The Summer School in Sign Language aims to give both deaf and hearing students the opportunity to learn more about different types of sign language in an intensive 2 week programme where they can also share their experiences within an international context. Participants can choose from a list of intensive courses on Italian, American and tactile sign language, and Italian language courses for deaf students as well as modules on Italian culture and on deaf culture in Italy.
The Summer School aims to create an international community over the summer by bringing together students interested in the world of sign language from all over the globe in an intensive study program.
In addition to the 30 hour language courses which allow students to develop basic competencies in LIS (Italian sign language) or ASL (American Sign Language) such as understanding and producing simple declarative, negative and interrogative sentences and being able to interact in simple conversations, the Summer School offers insight into deaf culture in Italy starting from its historical premises, then leading students to the beginning and growth of the cultural specificities of the Italian Deaf community by presenting its rich artistic and expressive components.
The Summer School offers courses for all types of students: deaf students, hearing students, Italian or international, as well as teachers or anyone interested in the topics.
The Summer School will be held from July 1-12, and modules can be combined according to the schedule:
Mornings: one of the following courses:
Afternoons: one or more courses/modulesfrom the following:
(From 15:00 on):
Recipients: Hearing and Deaf students with no competence in Italian Sign Language.
Language used: Italian Sign Language (LIS)
The course aims at developing a basic competence in LIS. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand and produce simple declarative, negative and interrogative sentences in LIS and will be able to interact in simple conversations.
Topics covered: to produce and ask for personal information (name, last name, age, date of birth, geographical origin, hobbies, profession), lexicon connected to: time (past, present and future), geography (Italian cities), daily activities and free time, family, colors, emotions, animals, transportation.
Recipients: Hearing and Deaf students with a basic competence in Italian Sign Language (equal to 30 hours of basic course)
Language used: Italian Sign Language (LIS)
The course aims at developing an intermediate competence in LIS. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand and produce declarative, negative and interrogative sentences in LIS and will be able to interact in conversations on different topics.
Topics covered: the course will concentrate on enriching the lexicon and on the comprehension and production of sentences (declarative, interrogative, and negative) at an intermediate level. In particular, the topics covered will be:
• Identity card and personal information
• Means of transportation
• At the bar or restaurant
• Talk about the family
• Time: week, months, years
• Day’s activities
• Needs and requests
• To give (indoor and outdoor) indications
Recipients: Hearing and Deafstudents with no competence in Italian Sign Language.
Language used: American Sign Language (ASL)
The course aims at developing a basic competence in ASL. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand and produce simple declarative, negative and interrogative sentences in ASL and will be able to interact in simple conversations.
Recipients: Italian deaf students whose competence in Italian Sign Language (LIS) is at least of level B1 competence. They should be able to read and write in Italian (basic literacy).
The lessons are delivered in LIS and (written) Italian.
The aim of the course is to take students step by step into the wonders of the Italian language, by starting from very simple written texts. LIS and written Italian are alternated during the lessons. By the end of the program, students will be able to read and understand short texts which can be found in everyday life, as well as to write simple messages.
Recipients: Deaf students with no or very little competence in Italian
Languages used: (written) Italian, Italian Sign Language and American Sign Language (ASL)
The objective of the course is to provide a basic knowledge of (written) Italian. At the end of the course, students will have acquired the competence to understand and produce simple sentences in Italian and will be able to correctly use the basic Italian lexicon.
• Nouns: masculine/feminine, singular/plural
• Personal pronouns
• Definite and indefinite pronouns
• Simple sentence: subject, verb and direct object
• Basic communication: to greet, to introduce yourself, to ask for information
Recipients: Deaf students
Course description: What does it meanto be Italian? How do we perceive ourselves or do how people perceiveItalians around the world? This course aims at answering these questions by accompanying students to deepen the specific traits of the Italian culture and by satisfying their curiosity about it. We will talk about the communicative methods, the language and its dialects, as well as the gestures that distinguish Italians worldwide. The art, literature and cinema that have narrated Italy will help students to understand the peculiarities that differentiate our country from north to south, as well as the food, and different peculiarities of the country able to embody the uses and habits of the Italian people.
Recipients: Deaf and hearing students
Course description: The Italian Deaf community has its origin in the Italian history and culture and has inevitably been influenced by these aspects and by the historical and social events that have affected our country. However, it also has its own history closely linked to the educational choices made in the past years, especially since the end of the 1800s. The Italian deaf culture is the result of all this and its specific traits are inextricably linked to its history, but above all to the visual language that characterizes it, the Italian Sign Language. This course, starting from some historical premises, will lead the students to understand the beginning and growth of the cultural specificities of the Italian Deaf community, by presenting its rich artistic and expressive components. Further details will then be presented to describe the historical and political situation currently experienced by Deaf people in Italy.
Recipients: Deaf and hearing students whose competence in Italian Sign Language (LIS) is at least of level A1.
Language used: Italian or LIS
Course description: The aim of the course is to provide basic information about the deaf-blind world. By the end of the course, studentswill be able to recognize and apply some of the main communication systems used by the Italian deaf-blind community, among them, tactile Italian Sign Language.
Courses and modules will be taught by expert instructors:
American Sign Language: Gabriele Caia
Italian Sign Language (LIS) basic and Intermediate: Mirko Pasquotto
Italian deaf culture: Rita Sala
Italian culture in sign language: Rita Sala
Italian language for Italian deaf students: Laura Volpato
Italian language for international deaf students: Lara Mantovan
Tactile Italian sign language: Laura Volpato
Shared accommodation in Venice's city centre at a student residence (shared double or triple room) can be reserved through the SIE (Domus Civica or Residenza San Tomà). Students will be required to contact the accommodation provider for confirmation and payment following program confirmation. For specific needs or requests please let us know well in advance; requests may incur additional costs.
Reservations will be made for check-in on the Sunday before the programme starts, and check-out the Saturday after the programme finishes. Please note that prices are approximate and will be confirmed once the booking has been reserved.
Courses and modules will be activated based on a minimum number of participants. Programme costs cover all instruction (additional tutorial hours can be scheduled if requested), student administration (including the issue of a final transcript) and orientation. All participants will have access to the University Wifi network in all University buildings (including at the libraries and the cafeterias).
Applications are now open. Registration will close May 31st.
To register please do the following:
Following the application deadline you will be sent an email confirming the activation of your course(s). NB: if the programme you registered for is not activated by us you will be reimbursed for the full amount transferred.
Following this confirmation email students who have reserved accommodation will be contacted with details on how to confirm the booking.
Payment must be made by bank transfer/wire to the following account:
Account name: Ca’ Foscari School for International Education (CFSIE)
Account number: 46603825
Bank name/address: Banca Popolare FRIULADRIA, San Marco 4121 Salizada San Luca, 30124 VENEZIA
IBAN: IT 96 U 05336 02020 000046603825
Reference: "Sign Language 2019 - student name"
For international transfers, SWIFT code: BPPNIT2P326
All transfer fees are to be covered by the student.
NB: students must send confirmation of payment to
Last update: 13/03/2019