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An Introduction to Chinese Sign Language and Linguistics

Get to grips with Chinese sign language (CSL), sign language linguistics and deaf culture.

945 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

Learn the basics of Chinese sign language and sign language linguistics

This comprehensive four-week course from the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) provides you with basic knowledge of Chinese sign language (CSL), sign language linguistics, as well as Chinese deaf culture and deaf education.

Explore basic Chinese sign language (CSL) linguistics

You’ll firstly learn 150 Chinese sign language signs for limited communication, as well as word categories such as verbs, nouns, conjunctions, and personal pronouns, as well as special structures.

You’ll then decipher how to do Chinese fingerspelling, and will cover the wider linguistics which are present within CSL. You’ll then get an introduction to the varieties within Chinese sign language, and will identify the difference between CSL and signed Chinese.

Develop intercultural and transmodal communication skills

After getting an insight into the history of CSL and deaf education within Shanghai, you’ll then explore elements of deaf culture, including video chatting etiquettes, table manners and leisure activities.

Ultimately, by discovering sign language and deaf culture, you’ll be sure to understand more about the deaf community, and will subsequently be able to embrace and help initiate a more inclusive society.

Learn from linguistics and sign language experts at the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU)

Throughout the duration of the course, you’ll be under the guidance of Dr.Lin Hao, a linguistics associate researcher whose research lies in Chinese sign language linguistics and deaf studies.

You’ll also be learning from Ni Yingjie, a native Chinese sign language speaker from the deaf family, as well as Cai Weiyu, an experienced sign language teacher.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Hello everyone!

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds Welcome to our course: An Introduction to Chinese Sign Language and Linguistics. In this course, two parts will be covered. You will have a general understanding of deaf culture and get to know Chinese Sign Language (CSL). It is very eye-opening and you can broaden your outlook. Now let me introduce our course team and the production of this course. First of all, let me introduce myself. My sign name is cat. My job is to give lectures. You will see how I tell you the whole story in sign language. Now let’s welcome other team members to introduce themselves. Hello everyone. My sign name is three-ear. I’m hearing. I’m currently a graduate student at Shanghai International Studies University (SISU).

Skip to 1 minute and 0 seconds My job in this course includes dubbing, combining soundtracks with video clips, and adding subtitles.

Skip to 1 minute and 12 seconds Other than these… It’s very interesting to learn sign language and feel deaf culture! Join our course and learn sign language… You’ll definitely feel like stepping into a brand-new world! Now welcome the next one. Hello! My sign name is Z99. My job in this course is an actor. A poor one? Nope! You’ll see my acting is superb! My sign name is explody-lock. I’m hearing. I work at SISU. Now I’m doing sign language research. My dream is to foster integration between Deaf and Hearing. I give strong support to this. Thank you.

What topics will you cover?

  • Word categories in CSL (verbs, nouns, conjunctions, pronouns, etc.)
  • Linguistic features in CSL (pointing, classifiers, iconicity, timeline, etc.)
  • Syntactic structures in CSL (negation, interrogation and comparative)
  • Introduction to CSL varieties
  • Distinction between CSL and signed Chinese
  • Deaf culture (e.g. greeting, video chatting etiquettes, table manners, sign names, leisure activities, etc.)
  • The history of CSL
  • Deaf education and historical figures

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore basic sign language linguistics and Chinese deaf culture
  • Develop intercultural and transmodal communication skills
  • Investigate the relations among sign language, spoken language and written language
  • Reflect the identity of the D/deaf and hearing

Who is the course for?

This course is primarily geared towards English-speaking students and researchers who are interested in learning about sign language studies and deaf education.

It will also be useful to any learners who may involve communicating with the deaf people.

Who will you learn with?

-PhD in applied linguistics at Fudan University
-Associate researcher at Shanghai International Studies University
-Research interest: Chinese sign language linguistics and deaf studies

-Native CSL deaf signer from the deaf family
-Expert in Chinese Sign Language and its regional varieties, excellent in American Sign Language and Indian Sign Language
-Experienced sign language teacher

-Graduate student at Shanghai International Studies University
-Research interest: Sign language linguistics, deaf education, and sign language interpreting

-Expert in Chinese Sign Language and its regional varieties
-Experienced sign language teacher (2018-)
-International Guest at Radboud University Nijmegen (2019)

Who developed the course?

Shanghai International Studies University (SISU)

Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), established in 1949, is one of the earliest institutions where China’s higher education in foreign languages took shape.

Endorsers and supporters

supported by

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supported by

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