The sign language proficiency interview

Authors Eveline Boers-Visker, Geoff Poor, Beppie van den Bogaerde
Publication date 2015
Type Lecture


Presentatie op congres The Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) is a tool for assessing functional sign language skill. Based on the Language Aptitude Test, it uses a recorded 20 minute conversation between a skilled interviewer and the candidate. The interview uses an ad hoc series of probing and challenging questions to elicit the candidate’s best use of the sign language in topics relating to the candidate’s work, family/background, and leisure activities. This video language sample is then analyzed to determine the candidate’s rating on the SLPI Rating Scale. The rating process documents vocabulary, grammar and discourse, and follows a specified protocol that includes specific examples from the interview. The SLPI is used widely in the US and Canada with American Sign Language, and one of the presenters has adapted it for use with South African Sign Language. The presenters have recently adapted the SLPI for use with Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT). While the interview process is the same regardless of the sign language, two aspects of the adaptation for NGT required work: 1) modifying the grammar analysis to match NGT grammar; and 2) modifying the Rating Scale to align with that of the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR). This ICED presentation will include: 1) a thorough description of SLPI goals, processes and implementation; 2) modifications for NGT grammar; and 3) modifications to align with the CEFR.

On this publication contributed

Language English

Eveline Boers-Visker