Cynthia J. Kellett Bidoli

English as a Lingua Franca in International Deaf Communities

  • Abstract

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Keywords: ELF; Deaf Community; Deaf Communication; Deaf Education.

The word "lingua" in the term "lingua franca" has an immediate verbal connotation, therefore it may be asked, how can English as a Lingua Franca find a place in the lives of profoundly deaf or severely hearing-impaired individuals? Non-verbal language in the form of Sign Language is the natural mode of communication for people who perceive the world through a visual lens, and who are partially or totally deprived of acoustic stimuli. Yet English plays an increasingly important role in international Deaf Communities as a second language among signers in English-speaking countries or as a third language among signers elsewhere. This paper provides a general overview of several years of research1 conducted on a silent world where knowledge of English is a key to wider access to global communication.

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