Language aptitude in the visuospatial modality: L2 British Sign Language acquisition and cognitive skills in British Sign Language-English interpreting students
Cast your vote
You can rate an item by clicking the amount of stars they wish to award to this item.
When enough users have cast their vote on this item, the average rating will also be shown.
Your vote was cast
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractSign language interpreting (SLI) is a cognitively challenging task performed mostly by second language learners (i.e., not raised using a sign language as a home language). SLI students must first gain language fluency in a new visuospatial modality and then move between spoken and signed modalities as they interpret. As a result, many students plateau before reaching working fluency, and SLI training program drop-out rates are high. However, we know little about the requisite skills to become a successful interpreter: the few existing studies investigating SLI aptitude in terms of linguistic and cognitive skills lack baseline measures. Here we report a 3-year exploratory longitudinal skills assessments study with British Sign Language (BSL)-English SLI students at two universities (n = 33). Our aims were two-fold: first, to better understand the prerequisite skills that lead to successful SLI outcomes; second, to better understand how signing and interpreting skills impact other aspects of cognition. A battery of tasks was completed at four time points to assess skills, including but not limited to: multimodal and unimodal working memory, 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional mental rotation (MR), and English comprehension. Dependent measures were BSL and SLI course grades, BSL reproduction tests, and consecutive SLI tasks. Results reveal that initial BSL proficiency and 2D-MR were associated with selection for the degree program, while visuospatial working memory was linked to continuing with the program. 3D-MR improved throughout the degree, alongside some limited gains in auditory, visuospatial, and multimodal working memory tasks. Visuospatial working memory and MR were the skills closest associated with BSL and SLI outcomes, particularly those tasks involving sign language production, thus, highlighting the importance of cognition related to the visuospatial modality. These preliminary data will inform SLI training programs, from applicant selection to curriculum design.
CitationWatkins, F., Webb, S., Stone, C. and Thompson, R.L. (2022) Language aptitude in the visuospatial modality: L2 British Sign Language acquisition and cognitive skills in British Sign Language-English interpreting students. Frontiers in Psychology, 13:932370. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.932370
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Description© 2022 The Authors. Published by Frontiers Media. This is an open access article available under a Creative Commons licence. The published version can be accessed at the following link on the publisher’s website: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.932370
SponsorsThis work was supported by an Economic and Social Research Council of Great Britain 1 + 3 doctoral studentship awarded to FW (ES/J50001X/1) and a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant awarded to RT, SW, and CS (SRG19\191348).
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Gender differentiation and the asymmetrical use of animate nouns in contemporary CzechDickins, Tom (Modern Humanities Research Association, 2001)This article analyses the use of animate nouns in contemporary Czech, with detailed reference to the dictionary Slovník spisovné etiny pro kolu a veejnost. Special attention is paid to the existence of generic masculine forms, which may underscore traditional perceptions of the status of men and women in Czech society. The study is informed by sociolinguistic theory and provides an overview of some of the relevant tenets of feminist argument, but it is primarily concerned with the linguistic implications of lexical practice. The main conclusion is that Czech is formally well adapted to suffixation and that there may now be scope for more feminine derivatives to assert themselves. (Ingenta)
Are better communicators better readers? An exploration of the connections between narrative language and reading comprehensionChen-Wilson, Josephine; Manktelow, Ken; Silva-Maceda, Gabriela (University of Wolverhampton, 2013-11)The association between receptive language skills and reading comprehension has been established in the research literature. Even when the importance of receptive skills for reading comprehension has been strongly supported, in practice lower levels of skills tend to go unnoticed in typically developing children. A potentially more visible modality of language, expressive skills using speech samples, has been rarely examined despite the longitudinal links between speech and later reading development, and the connections between language and reading impairments. Even fewer reading studies have examined expressive skills using a subgroup of speech samples – narrative samples – which are closer to the kind of language practitioners can observe in their classrooms, and are also a rich source of linguistic and discourse-level data in school-aged children. This thesis presents a study examining the relationship between expressive language skills in narrative samples and reading comprehension after the first two years of formal reading instruction, with considerable attention given to methodological and developmental issues. In order to address the main methodological issues surrounding the identification of the optimal linguistic indices in terms of reliability and the existence of developmental patterns, two studies of language development in oral narratives were carried out. The first of the narrative language studies drew data from an existing corpus, while the other analysed primary data, collected specifically for this purpose. Having identified the optimal narrative indices in two different samples, the main study examined the relationships between these expressive narrative measures along with receptive standardised measures, and reading comprehension in a monolingual sample of eighty 7- and 8-year-old children attending Year 3 in the UK. Both receptive and expressive oral language skills were assessed at three different levels: vocabulary, grammar and discourse. Regression analyses indicated that, when considering expressive narrative variables on their own, expressive grammar and vocabulary, in that order, contributed to explain over a fifth of reading comprehension variance in typically developing children. When controlling for receptive language however, expressive skills were not able to account for significant unique variance in the outcome measure. Nonetheless, mediation analyses revealed that receptive vocabulary and grammar played a mediating role in the relationship between expressive skills from narratives and reading comprehension. Results and further research directions are discussed in the context of this study’s methodological considerations.
Unity and diversity within pidginized Arabic as produced by Asian migrant workers in the Arabian GulfAlbaqawi, Najah Salem (University of Central Lancashire 2010-2013, 2016-11-30)Gulf Pidgin Arabic (GPA) is a simplified contact variety of language spoken in the Gulf States in the Middle East. This unique linguistic phenomenon has resulted from the frequent language contact between the non-indigenous workforce with no Arabic skills, who come from countries such as India, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines for job opportunities, and native speakers who do not share a common language with them. Pidgin languages have not been studied until relatively recently, since the middle of the last century. Similarly, GPA has received relatively little attention in the literature apart from a few descriptive works such as Albakrawi, 2013; Alghamdi, 2014; Almoaily, 2008, 2012; Alshammari, 2010; Al-Zubeiry, 2015; Avram, 2014, 2015; Gomaa, 2007; Hobrom, 1996; Næss, 2008; Smart, 1990; Wiswal, 2002. This study aims to propose an account of both unity and diversity within Asian migrant Arabic pidgins in the states of the Arabian Gulf in terms of a set of parameters where purely linguistic developments interact with contextual ones. The analysis of the social situation and of the available linguistic data shows that the main factor behind conventionalizing within GPA is migrants’ mobility in the Gulf region. This is basically compatible with Bizri (2014) who suggests that in Asian Migrant Arabic Pidgins (AMAP) “[’] mobility across the region is the major factor for homogenizing both native Arabic-speakers’ foreigner talk and migrants’ pidgin Arabic” (p. 385). One of the recommendations at the end of the study is that Saudi government should offer some courses for the foreign laborers to help them become familiar with basic Arabic words.