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Professor Lorraine Leeson

Professor in Deaf Studies (C.L.C.S.)

 

Professor in Deaf Studies (Centre for Deaf Studies)

Lorraine Leeson is Professor in Deaf Studies at the Centre for Deaf Studies, and currently serves as Associate Dean of Research (2018-). Her research work is multidisciplinary in nature, influenced by her background in Deaf Studies, Gender Studies and Linguistics. She has published widely on aspects of the linguistics and applied linguistics of signed languages with a specific interest in Irish Sign Language and in the area of sign language interpreting. Her doctoral work was the first to examine aspects of the morphosyntax of Irish Sign Language, and subsequent to this, she has published and lectured widely on aspects of the grammar of Irish Sign Language, and in the area of signed language/spoken language interpreting. Lorraine was a member of the first cohort of professionally trained Irish Sign Language/English interpreters in Ireland, and she continues to interpret occasionally. She has engaged in pan-European research work with academic institutions, Deaf communities and interpreting organisations for over two decades. Recent projects include: - Promoting Excellence in Sign Language Instruction (funded by the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) 2015-18. See: http://www.ecml.at/ECML-Programme/Programme2016-2019/SignLanguageInstruction/tabid/1856/language/en-GB/Default.aspx, - the DESIGNS project, which focused on Deaf peoples' access to employment (Erasmus+). See: http://designsproject.eu - the European Commission funded Justisigns Project (access to justice across several EU member states) (completed 2016), which examined deaf peoples' access to police services, and which was awarded a European Language Label Award in 2017. Lorraine also led the PRO-Signs (funded by the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML)) which looked at the teaching, learning and assessment of signed languages for professional purposes with collaboration from over 30 countries across Europe. See: http://www.ecml.at/F5/tabid/867/Default.aspx (Completed 2015). She is currently working on Justisigns 2, a European Commission funded project that seeks to improve access to services for deaf, migrant and refugee women who experience gender based violence. Recent publications include "Sign Language in Action" with Jemina Napier (2016), "Interpreting and the Politics of Recognition", co-edited with Christopher Stone (2018), and, most recently, a special issue of the journal, Teanga, on Irish Sign Language (2020).
  Bilingual/Bicultural Education   cognitive linguistics   Deaf Studies   E-Learning   interpreting studies   Irish Sign Language   Language acquisition   Language Policy   modality and language   Morpho-syntax of signed languages   Signed Languages
 Deaf Interpreter Training Programme
 Enterprise Ireland Funding to Support Horizon 2020 Coordinator Application
 DESIGNS: Deaf Employment for Sign Language Users in the EU (2016-1-IE-01-KA202-016895)
 Enterprise Ireland: Horizon 2020 Coordination Support for Academics - €11,492
 PRO-Sign II: Promoting Excellence in Sign Language Instruction c €130,000

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Details Date
European Centre for Modern Languages Expert on Sign Languages 2013-
Member of the Royal Irish Academy Multidisciplinary Committee on Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication 2018-
ARTIS Associate (Advancing Research in Translation and interpreting Studies). 2014-present
Founder Member of the Irish Deaf Research Network (IDRN) 2008- present
Advisor - Deaf Studies Trust, Bristol 2013 - present
Chair of the European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters Expert Group 2012-2019
Member of the Trinity Asian Centre for Asian Studies Board 2015-2018
Board Member - Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS) 2011 - 2013
Member of the Royal Irish Academy Modern Languages Committee 2010-2013
Member of the Partnership Group on Deaf Education (CIDP-IDS-DeafHear-Schools for the Deaf-CDS) 2007-2013
Editor of "The Sign Language Translator and Interpreter", St. Jerome Publishing. 2007-2011
Director - Dublin City Radio (DCR) 2008- 2010
Member of the Editorial Board, Deaf Worlds: International Journal of Deaf Studies 2001-2008
Member of the Irish Sign Link ISL/English Acccreditation Review Panel 2004-2006
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
American Sign Language Medium Medium Medium
British Sign Language Medium Medium Medium
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Medium Basic Basic
Irish Basic Basic Basic
Irish Sign Language Fluent Fluent Fluent
Details Date From Date To
Irish Association of Applied Linguistics (IRAAL) 1994 present
International Cognitive Linguistics Association
Irish Association of Sign Language Interpreters (IASLI) (disbanded in 2008) 1993 2008
Irish Translators and Interpreters Association (ITIA)
Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT) 2008 present
International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS) 2010 present
European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters 2010 Present
Council of Irish Sign Language Interpreters (CISLI) 2011 Present
International Pragmatics Association 2017 Present
Societas Linguistica Europea 2020 present
Ireland's Third Language: Irish Sign Language in, editor(s)Raymond Hickey , The Oxford Handbook of Irish-English, London, Oxford University Press, 2021, [Susanne Mohr and Lorraine Leeson], Book Chapter, ACCEPTED
Language Policy Programme, Education Policy Division, Education Department, Council of Europe, Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. Companion Volume, 1, Strasbourg, Council of Europe, 2020, Notes: [There is no option to include 'other' input in the preparation of a volume like this, so I selected 'Advocate' as the least bad option here.... I was involved in Stage 4 consultancy regarding the development of descriptors for signing competences (2015-19). Note that the Authoring Group for this work were: Jörg Keller, Petrea Bürgin, Aline Meili, Dawei Ni; Sounding Board: Brian North, Curtis Gautschi, Jean-Louis Brugeille, Kristin Snoddon; I served as one of several consultants: Patty Shores, Tobias Haug, Lorraine Leeson, Christian Rathmann, Beppie van den Bogaerde], Book, PUBLISHED  URL
[What we don't know about] Sign Languages in Higher Education in Europe: Mapping Policy and Practice to an analytical framework in, editor(s)Darquennes, J., Du Plessis, Th. & Soler, J. , Language diversity management in higher education. Sociolinguistica 34, Berlin, De Gruyter, 2020, [Lorraine Leeson and Beppie van den Bogaerde], Book Chapter, ACCEPTED
What I know is here; what I don't know is somewhere else: Deixis and gesture spaces in American Sign Language and Irish Sign Language in, editor(s)Terry Janzen and Barbara Shaffer , Topics in Cognitive Linguistics (TBC), Berlin, De Gruyter, 2020, [Terry Janzen, Lorraine Leeson and Barbara Shaffer], Book Chapter, SUBMITTED
Carmel Grehan and Lorraine Leeson, BRIDGING THE GAP. The European Language Portfolio and L2 Irish Sign Language Learners at A2-B1 Level., 21st Association of University, Lanauge Communities Annual Conference, Maynooth University, 9-10 January 2020, 2020, Conference Paper, PRESENTED
Terry Janzen, Barbara Shaffer and Lorraine Leeson, What I know is here; what I don't know is somewhere else: Deixis and gesture spaces in American Sign Language and Irish Sign Language, High Desert Linguistics Conference (HDLS14), Albuquerque, New Mexico (and online), 20-22 November 2020, 2020, Notes: [Paper is presented in American Sign Language, English and Irish Sign Language. ], Conference Paper, PRESENTED  URL
Lindsay Ferrara, Benjamin Anible, Gabrielle Hodge, Tommi Jantunen, Lorraine Leeson, Johanna Mesch, and Anna-Lena Nilsson, A cross-linguistic comparison of reference across different signed languages, High Desert Linguistics Conference (HDLS14), Albuquerque, New Mexico (and online), 20-22 November 2020, 2020, Conference Paper, PRESENTED  TARA - Full Text
Teanga, 11, 11, (2020), Lorraine Leeson and Irene Murtagh, [eds.], Notes: [This is a special volume on Irish Sign Language published by the Irish Association of Applied Linguistics. Contributions will be in English and Irish Sign Language. This is an Open Access volume and the first peer-reviewed volume published where there is academic material presented about ISL in ISL. https://doi.org/10.35903/teanga.v11i], Journal, PUBLISHED
Napoli, Donna Jo and Leeson, Lorraine , Visuo-spatial construals that aid in understanding activity in visual-centered narrative, Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 2020, phttps://doi.org/10.1080/232737 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Leeson, Lorraine, Flynn, Sophie, Lynch, Teresa and Sheikh, Haaris, You Have the Right to Remain Signing: Deaf People and the Irish Justice System, Teanga, 2020, p142-173 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
  

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Jennifer Daly and Lorraine Leeson, 'What do you want to know.... about sign languages?', What do you want to know about?, Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, 2020, -, Broadcast, PUBLISHED
Lorraine Leeson and Carmel Grehan, The Common European Framework of Reference and Signed Language Curricula, ISL Academy Workshop, Deaf Village Ireland, Dublin, 27 January 2018, 2018, Irish Sign Language Academy, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Lorraine Leeson, Haaris Sheikh and Council for Irish Sign Language Interpreters, Interpreting in Workplace Settings, 22 April 2018, In:Interpreting in Workplace Settings, 2018, Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin, Meetings /Conferences Organised, PRESENTED
Carmel Grehan and Lorraine Leeson, European Language Portfolio for Sign Languages (ELP-SL), ISL Academy Workshop, Deaf Village Ireland , 16 June 2018, 2018, Oral Presentation, PRESENTED
Lorraine Leeson and Carmel Grehan, European Language Portfolio for Sign Languages (ELP-SL), Pro-Sign II Network Meeting , European Centre for Modern Languages, Graz, 5-6 April 2018, 2018, Oral Presentation, PRESENTED
John Bosco Conama, Haaris Sheikh, Lorraine Leeson, The DESIGNS Project: Deaf Employment in Europe, 8th Community Interpreting Conference, TCD ARTS BUILDING , 8 June 2017, 2017, Conference Paper, PRESENTED
Lorraine Leeson, Christian Rathmann and Haaris Sheikh, efsli Summer School 2017: Interpreting in Employment Settings , efsli Summer School 2017: Interpreting in Employment Settings , Belgrade, Serbia, 26-28 May 2017, 2017, European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters, Notes: [See: http://efsli.org/efsli-school-serbia-2017/], Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Haaris Sheikh and Lorraine Leeson, Access to Justice for Deaf People, Access to Justice for Deaf People, Belgrade, Serbia, 26 May 2017, 2017, European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters/ Irish Hon. Consul to Serbia, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Leeson, Lorraine , Sign Language Studies and Interpreting Studies., University of Belgrade, Serbia, 26 May 2017, 2017, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Leeson, Lorraine, KEYNOTE: Working with Interpreters - Is it worth the effort? , Signs of Professionalism Conference, Auckland University of Technology (AUT), November 2017, 2017, Dr. George Major, Lynette Pivac, Invited Talk, PRESENTED

  

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Award Date
NRB Scholarship 1996
British Academy Fellowship 2004
European Commission Language Ambassador of the Year Award 2009
Fellowship, TCD 2009
M.A. (J.O.) TCD 2011
European Language Label Award for Medisigns Project (LLP/LdV/TOI/2010/IRL-511) 2013
Conferred with Honorary Membership of the Irish Translators' and Interpreters' Association 2014
Patron - Irish Deaf Women's Group October 2015
Nominated for Provost's Global Award 2014-15
Kerry Deaf Resource Centre Outstanding Contribution Award 2016
European Language Label Award for Justisigns Project 2017
My research spans three domains: (1) linguistics & applied linguistics of sign languages (SLs), (2) interpreting studies (IS), & (3) trans-disciplinary work that impacts on deaf studies topics. As a student, I found just one paper published on Irish Sign Language (ISL) & very little empirical work on SLI or sign language teaching and learning (SLT&L). Across my career, I have focused on changing this by promoting a culture of empirical research, by documenting aspects of ISL, & aspects of interpretation. I am particularly adept at navigating the space between linguistic research and applied practices. At Trinity, I have led the development of a cohort of researchers working on ISL using Grounded Theory (GT) methodologies. My linguistics work includes analyses of the morpho-syntax & semantics of ISL, & sociolinguistic issues associated with ISL use. Cognitive linguistics work has focused on the role of gesture, the role of metaphor & metonymy in ISL, & simultaneity in SLs. Much of my data comes from the "Signs of Ireland" corpus, which I spearheaded in 2004. This has facilitated significant description of aspects of ISL by myself and others. My IS research explores provision of interpreters in a range of domains. One current project marries work from cognitive linguistics, gesture studies and IS (with Terry Janzen and Barbara Shaffer), investigating how simultaneous interpreters of spoken & signed languages conceptualise events. Another considers interpreting in settings where gender based violence is addressed (Justisigns 2). I have also developed a GT of interpreting interaction, "Effortful Engagement", which has fed into analysis of interpreting in a range of settings. It is the first to consider the work required of all stakeholders in interpreted interaction (most look only at the cognitive efforts of the interpreter). I have been invited to present on this work around the world, presenting keynote addresses in Brazil, the USA, Australia & New Zealand. My applied linguistics work includes significant engagement at European level. I am a European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML)/Council of Europe (COE) expert on SLs. I have examined aspects of the teaching, learning and assessment of SLs for professional purposes (PRO-Sign 1 & 2). This work underpinned a critical body of cross-European empirical applied sign linguistics research, led to a series of international conferences, & to the addition of SLs as a focus for the ECML in their work. I served as a consultant to the COE on the development of the modality inclusive Common European Framework of Reference for Languages - Companion Volume (CEFR-CV) (2020), which, for the first time, presents descriptors of competence for both spoken and signed languages. This segues with research around SL policy in Europe, theorising around how adult learners of SL navigate the process, and how SL teachers respond to their learners. In 2013, I spearheaded the development of a corpus of adult second language, second modality (M2L2) ISL learners. This is one of the first such corpora in the world, and was built as a parallel corpus (Swedish Sign Language is the other language) with colleagues from Stockholm University. Nationally, my work has fed into the conversation around the legal status of ISL (ISL Act 2017), the development of a register for ISL SLIs and research led curricula. At European level, my work has directly influenced the establishment of core competencies for SLIs & SL teachers, & the development of a modality inclusive CEFR. As a result of this work, I am frequently invited to advise NGOs, universities and governmental bodies at home and around the world on issues relating to my domains of expertise.