How to learn sign language

How to learn sign language?

The LIS, Italian Sign Language, is the visual-gestural communication system used by most Italian Deaf communities. How to learn sign language LIS is a language in all respects, with grammatical, syntactic, and arbitrary signs rules, which is why its learning must occur through articulated teaching carried out by native speakers (deaf natives). By learning this excellent language, we will not only break down a language barrier within our country, but we will be able to carry out the work of an Interpreter or Communication Assistant. In this article, we will find out the Academic paths to learn LIS and access the world of work.


For deafness define as the reduction or loss of hearing due to damage or degeneration of one or more components of the auditory apparatus (hearing). Deafness is undoubtedly a disability, also defined as an “invisible handicap,” There are different types: mild, moderate, severe, profound deafness.

The inconveniences that the Italian Deaf Community has to face every day are also because Italy has not recognized LIS as a linguistic minority (in short, it has not recognized it as a natural language). Consequently, the deaf is not protected in many respects. The most emblematic example is the fact that, in public facilities, there are no LIS interpreters available. Still, the individual has to pay a person who acts as an interpreter, such as at the doctor, lawyer, or post office. The spread of this language and its recognition would finally lead to equal opportunities for all.

Where to study LIS

Due to the lack of recognition by Italy, there is no degree course precisely and solely aimed at training LIS professionals, but it is necessary to contact private institutes. These schools are located throughout the country and are fundamental training courses. They are structured on levels, and each level corresponds to an academic year. Generally, the first 3 or 4 years are the “basic levels,” You learn the language and study the theory.

Each structure, however, can decide to organize the course as it wishes, so the number of levels and the frequency of lessons can vary.

Here are some of the most important and professional structures here in Italy:

  • ENS: “National Deaf Organization” provides courses in all Italian regions
  • SILIS GROUP: “Study and Information on Italian Sign Language,” Rome
  • AES: “European Academy of the Deaf,” Rome
  • ISSR: “Istituto Statale Sordi Roma” , Rome
  • COUNSELIS, Naples
  • LIS-LEARNING, Bologna

(Most of the renowned Academies are located in Rome because it has been the fulcrum of the study and growth of LIS.)

University How to learn sign language

As previously mentioned. How to learn sign language There is no degree course dedicated exclusively to the study of Sign Language. However, some Italian universities have included one or more LIS exams in their study plan. Let’s see precisely what we are talking about:

At the Ca ‘The Foscari University of Venice, the Bachelor’s Degree in Languages, Civilization, and Language Sciences (L-11) also includes the Italian Sign Language as well as the Master’s Degree in Language Sciences (LM-39), which deepens the study, among other languages, of LIS.

In Rome, on the other hand, at the University of International Studies (UNINT), by attending the Bachelor’s Degree in Languages ​​for Interpreting and Translation (L-12), you have the opportunity to select a LIS exam among the exams at choice. The same thing applies to the Master’s Degree in Interpreting and Translation(LM-94).

Also, at the University of Catania, it is possible to follow courses on Italian Sign Language in the academic path of the Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistic Mediation (L-12).


Although the courses provided in these degree courses are essential for knowing the basics and valuable for sufficient learning of Sign Language, the attainment of the degree DOES NOT enable the profession of LIS interpreter. A particular course requires. Such as those listed in the previous paragraph.

What is studied in the LIS Courses? How to learn sign language

LIS courses are mainly divided into practical and theoretical studies. How to learn sign language The mother tongue teachers will help you in the practical learning of the language, with class exercises and “homework.” One of the first things you will learn is the LIS alphabet (typing), essential for the first approach to communication.

As you level up, the vocabulary becomes more specific, and the conversations longer and more complex. Another essential skill for a LIS student is facial expressions which, in most cases, have real meaning.

As for the theoretical part, you will study the hearing system and its functioning. The general culture of the deaf and deepen the problems related to hearing loss. They may seem superficial arguments. But, in reality, they serve to acquire an adequate approach to the deaf community.

A path parallel to the LIS How to learn sign language

The excellent idea is to combine a Degree Course with the LIS study path. It is a way of enriching the cultural-linguistic background and making us more competitive in the future. In the world of work! Here are some great examples:

  • Linguistic Mediation (degree class L-12)
  • Communication Sciences (degree class L-20)
  • DAMS (Discipline of Arts, Music and Entertainment, degree class l-3)
  • Speech therapy (graduation class L / SNT2)
  • Education and Training Sciences (L-19)
  • Primary Education Sciences (LM-85-bis)


Unfortunately, there are still many obstacles and barriers to achieving equal opportunities and rights—both at work and in daily life. How to learn sign language The profession of LIS interpreter is undoubtedly fundamental for many adults and children, and, indeed, in the future. It will be able to improve and protect the conditions of the deaf community in the meantime. We have to study this excellent language!

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Post Author: Amir

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