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ProSign 2: Promoting the Quality of Sign Language Teaching in Europe

Background and aims

The research project ProSign 2 will be conducted at the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) in Graz, Austria, from 2016 to 2019 under the framework programme Languages at the Heart of Learning. This is a follow-up project to ProSign 1: Signed Languages for Professional Purposes.

Building on the results of ProSign 1, in a first step ProSign 2 will conduct a Europe-wide survey with the aim to achieve an overview of the education and continuing education opportunities for teachers of   sign language. The aims of the project are the following:

  • Develop a competency-oriented framework of reference for teachers of sign language
  • Put together teaching and  training materials for level B2, based on various European sign languages
  • Develop framework conditions of a European Language Portfolio (ELP) that does justice to the modality-specific aspects of sign languages  

The target groups of this project are the following:

  • Teacher educators in tertiary level education for sign language teachers
  • Persons who are studying and training to become sign language teachers
  • Learners of a sign language


The following methodological approach has been chosen:

  • Online survey (in English and in international signs). The results will be made available at the project website and published in an article.
  • First draft of a competency-oriented framework of reference for sign language teachers. The following resources and sources will form the basis:

  1. Available information on education programmes for sign language teachers in Europe
  2. Framework of reference for language teachers of spoken languages with an interface for the EFSZ project Towards a CEFR for Language Teachers
  3. Input from experts

  • Feedback from a network meeting in 2017 and a workshop in 2018 will be integrated into a revision
  • Viewing, putting together and making available existing teaching and training materials for level B2 European sign languages, through professional networks and project partners


At completion of the project, a publication website will be made available that is comparable to the ProSign 1 project website. All of the results will be available there in the form of texts in English and in international sign language. The website will offer the following products:

  • A manual on using teaching and training materials
  • Practical examples of teaching and training materials at level B2
  • Development of a European Language Portfolio (ELP) for learners of a sign language
  • Comprehensive analysis of and testing of feasibility of a CEFR for sign language teachers

In addition, the project will contribute towards:

  • Improvement of teaching sign language, for both teachers and learners
  • Increasing professionalization and standardization of education and training of sign language teachers
  • Greater awareness of the teaching and learning of sign languages in the framework of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its contribution to inclusion
  • Greater awareness of the language and cultural diversity of sign languages within Europe; Promotion of the recognition of sign language learning as a component of foreign languages



Project Management

Prof. Dr.  Haug

Leiter Bachelorstudiengang Gebärdensprachdolmetschen

Project team


Forschung und Entwicklung
Tel: +41 44 317 11 81

zfe[at] zfe