National Sign Language
Langue des Signes Française, LSF
In English: French Sign Language
Language Status: 5 (Developing)
"Sign Language Legislation in the European Union", Wheatley, M., A. Pabsch., Edition II. Brussels, EUD, 2012
"French Sign Language is recognised explicitly in the Education Law (Code de l'éducatin) in article L312-9-1:
'French Sign Language is recognised as a language in its own right.'
In the same article, it also gives pupils the right to receive education in sign language."
The status of sign languages in Europe", Nina Timmermans, ISBN 92-871-5720-0 © Council of Europe, April 2005
"The FNSF (Fédération Nationale des Sourds de France) promotes the use of LSF as a first language, with written French as a second language for the purposes of written communication. According to the FNSF, LSF should be available and used in everyday communication with deaf people, beginning at nursery school – right through the professional life of deaf people. LSF was the first sign language that received a great deal of attention and recognition because of the work of Charles Michel de l’Epée who, in the 1800s, established the first public school for the deaf in the world. Today, academic research clearly shows that LSF is a complete language with its own grammar, vocabulary, etc.
Many non-deaf persons wish to learn LSF as a second or foreign language. The FNSF request that LSF be offered as a subject for examination in secondary schools, and as an optional subject for the Baccalauréat examination. There is increased demand for LSF courses, but unfortunately there are not enough qualified teachers available. In April 1999, an action committee was established by three major organisations: IRIS (Toulouse), ALSF (Paris), IVT (Vincennes). This action committee works together to develop a basic training package for teaching LSF. The committee also intends to develop educational methods for teaching LSF. These approaches will then be disseminated across France."
Number of Deaf Sign Language Users
300,000 (EUD website, December 2016)
National Sign Language (Research) Centres
Work in progress...