BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant

Activity: Other


Awarded: £9,998.34 The cognitive and linguistic predictors of successful British Sign Language learning Project Information: In the UK, Sign Language Interpreting (SLI) degree programmes are plagued by high drop-out rates, and learners often plateau before reaching working fluency. SLI is a cognitively and linguistically demanding task performed largely by non-native sign language users. Nevertheless, few studies have investigated what makes a good candidate for SLI training programmes in terms of such cognitive and linguistic skills (Gómez, Molina, Benítez, & Santiago de Torres, 2007; Stone, 2017). Our comprehensive project will test interpreting students at two universities throughout their training using a range of cognitive and linguistic skills assessments. We will thus establish whether pre-existing abilities are predictors of successful sign acquisition, and which skills improve in line with learning. Knowledge of the domains that are predictors/correlates of performance will assist SLI programmes from applicant selection through to graduation, in addition to highlighting which specific skills require extra training more broadly in sign language teaching.