by Laurence Kesterton
As described in our introduction for our program Transmission Lexicon we are investigating the broad sense of forms of communication. This leads us to language, which is an important tool to communicate. Almost automatically this would lead to an oral language, and that made us wonder about another aspect of language: the sign languages. To find out how this language works and how exactly can you express yourself?
Our guest Beppie van den Bogaerde is professor in the field of Sign Languages and finds her own focus in the bimodal bilingualism, which translates into the ability to be able to use both a signed language and oral spoken language. Bimodal bilinguals share many of the same traits as traditional bilinguals (those with competency in at least two spoken languages), as well as differing in some interesting ways, due to the unique characteristics of the Deaf communitycode-blending. We invited Van den Bogaerde to elaborate on our theme and on the way Sign Languages function.
Bio – Beppie van den Bogaerde (Amsterdam, 1953) is professor of Sign Language of the Netherlands (Nederlandse Gebarentaal: NGT) at the University of Amsterdam. Her research there, often in collaboration with professor Anne Baker, focuses on bimodal bilingualism (acquisition of spoken and signed language) of deaf and hearing children of deaf parents. Since 2007 she also holds the chair of Deaf Studies at Hogeschool Utrecht, University of Applied Sciences. Together with teachers/researchers and students the pedagogy of NGT teaching, interpreting aspects and various issues in the Deaf Community in the Netherlands are studied.
Poster design by Dayna Casey
"Image courtesy of Dr. Bill Vicars and lifeprint.com".