This report is one of the outputs of the SignTeach project, a European project funded under Erasmus+. SignTeach was a project for and by sign language teachers. It was a 3-year project that started in September 2014.
In this report, you will find some background information about the SignTeach project (Chapter 3) and the SignTeach Survey (Chapter 4).
You are reading this publication, so you are interested in sign language. Maybe you are a sign language user, a sign language teacher, or a sign language interpreter. However, we hope that many people with little or no previous experience with sign languages will read this publication too. For them, we included Chapter 2 with everything you’ve always wanted to ask about sign language.
The main part of this publication are the country reports (Chapter 5) with current information about sign language teaching and the training of sign language teachers in the 8 European countries that participated in the SignTeach project. In alphabetical order: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and the UK.
For each country, you will find a short historical overview, some information about the training of sign language teachers, accreditation, and more. We included short interviews with experts from each of these 8 countries. For each country also: some results of the SignTeach Survey. More results and interviews can be found on the SignTeach website.
In the final and most important chapter of this report, Chapter 6, you will find our conclusions recommendations. For 3 years, SignTeach partners met biannually to develop new resources for colleagues in Europe, but also to discuss current and future barriers that sign language teachers and sign language learners have to deal with, not just in our countries, but across Europe. And maybe globally. Although sign languages are generally recognized as a valued and vital element of European culture, they are in need of support and protection. By whom, and how? This you can read in Chapter 6.