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Sign Language as Academic Language

  • By: Raychelle Harris
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

The study of academic language often involves researchers from different disciplines, including, but not limited to, education, psychology, sociolinguistics, and anthropology. Much has been written about the study of language associated with academic fields. There are certain sets of expectations about acceptable grammar and word choices in academic subjects such as science, literature, and math. Throughout students’ lives, their teachers grade them on their ability to discuss information in particular disciplines.

Academic language use is often present in educational settings such as schools and universities because teachers and professors require evidence of competence in academic discourse. However, academic discourse is not necessarily constrained by physical settings—academic discourse can be found at conferences, meetings, and even picnics or bars. In written modalities, evidence of academic discourse can ...

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