Lead
The aim of SMILE-II project is to research and build advanced technology for sign language learning. More precisely, the proposed project is building on the groundwork laid down by the SNSF Sinergia project SMILE, which dealt with assessment of the manual activity of Swiss German Sign Language (Deutschschweizerische Geba rdensprache, DSGS) in isolated signs produced by L1 users and L2 learners. SMILE-II will extend this technology to continuous sign language assessment including both manual and non-manual components of signs so that a DSGS learner’s sentence-level production can be assessed in an automatic manner.

Lay summary

The aim of SMILE-II project is to research and build advanced technology for sign language learning. More precisely, the proposed project is building on the groundwork laid down by the SNSF Sinergia project SMILE, which dealt with assessment of the manual activity of Swiss German Sign Language (Deutschschweizerische Geba rdensprache, DSGS) in isolated signs produced by L1 users and L2 learners. SMILE-II will extend this technology to continuous sign language assessment including both manual and non-manual components of signs so that a DSGS learner’s sentence-level production can be assessed in an automatic manner.

To achieve the goal of the project, SMILE-II brings together researchers from different fields, namely, sign language linguistics, sign language assessment, sign language technology, and spoken language technology, to conduct research and development on,

  1. creation of and linguistic analysis of continuous DSGS resource (including longitudinal DSGS learner data)
  2. development of methods to extract manual and non-manual information from continuous signing and developing deep learning-based sign language recognition and sign language production approaches.
  3. development of instruments for sign language assessment aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
  4. development of automatic sign language assessment tools to assist sign language learning.

The SMILE-II project involves not only experienced and internationally known researchers in their respective fields, but also young hearing and Deaf team members. The results of the project are expected to have an impact in the Deaf community beyond DSGS, the sign language linguistics community, the sign language technology community, and the sign language education community.