners (ELs). The goal of this paper, and the series, is to present research-based ideas, principles, and recommendations for consideration by those who are conceptualizing, developing, and…

  19. Sign Language Recognition System using Neural Network for Digital Hardware Implementation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vargas, Lorena P; Barba, Leiner; Torres, C O; Mattos, L

    2011-01-01

    This work presents an image pattern recognition system using neural network for the identification of sign language to deaf people. The system has several stored image that show the specific symbol in this kind of language, which is employed to teach a multilayer neural network using a back propagation algorithm. Initially, the images are processed to adapt them and to improve the performance of discriminating of the network, including in this process of filtering, reduction and elimination noise algorithms as well as edge detection. The system is evaluated using the signs without including movement in their representation.

  20. Translation and interpretation of sign language in the postgraduate context: problematizing positions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Daniel Rodrigues Dinarte

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This article aims, based in sign language translation researches, and at the same time entering discussions with inspiration in contemporary theories on the concept of "deconstruction" (DERRIDA, 2004 DERRIDA e ROUDINESCO, 2004 ARROJO, 1993, to reflect on some aspects concerning to the definition of the role and duties of translators and interpreters. We conceive that deconstruction does not consist in a method to be applied on the linguistic and social phenomena, but a set of political strategies that comes from a speech community which translate texts, and thus put themselves in a translational task performing an act of reading that inserts sign language in the academic linguistic multiplicity.

  1. Dissociating linguistic and non-linguistic gesture processing: electrophysiological evidence from American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosvald, Michael; Gutierrez, Eva; Hafer, Sarah; Corina, David

    2012-04-01

    A fundamental advance in our understanding of human language would come from a detailed account of how non-linguistic and linguistic manual actions are differentiated in real time by language users. To explore this issue, we targeted the N400, an ERP component known to be sensitive to semantic context. Deaf signers saw 120 American Sign Language sentences, each consisting of a "frame" (a sentence without the last word; e.g. BOY SLEEP IN HIS) followed by a "last item" belonging to one of four categories: a high-close-probability sign (a "semantically reasonable" completion to the sentence; e.g. BED), a low-close-probability sign (a real sign that is nonetheless a "semantically odd" completion to the sentence; e.g. LEMON), a pseudo-sign (phonologically legal but non-lexical form), or a non-linguistic grooming gesture (e.g. the performer scratching her face). We found significant N400-like responses in the incongruent and pseudo-sign contexts, while the gestures elicited a large positivity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Psychometric properties of a sign language version of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Øhre, Beate; Saltnes, Hege; von Tetzchner, Stephen; Falkum, Erik

    2014-05-22

    There is a need for psychiatric assessment instruments that enable reliable diagnoses in persons with hearing loss who have sign language as their primary language. The objective of this study was to assess the validity of the Norwegian Sign Language (NSL) version of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). The MINI was translated into NSL. Forty-one signing patients consecutively referred to two specialised psychiatric units were assessed with a diagnostic interview by clinical experts and with the MINI. Inter-rater reliability was assessed with Cohen's kappa and "observed agreement". There was 65% agreement between MINI diagnoses and clinical expert diagnoses. Kappa values indicated fair to moderate agreement, and observed agreement was above 76% for all diagnoses. The MINI diagnosed more co-morbid conditions than did the clinical expert interview (mean diagnoses: 1.9 versus 1.2). Kappa values indicated moderate to substantial agreement, and "observed agreement" was above 88%. The NSL version performs similarly to other MINI versions and demonstrates adequate reliability and validity as a diagnostic instrument for assessing mental disorders in persons who have sign language as their primary and preferred language.

  3. Psychometric properties of a sign language version of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background There is a need for psychiatric assessment instruments that enable reliable diagnoses in persons with hearing loss who have sign language as their primary language. The objective of this study was to assess the validity of the Norwegian Sign Language (NSL) version of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Methods The MINI was translated into NSL. Forty-one signing patients consecutively referred to two specialised psychiatric units were assessed with a diagnostic interview by clinical experts and with the MINI. Inter-rater reliability was assessed with Cohen’s kappa and “observed agreement”. Results There was 65% agreement between MINI diagnoses and clinical expert diagnoses. Kappa values indicated fair to moderate agreement, and observed agreement was above 76% for all diagnoses. The MINI diagnosed more co-morbid conditions than did the clinical expert interview (mean diagnoses: 1.9 versus 1.2). Kappa values indicated moderate to substantial agreement, and “observed agreement” was above 88%. Conclusion The NSL version performs similarly to other MINI versions and demonstrates adequate reliability and validity as a diagnostic instrument for assessing mental disorders in persons who have sign language as their primary and preferred language. PMID:24886297

  4. Prior knowledge of deaf students fluent in brazilian sign languages regarding the algebraic language in high school

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Teresinha Frizzarini

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available There are few researches with deeper reflections on the study of algebra with deaf students. In order to validate and disseminate educational activities in that context, this article aims at highlighting the deaf students’ prior knowledge, fluent in Brazilian Sign Language, referring to the algebraic language used in high school. The theoretical framework used was Duval’s theory, with analysis of the changes, by treatment and conversion, of different registers of semiotic representation, in particular inequalities. The methodology used was the application of a diagnostic evaluation performed with deaf students, all fluent in Brazilian Sign Language, in a special school located in the north of Paraná State. We emphasize the need to work in both directions of conversion, in different languages, especially when the starting record is the graphic. Therefore, the conclusion reached was that one should not separate the algebraic representation from other records, due to the need of sign language perform not only the communication function, but also the functions of objectification and treatment, fundamental in cognitive development.

  5. Pilot Study An Investigating Proficiency Learners Attitudes Towards English Language Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr. Ozge Razy

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available This study attempted to investigate foreign students feeling and behaviour towards learning English and different other languages. The study found out that there is any significant difference in the students aspects attitudes positive and negative towards learning English language inside and outside the school based on their response to 25 items. A total of participants were 18 took a questionnaire as an instrument to qualify their attitudes. The participants showed positive attitudes in the high level towards foreign languages such as English. The study presented recommendation to improve other languages in the future as English.

  6. The consequences of language proficiency and difficulty of lexical access for translation performance and priming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Wendy S; Tokowicz, Natasha; Kroll, Judith F

    2014-01-01

    Repetition priming was used to assess how proficiency and the ease or difficulty of lexical access influence bilingual translation. Two experiments, conducted at different universities with different Spanish-English bilingual populations and materials, showed repetition priming in word translation for same-direction and different-direction repetitions. Experiment 1, conducted in an English-dominant environment, revealed an effect of translation direction but not of direction match, whereas Experiment 2, conducted in a more balanced bilingual environment, showed an effect of direction match but not of translation direction. A combined analysis on the items common to both studies revealed that bilingual proficiency was negatively associated with response time (RT), priming, and the degree of translation asymmetry in RTs and priming. An item analysis showed that item difficulty was positively associated with RTs, priming, and the benefit of same-direction over different-direction repetition. Thus, although both participant accuracy and item accuracy are indices of learning, they have distinct effects on translation RTs and on the learning that is captured by the repetition-priming paradigm.

  7. Mexican sign language recognition using normalized moments and artificial neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solís-V., J.-Francisco; Toxqui-Quitl, Carina; Martínez-Martínez, David; H.-G., Margarita

    2014-09-01

    This work presents a framework designed for the Mexican Sign Language (MSL) recognition. A data set was recorded with 24 static signs from the MSL using 5 different versions, this MSL dataset was captured using a digital camera in incoherent light conditions. Digital Image Processing was used to segment hand gestures, a uniform background was selected to avoid using gloved hands or some special markers. Feature extraction was performed by calculating normalized geometric moments of gray scaled signs, then an Artificial Neural Network performs the recognition using a 10-fold cross validation tested in weka, the best result achieved 95.83% of recognition rate.

  8. The relationship between language proficiency and attentional control in Cantonese-English bilingual children: Evidence from Simon, Simon switching, and working memory tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi-Shing eTse

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available By administering Simon, Simon switching, and operation-span working memory tasks to Cantonese-English bilingual children who varied in their first-language (L1, Cantonese and second-language (L2, English proficiencies, as quantified by standardized vocabulary test performance, the current study examined the effects of L1 and L2 proficiency on attentional control performance. Apart from mean performance, we conducted ex-Gaussian analyses to capture the modal and positive-tail components of participants’ reaction time distributions in the Simon task. Bilinguals’ L2 proficiency was associated with higher scores in the operation span task, and a shift of reaction time distributions in incongruent trials, relative to congruent trials (Simon effect in µ, and the tail size of reaction time distributions (τ regardless of trial types. Bilinguals’ L1 proficiency, which was strongly associated with participants’ age, showed similar results, except that it was not associated with the Simon effect in µ. In contrast, neither bilinguals’ L1 nor L2 proficiency modulated the global switch cost or local switch cost in the Simon switching task. After taking into account potential cognitive maturation by partialling out the participants’ age, only (a scores in the working memory task and (b RT in incongruent trials and (c Simon effect in µ in the Simon task could still be predicted by bilinguals’ L2 proficiency. Overall, the current findings suggest that bilingual children’s L2 proficiency was associated with their conflict resolution and working memory capacity, but not goal maintenance or task-set switching, when they performed the cognitive tasks that demanded attentional control. This was not entirely consistent with the findings of college-age bilinguals reported in previous studies.

  9. Differences in Language Proficiency and Learning Strategies among Immigrant Women to Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamuti-Trache, Maria; Anisef, Paul; Sweet, Robert

    2018-01-01

    Immigrant women to Canada face unique challenges in gaining mastery of English or French, the country's two official languages. The study focuses on differences "among women" with respect to pre-migration and post-migration characteristics that position them differently with respect to language learning in the social contexts where they…

  10. How Bilingual Is Bilingual? Mother-Tongue Proficiency and Learning through a Second Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yazici, Zeliha; Ilter, Binnur Genc; Glover, Philip

    2010-01-01

    In a bilingual context, the mother tongue plays a key role in a child's social and personal development, in education and in second-language learning. There is a complex relationship between these three areas. Support for children receiving education through a second language is often in the form of additional learning opportunities in the second…

  11. Modality-specific processing precedes amodal linguistic processing during L2 sign language acquisition: A longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Joshua T; Darcy, Isabelle; Newman, Sharlene D

    2016-02-01

    The present study tracked activation pattern differences in response to sign language processing by late hearing second language learners of American Sign Language. Learners were scanned before the start of their language courses. They were scanned again after their first semester of instruction and their second, for a total of 10 months of instruction. The study aimed to characterize modality-specific to modality-general processing throughout the acquisition of sign language. Results indicated that before the acquisition of sign language, neural substrates related to modality-specific processing were present. After approximately 45 h of instruction, the learners transitioned into processing signs on a phonological basis (e.g., supramarginal gyrus, putamen). After one more semester of input, learners transitioned once more to a lexico-semantic processing stage (e.g., left inferior frontal gyrus) at which language control mechanisms (e.g., left caudate, cingulate gyrus) were activated. During these transitional steps right hemispheric recruitment was observed, with increasing left-lateralization, which is similar to other native signers and L2 learners of spoken language; however, specialization for sign language processing with activation in the inferior parietal lobule (i.e., angular gyrus), even for late learners, was observed. As such, the present study is the first to track L2 acquisition of sign language learners in order to characterize modality-independent and modality-specific mechanisms for bilingual language processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The effects of bilingual language proficiency on recall accuracy and semantic clustering in free recall output: evidence for shared semantic associations across languages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Wendy S; Taylor, Randolph S; Gutiérrez, Marisela; Liaño, Mary K; Manzanera, Diana G; Penalver, Renee M

    2018-05-19

    Two experiments investigated how well bilinguals utilise long-standing semantic associations to encode and retrieve semantic clusters in verbal episodic memory. In Experiment 1, Spanish-English bilinguals (N = 128) studied and recalled word and picture sets. Word recall was equivalent in L1 and L2, picture recall was better in L1 than in L2, and the picture superiority effect was stronger in L1 than in L2. Semantic clustering in word and picture recall was equivalent in L1 and L2. In Experiment 2, Spanish-English bilinguals (N = 128) and English-speaking monolinguals (N = 128) studied and recalled word sequences that contained semantically related pairs. Data were analyzed using a multinomial processing tree approach, the pair-clustering model. Cluster formation was more likely for semantically organised than for randomly ordered word sequences. Probabilities of cluster formation, cluster retrieval, and retrieval of unclustered items did not differ across languages or language groups. Language proficiency has little if any impact on the utilisation of long-standing semantic associations, which are language-general.

  13. Variation in handshape and orientation in British Sign Language: The case of the ‘1’ hand configuration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenlon, Jordan; Schembri, Adam; Rentelis, Ramas; Cormier, Kearsy

    2013-01-01

    This paper investigates phonological variation in British Sign Language (BSL) signs produced with a ‘1’ hand configuration in citation form. Multivariate analyses of 2084 tokens reveals that handshape variation in these signs is constrained by linguistic factors (e.g., the preceding and following phonological environment, grammatical category, indexicality, lexical frequency). The only significant social factor was region. For the subset of signs where orientation was also investigated, only grammatical function was important (the surrounding phonological environment and social factors were not significant). The implications for an understanding of pointing signs in signed languages are discussed. PMID:23805018

  14. The Impact of Input Quality on Early Sign Development in Native and Non-Native Language Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Jenny; Jones, Anna; Morgan, Gary

    2016-01-01

    There is debate about how input variation influences child language. Most deaf children are exposed to a sign language from their non-fluent hearing parents and experience a delay in exposure to accessible language. A small number of children receive language input from their deaf parents who are fluent signers. Thus it is possible to document the…

  15. Engaging the Discourse of International Language Recognition through ISO 639-3 Signed Language Change Requests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Linguistic ideologies that are left unquestioned and unexplored, especially as reflected and produced in marginalized language communities, can contribute to inequality made real in decisions about languages and the people who use them. One of the primary bodies of knowledge guiding international language policy is the International Organization…

  16. The Beneficial Role of L1 Spoken Language Skills on Initial L2 Sign Language Learning: Cognitive and Linguistic Predictors of M2L2 Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Joshua T.; Darcy, Isabelle; Newman, Sharlene D.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding how language modality (i.e., signed vs. spoken) affects second language outcomes in hearing adults is important both theoretically and pedagogically, as it can determine the specificity of second language (L2) theory and inform how best to teach a language that uses a new modality. The present study investigated which…

  17. Flusser and the "?" Sign: the musicality of poetry and the limits of language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiago Hermano Breunig

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available When inquiring the sign “?”, Flusser postulates that meaning is “one of the main problems of the present times thought.” From the sign above, Flusser differentiates meaning and sense, which defines as “what means”. Thus, the problem of meaning converges with the problem of thought itself, since, according to Flusser, all thoughts come from a tautology, i.e., what “means nothing”. If the understanding of meaning implies the musical aspects of the language, as the sign “?”, according to Flusser, music falls “in the same abyss of tautology” as it overcomes the language limit. Flusser believes that the discussion of language limits contributes to the problem of the meaning of music and confesses that among all the existential signs the “?” is the one that articulates better the situation in which we are. It is in this sense, in this “Stimmung”, as Flusser says about the meaning of the sign “?”, that this paper aims to reflect, from the problem of meaning, on the relationship between music and poetry contemporary to Flusser.

  18. Application of Demand-Control Theory to Sign Language Interpreting: Implications for Stress and Interpreter Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Robyn K.; Pollard, Robert Q., Jr.

    2001-01-01

    This article uses the framework of demand-control theory to examine the occupation of sign language interpreting. It discusses the environmental, interpersonal, and intrapersonal demands that impinge on the interpreter's decision latitude and notes the prevalence of cumulative trauma disorders, turnover, and burnout in the interpreting profession.…

  19. Sign Language as Medium of Instruction in Botswana Primary Schools: Voices from the Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mpuang, Kerileng D.; Mukhopadhyay, Sourav; Malatsi, Nelly

    2015-01-01

    This descriptive phenomenological study investigates teachers' experiences of using sign language for learners who are deaf in the primary schools in Botswana. Eight in-service teachers who have had more than ten years of teaching deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) learners were purposively selected for this study. Data were collected using multiple…

  20. Areas Recruited during Action Understanding Are Not Modulated by Auditory or Sign Language Experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Yuxing; Chen, Quanjing; Lingnau, Angelika; Han, Zaizhu; Bi, Yanchao

    2016-01-01

    The observation of other people's actions recruits a network of areas including the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), the inferior parietal lobule (IPL), and posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG). These regions have been shown to be activated through both visual and auditory inputs. Intriguingly, previous studies found no engagement of IFG and IPL for deaf participants during non-linguistic action observation, leading to the proposal that auditory experience or sign language usage might shape the functionality of these areas. To understand which variables induce plastic changes in areas recruited during the processing of other people's actions, we examined the effects of tasks (action understanding and passive viewing) and effectors (arm actions vs. leg actions), as well as sign language experience in a group of 12 congenitally deaf signers and 13 hearing participants. In Experiment 1, we found a stronger activation during an action recognition task in comparison to a low-level visual control task in IFG, IPL and pMTG in both deaf signers and hearing individuals, but no effect of auditory or sign language experience. In Experiment 2, we replicated the results of the first experiment using a passive viewing task. Together, our results provide robust evidence demonstrating that the response obtained in IFG, IPL, and pMTG during action recognition and passive viewing is not affected by auditory or sign language experience, adding further support for the supra-modal nature of these regions.

  1. The Readiness of Typical Student in Communication By Using Sign Language in Hearing Impairment Integration Programe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohd Hanafi Mohd Yasin

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available This research is regarding the readiness of typical student in communication by using sign language in Hearing Impairment Integration Programme. There were 60 typical students from a Special Education Integration Programme of secondary school in Malacca were chosen as research respondents. The instrument of the research was a set of questionnaire which consisted of four parts, namely Student’s demography (Part A, Student’s knowledge (Part B, Student’s ability to communicate (Part C and Student’s interest to communicate (Part D. The questionnaire was adapted from the research of Asnul Dahar and Rabiah's 'The Readiness of Students in Following Vocational Subjects at Jerantut District, Rural Secondary School in Pahang'.  Descriptive analysis was used to analysis the data. Mean score was used to determine the level of respondents' perception of each question. The findings showed a positive relationship between typical students towards communication medium by using sign language. Typical students were seen to be interested in communicating using sign language and were willing to attend the Sign Language class if offered.

  2. Creating a Digital Jamaican Sign Language Dictionary: A R2D2 Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKinnon, Gregory; Soutar, Iris

    2015-01-01

    The Jamaican Association for the Deaf, in their responsibilities to oversee education for individuals who are deaf in Jamaica, has demonstrated an urgent need for a dictionary that assists students, educators, and parents with the practical use of "Jamaican Sign Language." While paper versions of a preliminary resource have been explored…

  3. Longitudinal Receptive American Sign Language Skills across a Diverse Deaf Student Body

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beal-Alvarez, Jennifer S.

    2016-01-01

    This article presents results of a longitudinal study of receptive American Sign Language (ASL) skills for a large portion of the student body at a residential school for the deaf across four consecutive years. Scores were analyzed by age, gender, parental hearing status, years attending the residential school, and presence of a disability (i.e.,…

  4. Comparing the Picture Exchange Communication System and Sign Language Training for Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tincani, Matt

    2004-01-01

    This study compared the effects of Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and sign language training on the acquisition of mands (requests for preferred items) of students with autism. The study also examined the differential effects of each modality on students' acquisition of vocal behavior. Participants were two elementary school students…

  5. Educational Resources and Implementation of a Greek Sign Language Synthesis Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpouzis, K.; Caridakis, G.; Fotinea, S.-E.; Efthimiou, E.

    2007-01-01

    In this paper, we present how creation and dynamic synthesis of linguistic resources of Greek Sign Language (GSL) may serve to support development and provide content to an educational multitask platform for the teaching of GSL in early elementary school classes. The presented system utilizes standard virtual character (VC) animation technologies…

  6. FOREIGN LANGUAGES: Human Capital Approach Needed to Correct Staffing and Proficiency Shortfalls

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2002-01-01

    Although more than 70 federal agencies have foreign language needs, some of the largest programs are concentrated in the Army, the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Federal...

  7. French Cuisine in the Classroom: Using Culture to Enhance Language Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrate, Jane E.

    1993-01-01

    French cuisine offers a valuable resource for creating culture-based contexts for language use in the classroom. Suggestions and ideas are presented for incorporating food-related activities in the French class. (VWL)

  8. FOREIGN LANGUAGES: Human Capital Approach Needed to Correct Staffing and Proficiency Shortfalls

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2002-01-01

    .... The government also employs tens of thousands of individuals who use foreign language skills in positions such as cryptologic linguists, human intelligence collectors,4 FBI special agents and legal...

  9. Kinect-based sign language recognition of static and dynamic hand movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalawis, Rando C.; Olayao, Kenneth Deniel R.; Ramos, Evan Geoffrey I.; Samonte, Mary Jane C.

    2017-02-01

    A different approach of sign language recognition of static and dynamic hand movements was developed in this study using normalized correlation algorithm. The goal of this research was to translate fingerspelling sign language into text using MATLAB and Microsoft Kinect. Digital input image captured by Kinect devices are matched from template samples stored in a database. This Human Computer Interaction (HCI) prototype was developed to help people with communication disability to express their thoughts with ease. Frame segmentation and feature extraction was used to give meaning to the captured images. Sequential and random testing was used to test both static and dynamic fingerspelling gestures. The researchers explained some factors they encountered causing some misclassification of signs.

  10. Where "Sign Language Studies" Has Led Us in Forty Years: Opening High School and University Education for Deaf People in Viet Nam through Sign Language Analysis, Teaching, and Interpretation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, James; Hoa, Nguyen Thi

    2012-01-01

    This paper discusses how the Nippon Foundation-funded project "Opening University Education to Deaf People in Viet Nam through Sign Language Analysis, Teaching, and Interpretation," also known as the Dong Nai Deaf Education Project, has been implemented through sign language studies from 2000 through 2012. This project has provided deaf…

  11. Out-of-school factors in english language proficiency: comparison between Slovenia and the Netherlands

    OpenAIRE

    Gorenc, Ana

    2017-01-01

    In my master's thesis, I focus on the connection between social environment and learning a foreign language, namely English. I write about out-of-school exposure, which is an important part of informal learning of English as a foreign language. In the theoretical part I discuss to what extent English is present in every-day life in Slovenia, the Netherlands and globally. This part contains facts about important out-of-school effects that affect learning English: social environment, family ba...

  12. Response bias reveals enhanced attention to inferior visual field in signers of American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dye, Matthew W G; Seymour, Jenessa L; Hauser, Peter C

    2016-04-01

    Deafness results in cross-modal plasticity, whereby visual functions are altered as a consequence of a lack of hearing. Here, we present a reanalysis of data originally reported by Dye et al. (PLoS One 4(5):e5640, 2009) with the aim of testing additional hypotheses concerning the spatial redistribution of visual attention due to deafness and the use of a visuogestural language (American Sign Language). By looking at the spatial distribution of errors made by deaf and hearing participants performing a visuospatial selective attention task, we sought to determine whether there was evidence for (1) a shift in the hemispheric lateralization of visual selective function as a result of deafness, and (2) a shift toward attending to the inferior visual field in users of a signed language. While no evidence was found for or against a shift in lateralization of visual selective attention as a result of deafness, a shift in the allocation of attention from the superior toward the inferior visual field was inferred in native signers of American Sign Language, possibly reflecting an adaptation to the perceptual demands imposed by a visuogestural language.

  13. Perceptual context and individual differences in the language proficiency of preschool children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banai, Karen; Yifat, Rachel

    2016-02-01

    Although the contribution of perceptual processes to language skills during infancy is well recognized, the role of perception in linguistic processing beyond infancy is not well understood. In the experiments reported here, we asked whether manipulating the perceptual context in which stimuli are presented across trials influences how preschool children perform visual (shape-size identification; Experiment 1) and auditory (syllable identification; Experiment 2) tasks. Another goal was to determine whether the sensitivity to perceptual context can explain part of the variance in oral language skills in typically developing preschool children. Perceptual context was manipulated by changing the relative frequency with which target visual (Experiment 1) and auditory (Experiment 2) stimuli were presented in arrays of fixed size, and identification of the target stimuli was tested. Oral language skills were assessed using vocabulary, word definition, and phonological awareness tasks. Changes in perceptual context influenced the performance of the majority of children on both identification tasks. Sensitivity to perceptual context accounted for 7% to 15% of the variance in language scores. We suggest that context effects are an outcome of a statistical learning process. Therefore, the current findings demonstrate that statistical learning can facilitate both visual and auditory identification processes in preschool children. Furthermore, consistent with previous findings in infants and in older children and adults, individual differences in statistical learning were found to be associated with individual differences in language skills of preschool children. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. LITERARY LANGUAGE AS A SIGN. SEMIOTIC CONSIDERATIONS ON THE CROATIAN LANGUAGE IN THE CULTURAL SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej Czerwiński

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In the article the question of the existence of the Croatian literary language in the semiotic space, i.e. the system of culture, is taken into consideration. In order to affirm the idea of the justification of the very term Croatian language, and thus acceptance of the thesis of the existence of such a language, this argumentation is directed towards theoretical investigation in the semiotic field. There is an attempt to envisage that discussions in the post-Yugoslav linguistics are not the problem, conventionally speaking, ‘ontological’ but ‘epistemological’. Thus, it is not important the question whether the Croatian language or any other language, e.g. Montenegrin, exists but rather the following question: what does it mean that literary language exists or does not exist?

  15. The Effect of Sign Language Rehearsal on Deaf Subjects' Immediate and Delayed Recall of English Word Lists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonvillian, John D.; And Others

    1987-01-01

    The relationship between sign language rehearsal and written free recall was examined by having deaf college students rehearse the sign language equivalents of printed English words. Studies of both immediate and delayed memory suggested that word recall increased as a function of total rehearsal frequency and frequency of appearance in rehearsal…

  16. Co-lateralized bilingual mechanisms for reading in single and dual language contexts: evidence from visual half-field processing of action words in proficient bilinguals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlena eKrefta

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available When reading, proficient bilinguals seem to engage the same cognitive circuits regardless of the language in use. Yet, whether or not such ‘bilingual’ mechanisms would be lateralized in the same way in distinct – single or dual – language contexts is a question for debate. To fill this gap, we tested 18 highly proficient Polish (L1 – English (L2 childhood bilinguals whose task was to read aloud one of the two laterally presented action verbs, one stimulus per visual half field. While in the single-language blocks only L1 or L2 words were shown, in the subsequent mixed-language blocks words from both languages were concurrently displayed. All stimuli were presented for 217 ms followed by masks in which letters were replaced with hash marks. Since in non-simultaneous bilinguals the control of language, skilled actions (including reading, and representations of action concepts are typically left lateralized, the vast majority of our participants showed the expected, significant right visual field advantage for L1 and L2, both for accuracy and response times. The observed effects were nevertheless associated with substantial variability in the strength of the lateralization of the mechanisms involved. Moreover, although it could be predicted that participants’ performance should be better in a single-language context, accuracy was significantly higher and response times were significantly shorter in a dual-language context, irrespective of the language tested. Finally, for both accuracy and response times, there were significant positive correlations between the laterality indices (LIs of both languages independent of the context, with a significantly greater left-sided advantage for L1 vs. L2 in the mixed-language blocks, based on LIs calculated for response times. Thus, despite similar representations of the two languages in the bilingual brain, these results also point to the functional separation of L1 and L2 in the dual-language

  17. A Component-Based Vocabulary-Extensible Sign Language Gesture Recognition Framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Shengjing; Chen, Xiang; Yang, Xidong; Cao, Shuai; Zhang, Xu

    2016-04-19

    Sign language recognition (SLR) can provide a helpful tool for the communication between the deaf and the external world. This paper proposed a component-based vocabulary extensible SLR framework using data from surface electromyographic (sEMG) sensors, accelerometers (ACC), and gyroscopes (GYRO). In this framework, a sign word was considered to be a combination of five common sign components, including hand shape, axis, orientation, rotation, and trajectory, and sign classification was implemented based on the recognition of five components. Especially, the proposed SLR framework consisted of two major parts. The first part was to obtain the component-based form of sign gestures and establish the code table of target sign gesture set using data from a reference subject. In the second part, which was designed for new users, component classifiers were trained using a training set suggested by the reference subject and the classification of unknown gestures was performed with a code matching method. Five subjects participated in this study and recognition experiments under different size of training sets were implemented on a target gesture set consisting of 110 frequently-used Chinese Sign Language (CSL) sign words. The experimental results demonstrated that the proposed framework can realize large-scale gesture set recognition with a small-scale training set. With the smallest training sets (containing about one-third gestures of the target gesture set) suggested by two reference subjects, (82.6 ± 13.2)% and (79.7 ± 13.4)% average recognition accuracy were obtained for 110 words respectively, and the average recognition accuracy climbed up to (88 ± 13.7)% and (86.3 ± 13.7)% when the training set included 50~60 gestures (about half of the target gesture set). The proposed framework can significantly reduce the user's training burden in large-scale gesture recognition, which will facilitate the implementation of a practical SLR system.

  18. A Component-Based Vocabulary-Extensible Sign Language Gesture Recognition Framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shengjing Wei

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Sign language recognition (SLR can provide a helpful tool for the communication between the deaf and the external world. This paper proposed a component-based vocabulary extensible SLR framework using data from surface electromyographic (sEMG sensors, accelerometers (ACC, and gyroscopes (GYRO. In this framework, a sign word was considered to be a combination of five common sign components, including hand shape, axis, orientation, rotation, and trajectory, and sign classification was implemented based on the recognition of five components. Especially, the proposed SLR framework consisted of two major parts. The first part was to obtain the component-based form of sign gestures and establish the code table of target sign gesture set using data from a reference subject. In the second part, which was designed for new users, component classifiers were trained using a training set suggested by the reference subject and the classification of unknown gestures was performed with a code matching method. Five subjects participated in this study and recognition experiments under different size of training sets were implemented on a target gesture set consisting of 110 frequently-used Chinese Sign Language (CSL sign words. The experimental results demonstrated that the proposed framework can realize large-scale gesture set recognition with a small-scale training set. With the smallest training sets (containing about one-third gestures of the target gesture set suggested by two reference subjects, (82.6 ± 13.2% and (79.7 ± 13.4% average recognition accuracy were obtained for 110 words respectively, and the average recognition accuracy climbed up to (88 ± 13.7% and (86.3 ± 13.7% when the training set included 50~60 gestures (about half of the target gesture set. The proposed framework can significantly reduce the user’s training burden in large-scale gesture recognition, which will facilitate the implementation of a practical SLR system.

  19. The duplication of the number of hands in Sign Language, and its semantic effects

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    André Nogueira Xavier

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available According to Xavier (2006, there are signs in the Brazilian sign language (Libras that are typically developed with one hand, while others are made by both hands. However, recent studies document the communication, with both hands, of signs which usually use only one hand, and vice-versa (XAVIER, 2011; XAVIER, 2013; BARBOSA, 2013. This study aims the discussion of 27 Libras' signs which are typically made with one hand and that, when articulated with both hands, present changes in their meanings. The data discussed hereby, even though originally collected from observations of spontaneous signs from different Libras' users, have been elicited by two deaf patients in distinct sessions. After presenting the two forms of the selected signs (made with one and two hands, the patients were asked to create examples of use for each of the signs. The results proved that the duplication of hands, at least for the same signal in some cases, may happen due to different factors (such as plurality, aspect and intensity.

  20. Transformation in K-12 English Language Proficiency Assessment: Changing Contexts, Changing Constructs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boals, Timothy; Kenyon, Dorry M.; Blair, Alissa; Cranley, M. Elizabeth; Wilmes, Carsten; Wright, Laura J.

    2015-01-01

    In conducting this review, we examine literature that explores the merits and shortcomings of ELP test design and testing as they have evolved over time through the current era of CCR standards. In the first section, we situate the role of language testing in its broader historical and policy context. In the second section, we examine the evolving…