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Elicited imitation tasks (EITs) as a tool for measuring sign language proficiency in L1 and L2 signers
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Swedish as a Second Language for the Deaf.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8579-0771
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8762-7118
2017 (English)In: Book of abstracts, 2017, p. 6-7Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In previous literature, elicited imitation tasks (EITs) have been discussed with regard to the effect that memory skills have on performing tasks. More recent studies have shown, however, that EITs are a reliable tool for measuring language proficiency for L1 users and L2 learners (Klem et al., 2015; Gaillard & Tremblay, 2016). There have also been recommendations for minimizing the negative impacts of poor memory skills, for example, by shortening sentence structures.

In contrast to spoken languages, which are merely linear in structure, sign languages operate in the gestural-visual mode, which relies on a visual pattern that allows for a degree of simultaneity in production. For instance, when signing a single lexical sign, the shape, movement and location of the hand combine to express phonological properties at the same time. Additionally, there are more complex signs with internal morphological structures that involve multiple handshapes, movements and locations. Such features need to be taken into account when valid and reliable EITs are developed for signed languages, and in recent years, there have been a growing number of sign language tests developed within the framework of EITs, e.g. American Sign Language, ASL-SRT (Hauser et al., 2008), and Swedish Sign Language, SSL-SRT (Schönström, 2014).

In this talk, we will discuss sentence structure as well as the scoring method of the tests we have developed on two EITs for Swedish Sign Language: SSL-SRT, which is targeted for L1 signers, and SignRepL2, targeted for L2 signers. We found that for the L2 group, complex (single) signs can be used as test items, and there are qualitative differences related to the linguistic properties of signs. We will also describe different scoring paradigms for the respective tests. Our results will be presented and discussed in relation to the EIT theoretical framework.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. p. 6-7
Keywords [en]
assessment, test, sign language
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Sign Language
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-150395OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-150395DiVA, id: diva2:1167380
Conference
ALTE 6th Conference, Learning and Assessment: Making the Connections, Bologna, Italy, May 3-5, 2017
Available from: 2017-12-18 Created: 2017-12-18 Last updated: 2018-02-26Bibliographically approved

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