The British Sign Language (BSL) Corpus Project: Sociolinguistic variation, language change, language contact and lexical frequency in BSL

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Human Communication Science

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Publications

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Adam Schembri (author) (2009) Sociolinguistic variation in the 1 handshape in British Sign Language in 38th Annual Meeting of New Ways of Analysing Variation (NWAV). Ottowa, Canada

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Adam Schembri (author) (2008) British Sign Language Corpus Project : open access archives and the observer's paradox in British Association for Applied Linguistics Annual Conference

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Adam Schembri (author) (2009) British Sign Language Corpus Project : sociolinguistic variation in the 1 handshape in BSL conversations in Annual meeting of the Linguistic Association of Great Britain

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Adam Schembri (author) (2009) Sociolinguistic variation in the 1 handshape in British Sign Language in Colloque International sur les Langues des signes, Namur, Belgium

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Adam Schembri (author) (2008) British Sign Language Corpus Project

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Adam Schembri (author) (2009) British Sign Language Corpus Project : documenting and describing the local, regional and supralocal in BSL in 7th UK Language Variation and Change Conference, University of Newcastle

 
Title Mini-lecture : the truth about sign language 
Description People outside the deaf community may not know that the regional variations found in spoken language also exist in sign language. This variation is the subject of the current BSL Corpus Project, led by the team at the UCL Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL). Dr Adam Schembri, Senior Research Fellow and Project Director, explains what this research is telling us about the history of a language that, like every other, is continually changing. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2010 
 
Description All BSL Corpus Project video data have been made available online (http://www.bslcorpusproject.org/data/). In addition, the following studies have been completed.

Phonological variation in the 1 handshape study: This study examined variation in BSL signs produced with the 1 handshape (ie a typical pointing handshape with extended index finger). Analysis of 2110 signs indicates that variation in the 1 handshape is conditioned by linguistic factors including (a) grammatical category of the sign, with functor signs (eg pointing signs) showing significantly more variation than content signs (eg WOMAN, TRY), and (b) phonological environment, with the preceding and following signs conditioning the variation. These results were published in Fenlon et al. (2013).

Lexical variation and change in numbers, colours, and placename signs: In this study on lexical variation conducted by project-linked PhD student Rose Stamp, we have found that a) younger signers, b) signers who attended a school outside of their region, and c) signers with non-signing parents were all less likely to use traditional signs (which may be specific to the region they lived in), compared to a) older signers, b) signers who attended school in their region and c) signers with signing parents. We also found that sign category was an important factor (signs for countries are changing faster than signs for colours). These results were published in Stamp et al. (2014) and Stamp et al. (2015).

Lexical frequency: The study on lexical frequency includes 24,920 sign tokens from the corpus conversation data: approximately 500 signs each from 50 participants from two regions, balanced as much as possible for age, gender, and language background. Results (presented at the) indicate that 60 per cent of the data consists of signs from the core lexicon, with high frequency items including more content words than is typical of a spoken language like English. This data provides the first lexical frequency information for a sign language based on a large conversational dataset, and complements existing work on sign familiarity. These results were published in Cormier et al. (2011) and Fenlon et al. (2014).

Outputs: In addition to a range of peer-reviewed conferences and workshops (in the UK and internationally), and the peer-reviewed publications noted above, we have given presentations invited by local universities and training centres (eg Middlesex University and City Lit Centre for Adult Learning in London), and at Deaf community events hosted by the Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) and the BSLCP (DCAL Deaf Open Day in London, 2010, 6 UK-wide DCAL Roadshow events in 2011, and the 10-year BSL Corpus anniversary event in 2018).
Exploitation Route Overall the studies on sociolinguistic variation and change and lexical frequency have clarified previously held assumptions about how BSL varies across different social groups and in different linguistic contexts, how it is changing, and which signs occur frequently in natural conversation. These findings will lead directly to improved sign language teaching resources that will more accurately describe how the language is used by a range of subgroups within the British Deaf community. This will in turn bring about improvements to the training of BSL teachers, sign language interpreters and educators of deaf children. Better sign language/interpreting resources will result in improved services for deaf people, better ensuring their full participation in society. In 2014, DCAL launched BSL Signbank, an online dictionary and lexical database based on signs from the BSL Corpus, which contains lexical and phonological information for 2500+ BSL signs. This dictionary and phonological description will prove invaluable references for research and teaching/learning of BSL and for linguistics more generally.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://www.bslcorpusproject.org/
 
Description Most immediately after the project completion in June 2011, the BSL Corpus Project increased capacity building relating to junior researchers (both Deaf and hearing) within sign language linguistics; this was evident from the placements/progress of project staff/students who have gone on todo postgraduate degrees or postdoctoral positions at other universities. In terms of impact on BSL teaching and research, the lexical frequency study under the BSL Corpus Project led to the creation of a lexical database for BSL, which under the UCL Deafness, Cognition & Language Research Centre has become BSL SignBank (http://bslsignbank.ucl.ac.uk), an online dictionary of BSL and the first corpus-based dictionary for any sign language. This dictionary will prove invaluable references for research and teaching/learning of BSL and for linguistics more generally. Internationally, the BSL Corpus is one of very few large sign language corpus projects (along with projects in Australia, The Netherlands and Germany) and only the second to have video data available online (after The Netherlands). The BSL Corpus team was involved in the Sign Language Corpora Network (2009-2010) and maintains strong links with researchers working on these corpus projects. The BSLCP-hosted 2009 workshop "Sign Language Corpora: Linguistic Issues" had international attendance (>100 academics), and many were researchers starting or planning sign language corpora in their own countries. Since then, the BSL Corpus team have worked and consulted with such researchers, including those from USA, Italy, India and Japan. The BSL video data and web interfaces were gradually curated/developed and uploaded from early 2011. From July 2011, the form for requesting access to the conversation and interview data has been available. Since then (as of October 2014) we have received requests for user licenses from around 30 researchers from all over the world. We expect to receive many more in the future.
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description DCAL Research Skills Summer School
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact This summer school for research students examined linguistic, psycholinguistic and neuroscience approaches to the research area of language of deaf people. It attracted research students from Europe, Africa and beyond.
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/dcal/study/short-and-online-courses/research-skills-summer-school
 
Description Describing sociolinguistic variation in verb directionality in British Sign Language: A corpus-based study
Amount £199,639 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/K003364/1 
Organisation Research Councils UK (RCUK) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2012 
End 05/2014
 
Description Digging into Data Challenge
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Digging into Signs 
Organisation Jisc 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2014 
End 05/2015
 
Description Digging into signs: Developing standard annotation practices for cross-linguistic quantitative analysis of sign language data
Amount £124,965 (GBP)
Organisation Research Councils UK (RCUK) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2014 
End 04/2015
 
Description NWO Rubicon fellowship to Elizabeth Manrique
Amount € 158,000 (EUR)
Organisation Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) 
Sector Public
Country Netherlands
Start 12/2016 
End 07/2019
 
Description When do gestures become linguistic? Understanding the gesture-language interface through a corpus-based study of pointing signs in sign languages
Amount $345,000 (AUD)
Organisation Australian Research Council 
Sector Public
Country Australia
Start 06/2014 
End 05/2015
 
Title BSL SignBank 
Description BSL SignBank: A lexical database and dictionary of British Sign Language (First Edition) 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Use of the resource by students, teachers, interpreters, researchers. 
URL http://bslsignbank.ucl.ac.uk
 
Title British Sign Language corpus project : a corpus of digital video data of British Sign Language 2008-2009 
Description The primary output (dataset) produced by the BSL Corpus Project 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2011 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL http://www.bslcorpusproject.org
 
Description Co-Investigator on Research Grant from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), ExTOL: End to End Translation of British Sign Language 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Kearsy Cormier as Co-Investigator on Research Grant from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), ExTOL: End to End Translation of British Sign Language. PI: Richard Bowden (U-Surrey); Co-investigators: Bencie Woll (UCL), Andrew Zisserman (U-Oxford). Total £1,195,431 fEC.
Collaborator Contribution Kearsy Cormier as Co-Investigator on Research Grant from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), ExTOL: End to End Translation of British Sign Language. PI: Richard Bowden (U-Surrey); Co-investigators: Bencie Woll (UCL), Andrew Zisserman (U-Oxford). Total £1,195,431 fEC.
Impact In progress
Start Year 2018
 
Description Co-Investigator on Research Grant from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), ExTOL: End to End Translation of British Sign Language 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Kearsy Cormier as Co-Investigator on Research Grant from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), ExTOL: End to End Translation of British Sign Language. PI: Richard Bowden (U-Surrey); Co-investigators: Bencie Woll (UCL), Andrew Zisserman (U-Oxford). Total £1,195,431 fEC.
Collaborator Contribution Kearsy Cormier as Co-Investigator on Research Grant from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), ExTOL: End to End Translation of British Sign Language. PI: Richard Bowden (U-Surrey); Co-investigators: Bencie Woll (UCL), Andrew Zisserman (U-Oxford). Total £1,195,431 fEC.
Impact In progress
Start Year 2018
 
Description Co-Investigator on Research Grant from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), ExTOL: End to End Translation of British Sign Language 
Organisation University of Surrey
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Kearsy Cormier as Co-Investigator on Research Grant from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), ExTOL: End to End Translation of British Sign Language. PI: Richard Bowden (U-Surrey); Co-investigators: Bencie Woll (UCL), Andrew Zisserman (U-Oxford). Total £1,195,431 fEC.
Collaborator Contribution Kearsy Cormier as Co-Investigator on Research Grant from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), ExTOL: End to End Translation of British Sign Language. PI: Richard Bowden (U-Surrey); Co-investigators: Bencie Woll (UCL), Andrew Zisserman (U-Oxford). Total £1,195,431 fEC.
Impact In progress
Start Year 2018
 
Description Consultation about creation of Finnish Sign Language corpus 
Organisation University of Jyvaskyla
Country Finland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Consultation with Ritva Takkinen, University of Jyväskylä, about creation of Finnish Sign Language corpus
Start Year 2012
 
Description Consultation about creation of Finnish Sign Language corpus 
Organisation University of Jyvaskyla
Country Finland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Consultation with Ritva Takkinen, University of Jyväskylä, about creation of Finnish Sign Language corpus
Start Year 2012
 
Description Consultation about creation of Indian Sign Language corpus 
Organisation Central Institute of Indian Languages
Country India 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Consultation with Amaresh Gopalakrishnan, Central Institute of Indian Languages, about creation of Indian Sign Language corpus
Start Year 2012
 
Description Consultation about creation of Moroccan Sign Language corpus 
Organisation National School of Mineral Industry
Country Morocco 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Consultation with Abdelhadi Soudi, Head of the interdisciplinary research team "Mathematics-Computer Science and Linguistics", Ecole Nationale de l'Industrie Minérale, Rabat, Morocco
Start Year 2013
 
Description Consultation about creation of Moroccan Sign Language corpus 
Organisation National School of Mineral Industry
Country Morocco 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Consultation with Abdelhadi Soudi, Head of the interdisciplinary research team "Mathematics-Computer Science and Linguistics", Ecole Nationale de l'Industrie Minérale, Rabat, Morocco
Start Year 2013
 
Description Consultation about creation of historical corpus of American Sign Language 
Organisation University of Connecticut
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Consultation with Ted Supalla, University of Connecticut about creation of historical corpus of American Sign Language
Start Year 2012
 
Description Consultation about creation of historical corpus of American Sign Language 
Organisation University of Connecticut
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Consultation with Ted Supalla, University of Connecticut about creation of historical corpus of American Sign Language
Start Year 2012
 
Description Consultation about phonological change in sign languages 
Organisation Mason Perkins Deafness Fund (MPDF)
Country Italy 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Consultation with Elena Radutzky, Mason Perkins Deafness Fund, Rome, Italy
Start Year 2013
 
Description Consultation about phonological change in sign languages 
Organisation Mason Perkins Deafness Fund (MPDF)
Country Italy 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Consultation with Elena Radutzky, Mason Perkins Deafness Fund, Rome, Italy
Start Year 2013
 
Description Consultation about sign language documentation at borders of Brazil, Uraguay, Argentina 
Organisation Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel)
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Consultation with Tatiana Lebedeff, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Brazil
Start Year 2013
 
Description Consultation about sign language documentation at borders of Brazil, Uraguay, Argentina 
Organisation Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel)
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Consultation with Tatiana Lebedeff, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Brazil
Start Year 2013
 
Description Consultation about sign language machine translation techology in Brazil 
Organisation New Scientist
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Consultation with Niall Firth, New Scientist magazine
Start Year 2013
 
Description Consultation about sign language machine translation techology in Brazil 
Organisation New Scientist
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Consultation with Niall Firth, New Scientist magazine
Start Year 2013
 
Description Consultation about use of BSL corpus data for improvement of sign language recognition technology 
Organisation University of Aberdeen
Department Department of Computing Science
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Consultation with Ernesto Compatangelo, Department of Computing Science, University of Aberdeen about use of BSL Corpus data to improve Portable Sign Language Translator (http://www.technabling.co.uk/pslt)
Start Year 2012
 
Description Consultation about use of BSL corpus data for improvement of sign language recognition technology 
Organisation University of Aberdeen
Department Department of Computing Science
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Consultation with Ernesto Compatangelo, Department of Computing Science, University of Aberdeen about use of BSL Corpus data to improve Portable Sign Language Translator (http://www.technabling.co.uk/pslt)
Start Year 2012
 
Description Consultation about use of BSL corpus data for improvement of sign language recognition technology 
Organisation University of Sheffield
Department Department of Computer Science
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Consultation with Trevor Cohn, Dept of Computer Science, University of Sheffield about use of BSL Corpus data for work on automatic machine translation
Start Year 2012
 
Description Consultation about use of BSL corpus data for improvement of sign language recognition technology 
Organisation University of Sheffield
Department Department of Computer Science
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Consultation with Trevor Cohn, Dept of Computer Science, University of Sheffield about use of BSL Corpus data for work on automatic machine translation
Start Year 2012
 
Description Consultation on language and gesture in sign language and multimodal corpora 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Consultation with Svenja Adolphs, Professor of English Language and Linguistics, Nottingham University
Start Year 2013
 
Description Creation of Indian Sign Language corpus 
Organisation Central Institute of Indian Languages
Country India 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Consultation with Amaresh Gopalakrishnan, Central Institute of Indian Languages, about creation of Indian Sign Language corpus
Start Year 2012
 
Description European COST action SignGram : unraveling the grammars of European sign languages : pathways to full citizenship of deaf signers and to the protection of their linguistic heritage 
Organisation European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)
Department Unraveling the Grammars of European Sign Language
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Member of European COST action SignGram: Unraveling the grammars of European sign languages: pathways to full citizenship of deaf signers and to the protection of their linguistic heritage
Start Year 2011
 
Description European COST action SignGram : unraveling the grammars of European sign languages : pathways to full citizenship of deaf signers and to the protection of their linguistic heritage 
Organisation European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)
Department Unraveling the Grammars of European Sign Language
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Member of European COST action SignGram: Unraveling the grammars of European sign languages: pathways to full citizenship of deaf signers and to the protection of their linguistic heritage. http://parles.upf.edu/en/content/cost-signgram
Start Year 2011
 
Description A sign of where you're from? BDN article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact "A sign of where you're from?" Research article by Rose Stamp, Adam Schembri, Bronwen Evans, Kearsy Cormier, featuring research on accommodation in BSL, British Deaf News, April 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description BBC See Hear, featuring British Sign Language Corpus 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewee for BBC See Hear, featuring British Sign Language Corpus, 28 May 2014. Aired on BBC early 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description BSL Corpus ten year celebration event. 3 November, 2018. DCAL. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact On Saturday 3 November, DCAL hosted the BSL Corpus 10-year celebration event. This public event was hosted live in central London and simultaneously live streamed online to viewers in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. DCAL invited every single person who has been involved in the creation and development of the BSL Corpus over the past ten years: fieldworkers, language consultants, researchers, teachers, community members, visiting scholars and more. Anyone who is interested in BSL and signed language linguistics was also invited and welcome to attend. Half of the day was about disseminating research findings - what has been learned over the years from doing research using the BSL Corpus and also the related BSL Signbank dictionary. The other half of the day showcased people from across the UK who have been using the BSL Corpus and/or BSL SignBank for reasons other than research, especially for BSL teaching and/or interpreter training. The main language of the event was BSL, with over 100 Deaf and hearing BSL signers attend in person, with another 200+ people watching online. The event was fully accessible with voice interpretation from BSL into English and live English captions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://bslcorpusproject.org/events/bsl-corpus-10-year-celebration/
 
Description BSL Linguistics for BSL tutors, DCAL CPD 18 April 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact BSL Linguistics for BSL tutors. Workshop delivered with Robert Adam as part of DCAL's Continuing Professional Development programme for teachers of BSL, 18 April 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description BSL SignBank is the First British Sign Language Dictionary Based on Actual Use 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Kearsy Cormier as interviewee for "BSL SignBank is the First British Sign Language Dictionary Based on Actual Use," featuring BSL SignBank. News item on Shiny Shiny, mainstream technology website for women, 26 September 2014. http://www.shinyshiny.tv/2014/09/signbank-bsl-dictionary.html
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.shinyshiny.tv/2014/09/signbank-bsl-dictionary.html
 
Description BSL SignBank is the first British Sign Language dictionary based on actual use 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact ShinyShiny article about BSL SignBank

Greater knowledge among the Deaf community
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.shinyshiny.tv/2014/09/signbank-bsl-dictionary.html
 
Description BSL SignBank, a 'living' British Sign Language dictionary, is launched online 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Kearsy Cormier as interviewee for "Deaf News: BSL SignBank, a 'living' British Sign Language dictionary, is launched online", featuring BSL SignBank. Limping Chicken (world-leading deaf blog), 7 October 2014. http://limpingchicken.com/2014/10/07/deaf-news-bsl-signbank-a-living-british-sign-language-dictionary-is-launched-online/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://limpingchicken.com/2014/10/07/deaf-news-bsl-signbank-a-living-british-sign-language-dictionar...
 
Description BSL SignBank: The first usage-based sign language dictionary 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact "BSL SignBank: The first usage-based sign language dictionary", featuring BSL SignBank. News item in Hearing Times, national newspaper for deaf and hard-of-hearing, 30 September 2014, http://www.hearingtimes.co.uk/News/21961/BSL%20SignBank-%20The%20first%20usage-based%20sign%20language%20dictionary
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.hearingtimes.co.uk/News/21961/BSL%20SignBank-%20The%20first%20usage-based%20sign%20langua...
 
Description BSL corpus project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Kearsy Cormier (current British Sign Language Corpus Project leader) featured, speaking about the BSL Corpus Project on BSL Zone episode 'The Hub 2: Programme 2' on the Community Channel
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description BSL corpus project : documenting and describing variation in BSL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation given to the Association of BSL Teachers and Assessors, 13th March 2010

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description BSL online dictionary and reference grammar 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation to the deaf community in Birmingham as part of the DCAL roadshow http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dcal/public-engagement/roadshow

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dcal/public-engagement/roadshow
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description British Sign Language Corpus project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Talk given to the Midlands Regional Association for the Deaf, at Walsall Deaf Centre, September 23, 2009.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description British Sign Language corpus project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Presentation at the department of linguistics, Gallaudet Unviersity
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description British Sign Language corpus project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation at National Institute of Informatics, Tokyo, Japan

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description British Sign Language corpus project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact DCAL roadshow at Belfast

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dcal/public-engagement/roadshow
 
Description British Sign Language corpus project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation at National Centre of Sign Language Education, Kyoto, Japan

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description British Sign Language corpus project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation at Japanese Association of Sign Language Interpreters, Kyoto, Japan

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description British Sign Language corpus project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation at the Japanese Federation of the Deaf, Tokyo, Japan

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description British Sign Language corpus project : documenting and describing variation in BSL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation given in Belfast as part of the DCAL Roadshow

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dcal/public-engagement/roadshow
 
Description British Sign Language corpus project : documenting and describing variation in BSL, J Fenlon et al., DCAL Roadshow 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact DCAL roadshow at Belfast

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dcal/public-engagement/roadshow
 
Description British Sign Language corpus project : open access archives and the observer's paradox 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Presentation at the Department of Linguistics, School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London .
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
URL http://www.soas.ac.uk/events/event47977
 
Description British Sign Language corpus project : variation in BSL numbers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation given at Deaf Connections, Glasgow as part of the DCAL Roadshow

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dcal/public-engagement/roadshow
 
Description British Sign Language corpus project, A Schembri, Invited talk, JASLSI, Kyoto 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation at Japanese Association of Sign Language Interpreters, Kyoto, Japan

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description British Sign Language resource available online 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article published in Hearing Times about the BSL Corpus online, quoting Bencie Woll

Hearing times
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.mpldigital.com/hearing-times/online/33
 
Description Changes in British Sign Language (BSL) : the effects of dialect contact, increased mobility and political correctness on lexical variation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Invited seminar presentation. Paper presented at the University of Glasgow, Research Seminars in English Language. October 6th 2011.

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Changes in British Sign Language : the effects of dialect contact, increased mobility & political correctness on lexical variation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Paper presented at the University of Glasgow, Research Seminars in English Language. October 6th 2011.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
 
Description Corrections and clarifications 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Correction about Guardian article about BSL Corpus Project published 8 October 2012, mentioning misrepresentation of the BSL Corpus Project and of Gwilym Morris (spokesperson for DCAL)

The Guardian
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2012/dec/23/corrections-and-clarifications?INTCMP=SRCH
 
Description Creating a sign language corpus 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Broadcast in Japan on television programme, The life as a Deaf and the life as a Hard-of-Hearing person. Features the BSL Corpus Project

Deaf public beacame more aware of our research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Creating a sign language corpus 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Television broadcast in Japan, May 2012
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Deaf News: Researchers find that regional variations of BSL are in decline 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Cormier interviewed about BSL Corpus - Limping Chicken website

Deaf public became more aware of our research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://limpingchicken.com/2014/04/24/deaf-news-researchers-find-that-regional-variations-of-bsl-are-...
 
Description Digging into Signs Workshop: Developing Annotation Standards for Sign Language Corpora 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Cormier, Kearsy & Onno Crasborn. Digging into Signs Workshop: Developing Annotation Standards for Sign Language Corpora. Workshop organised at UCL, 30-31 March 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bslcorpusproject.org/events/digging-workshop/
 
Description Documenting sign languages 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Plenary lecture given at the International Summer School on Language Documentation and Description
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Documenting sign languages : from field to archive 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Plenary lecture given at the International Summer School on Language Documentation and Description.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.hrelp.org/events/3L/index.html
 
Description Early exposure to BSL. BATOD magazine, 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Early exposure to BSL. British Association of Teachers of the Deaf magazine, January 2013:19. (10)

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description England's regional sign language dialects 'in decline' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact K Cormier, interviewee for "England's regional sign language dialects 'in decline'", featuring British Sign Language Corpus. BBC News England, 24 April 2014.

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-27053639
 
Description Evolution of BSL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Post-doctoral researcher Jordan Fenlon appeared on this programme and described regional variation in the United Kingdom with reference to the BSL Corpus Project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description From corpus to lexical database to online dictionary : issues in annotation of the BSL corpus and the development of BSL SignBank, LREC 2012 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Poster presented at the 5th Workshop on the representation and processing of sign languages: Interactions between corpus and lexicon [workshop part of 8th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation].

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Hot off the press: New DCAL paper on lexical variation and change in BSL in PLOS ONE 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This paper presents results from a corpus-based study investigating lexical variation in BSL. An earlier study investigating variation in BSL numeral signs found that younger signers were using a decreasing variety of regionally distinct variants, suggesting that levelling may be taking place. Here, we report findings from a larger investigation looking at regional lexical variants for colours, countries, numbers and UK placenames elicited as part of the BSL Corpus Project. Age, school location and language background were significant predictors of lexical variation, with younger signers using a more levelled variety. This change appears to be happening faster in particular sub-groups of the deaf community (e.g., signers from hearing families). Also, we find that for the names of some UK cities, signers from outside the region use a different sign than those who live in the region. Authours: Rose Stamp, Adam Schembri, Jordan Fenlon, Ramas Rentelis, Bencie Woll & Kearsy Cormier

Deaf public and researchers became more aware of our research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0094053
 
Description Interview of Kearsy Cormier for The Hub, 2012, on BSL Corpus Project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Kearsy Cormier (current British Sign Language Corpus Project leader) featured, was interviewed about the BSL Corpus Project on The Hub programme, series 2 programme 2, on British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT). The programme aired on 12 March 2012.

As a followup we were invited to be interviewed by the BBC's See Hear about regional variation in BSL. This will air in 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.bslzone.co.uk/bsl-zone/the-hub-2-programme-2/
 
Description Is BSL changing? (British Deaf News, 2014) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact "Is BSL changing?" Research article featuring research on lexical variation and change in the BSL Corpus, British Deaf News, June 2014.

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Issues in creating annotation standards for sign language description 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact In this paper, we discuss the need for a standardised system of annotation for sign language corpora. Although several tools exist for the

annotation of video data (such as ELAN or iLex), and some existing projects have annotation guidelines (e.g., Crasborn et al., 2007;

Johnston, 2010), a widely adopted standard is currently unavailable. First, we discuss the purpose of a set of unified annotation standards

for sign languages: such standards would provide a shared set of conventions for the easy exchange of data across different sign language

corpus projects and may increase consistency within corpora. Next, we discuss the properties that would define a good set of shared

annotation conventions (Beckman et al., 2009). We examine some of the proposed annotation standards for spoken language description,

such as the ToBI conventions for prosody and the Leipzig Glossing Rules for morpho-syntax. Lastly, we discuss the relationship between

theory and description. Dryer (2006) pointed out that linguists often contrast 'theoretical linguistics' with 'descriptive' work. But if one

accepts the argument that there is indeed no 'atheoretical description', then sign language linguists need to agree on a shared theory for

basic sign language description, and how this translates into annotation practices.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
 
Description Issues in creating annotation standards for sign language description 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact In this paper, we discuss the need for a standardised system of annotation for sign language corpora. Although several

tools exist for the annotation of video data (such as ELAN or iLex), and some existing projects have annotation

guidelines (e.g., Crasborn et al., 2007; Johnston, 2010), a widely adopted standard is currently unavailable. First, we

discuss the purpose of a set of unified annotation standards for sign languages: such standards would provide a shared

set of conventions for the easy exchange of data across different sign language corpus projects and may increase

consistency within corpora. Next, we discuss the properties that would define a good set of shared annotation

conventions (Beckman et al., 2009). We examine some of the proposed annotation standards for spoken language

description, such as the ToBI conventions for prosody and the Leipzig Glossing Rules for morpho-syntax. Lastly, we

discuss the relationship between theory and description. Dryer (2006) pointed out that linguists often contrast

'theoretical linguistics' with 'descriptive' work. But if one accepts the argument that there is indeed no 'atheoretical

description', then sign language linguists need to agree on a shared theory for basic sign language description, and how

this translates into annotation practices.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
 
Description Lexical frequency in British Sign Language 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Invited lecture in the Linguistics department, Swarthmore College
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Lexical frequency in signed languages : a corpus-based approach 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Invited lecture given to the Department of Linguistics, Gallaudet University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Lexical variation and change in British Sign Language 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Paper presented at the University College London, Speech Sciences Forum. October 2010.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
 
Description Limping Chicken Article: BSL SignBank, a 'living' British Sign Language dictionary, is launched online 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Limping Chicken Article about BSL SignBank

Greater knowledge among the Deaf community
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://limpingchicken.com/2014/10/07/deaf-news-bsl-signbank-a-living-british-sign-language-dictionar...
 
Description New British Sign Language Dictionary - BSL SignBank 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article about BSL SignBank

Deaf public became more aware of our research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.signhealth.org.uk/new-british-sign-language-living-dictionary/
 
Description Panel discussion : sign language corpora: what's in it for Deaf communities? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Sign Language Corpora Network, 4th workshop. No paper or presentation was given at this event. Adam Schembri was member of panel discussion after presentations given by other speakers on 4 Dec 2010.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
URL http://www.ru.nl/slcn/workshops/4_exploitation/
 
Description Phonological variation and change in Australian and New Zealand sign languages : the forehead location variable 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Lecture at the department of language and linguistic science, University of York.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Possession in British Sign Language 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Presentation given at the Deafness Cognition and Language (DCAL) deaf open day, part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
URL http://www.dcal.ucl.ac.uk/documents/DOD2010_Programme.pdf
 
Description Project summary : BSL 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Presented at Sign Language Corpora Network 1st workshop
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
URL http://www.ru.nl/slcn/workshops/1_data_collection/
 
Description Sign language corpora, Corpus MOOC interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Kearsy Cormier interviewed about sign language corpora. Invited expert interview as part of 'In-conversation' teaching materials, Lancaster University's internationally recognised Corpus MOOC, "Corpus linguistics: method, analysis, interpretation," spring term 2014, recorded 23.1.14. www.futurelearn.com/courses/corpus-linguistics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.futurelearn.com/courses/corpus-linguistics
 
Description Sign language corpora, interview for Corpus MOOC, K Cormier 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Filmed informal interview, "In Conversation", KC answering questions about sign language corpora, one of a group of experts talking about applications of corpora offered as supplementary materials as part of CASS Corpus MOOC https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/corpus-linguistics

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Signs of the times : deaf community minds its language 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact First major study of how British sign language has evolved shows younger users are more reluctant to use 'offensive' signs

The Guardian
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://m.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/oct/07/british-sign-language-changing?cat=society&type=article
 
Description Signs of the times : deaf people drop hand signals that use slanted eyes to describe the Chinese and a limp wrist for gays 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article in the Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2214467/Signs-times-Deaf-people-drop-hand-signals-use-slante...
 
Description Sociolinguistic variation and change in sign languages 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Part of Monash Linguistics seminar series
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
 
Description Sociolinguistic variation and change in sign languages, A Schembri 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Iecture at Monash Linguistics Seminar Series

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description The BSL Corpus training session for Moscow students 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact "The BSL Corpus," training session for Russian Sign Language interpreting students from Moscow State Linguistic University

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description The British Sign Language Corpus and BSL SignBank, K Cormier 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact invited lecture at CASS, Lancaster

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description The British Sign Language corpus project : documenting and describing sociolinguistic variation and change in BSL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact DLLL lecture series in linguistics and applied linguistics, York University, Toronto Canada
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
URL http://www.yorku.ca/laps/dlll/linguistics/documents/DLLLSchembriOct2909.pdf
 
Description The core lexicon and non-core lexicon in sign languages, training for Moscow students 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact "The core lexicon and non-core lexicon in sign languages," training session for Russian Sign Language interpreting students from Moscow State Linguistic University, 21-23 April 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description The importance of language documentation and corpora for sign languages 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Invited presentation at SOAS Endangered Languages Week 2013
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
 
Description The importance of language documentation and corpora for sign languages, SOAS, 2013, K Cormier 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact invited presentation at SOAS Endangered Languages Week 2013

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Variation and change in BSL number signs 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Presented at a DCAL deaf open day.

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
URL http://www.dcal.ucl.ac.uk/Events/DCAL_Deaf_Open_Day.html
 
Description What can we do with a sign language corpus?: Insights from the British Sign Language Corpus Project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Class presentation given to teachers and assistants at Frank Barnes School as a training opportunity

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Workshop delivered at International Mother Language Day event, Communication ID 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Cormier, Kearsy & Robert Adam. 2015. "Current Issues in BSL Lingustics", workshop delivered at International Mother Language Day event for Deaf community, co-sponsored by DCAL and Communication ID, 20 February 2015. Two workshops delivered, one in morning and one in afternoon - questions and discussion followed each.

Several expressions of interest in DCAL's Continuing Professional Development programme and Msc programmes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.communicationid.co.uk/news/international-mother-language-day-2015