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Week 5 wrap-up

We are getting close to the end of the course and the content we have worked on this week has been more advanced than the previous weeks. Here we summarize some aspects that have been detected as the course progresses.

The level of knowledge of the course. The course contents are scheduled to reach about half the level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This level is standardized taking into account the European level, and is used by European centers of education to adjust skills development in language learning (if you want specific information about the European Framework with respect to sign languages you can consult this document). We know therefore that the level of the course is introductory, but it is also demanding because learning a language requires exposure time, and six weeks is a short time to “digest” the entire course content. Give it time and you will see that if you keep in contact with LSC you will gradually improve your level.

Measure your level of learning. Every week we program evaluation activities through tests and quizzes, which allow you to measure whether you have successfully achieved the learning goals. Anyway, a good way to measure your learning is revisiting videos and activities of previous weeks. We recommend that you go back to the videos in Week 1 or 2, and you will see that you can understand them much better than you did when you saw them for the first time.

The availability of course materials. As you know, FutureLearn offers you all course materials indefinitely. This means that you can go back to the course materials to refresh your understanding. You can also follow the course at your individual pace. Do not worry, therefore, if you have not followed the course every week, because you will always have the materials available for further consultation.

The formal progression of the course. Do not forget to press the “mark as complete” icon that you have at the end of each step. This will let you see your progress in the course, and at the same time will give you access to acquire a certificate if you wish it as well. Please note that in order to qualify for the Certificate of Achievement you must have completed at least 90% of the steps, which are confirmed by the “mark as complete” icon. A Statement of Participation requires completion of at least 50% of the steps.

A couple of final comments on the content, which we have addressed in response to your comments, but which are also of general interest:

The sign PERSON. Some of you asked if the sign PERSON is articulated after the sign of the person we are talking abou. For instance, in Step 5.10, Alexandra signs PERSON after the sign ALEXANDRA. As you can see in the sentence, the verb BRING starts at the left zone on Alexandra’s side, where the sign PERSON is located. That is because the sign PERSON allows us to localize in space those referents we are talking about, so we can express verbal agreement (to move verbs in space, from one side to another). We will work on verbal agreement next week.

The sign PERSON has another function which is to appear in the names for jobs. In Step 5.5 you have seen that in many job names, the sign PERSON accompanies the action that goes with that job.

By the way! MAN or WOMAN can be signed either before or after the name you want to mark with gender. Similarly, the sign PERSON can also be signed both before and after the name.

- Verbs of motion. As we mentioned in the videos, it is difficult to establish a single order of the elements of the sentence, as this may vary without affecting the meaning. The same is true in spoken language: we can express the same content in a different order of words. Anyway, in LSC the basic word order is to place the verb at the end of the sentence. However, when there is a verb of motion accompanied by a locative, the locative is placed at the end. For example:

  • JOANA MARTÍ BOOK GIVE ‘Joana gives a book to Martí.’ –> verb at the end

  • JOANA BOOK BRING ‘Joana brings the book.’ –> verb of motion, at the end

  • JOANA BOOK BRING BARCELONA ‘Joana brings the book to Barcelona.’ –> verb of motion, plus the locative at the end

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Introduction to Catalan Sign Language: Speaking with Your Hands and Hearing with Your Eyes

Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona

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