Developing a European model curriculum for sign language interpreters


This platform is for all the European educational programmes and trainers involved in sign language interpreter programmes. The aim of this platform is to share expertise and ideas and to come to a consensus for a learning outcomes based curriculum for sign language interpreting programmes across Europe.

During efsli Working Seminars I and II, that took place in Utrecht (November 2011) and Hamburg (March 2012),  interpreters, trainers and other stakeholders, Deaf and hearing,  came together and discussed about the best practices in teaching sign language interpreting (efsli Working Seminar I)  and a learning outcomes based curriculum proposal for sign language interpreters (efsli Working Seminar II). As a result of the last working seminar discussions, the curriculum proposal presented and discussed in Hamburg has been updated and it is ready to be analysed and revised.


In order to have a successful experience, we have divided the curriculum proposal in nine sections. Each section is focused on one of the subdivisions of the curriculum. You can find all of them in the Learning outcomes discussion forums, (in the menu, on the left hand in this site) each of whom will be moderated by two specialists in the field. Their names and contact details are available in the page of the section they coordinate. You can also directly access to each forum in the left hand side menu. There is  a general coordinator of this site, Lourdes Calle, efsli project coordinator ( In each forum you will find a working document that contains a learning outcomes proposal for that specific field. Using that document as discussion basis, all the participants will have the opportunity to give their opinion and collaborate to improve what has been proposed. The moderators of each section will lead the debate towards constructive proposals.

In order to have resources to consult and contrast with, there have been uploaded very interesting documents to the General resources area (see the menu list on the left side): learning outcomes curricula and accreditation standards from different institutions.

VERY IMPORTANT THINGS to keep in mind:

  • Our aim: to define sign language interpreters learning outcomes, which is to say,  what should a student know, understand and be able to do  after the completion of a learning process

  • The curriculum design shall provide the basis for programme planning, implementation and evaluation

  • This is a general curriculum and it is neither divided nor organised by the modules that will be offered to the students

  • This curriculum establishes the learning outcomes to achieve, not the way of achieve them. The programme planning and implementation is a responsibility of the educational programmes

  • Very important: to define learning outcomes at a threshold level. Therefore, we have to describe the minimum knowledge, skills and competences a student should have after the completion of his/her studies

  • This is a curriculum for both Deaf and hearing interpreters. If there is a specific learning outcome that is specific for one of the two groups (Deaf or hearing) a footnote has to be put 

  • Learning outcomes must be assessed. Next and last efsli Working Seminar III topic is "Assessment and quality assurance", and will take place in Dublin (27th and 28th February 2012)


The TIMEPLAN is the following:

  • Revise the draft document: any learning outcome missing? any learning outcome to be removed? Indicate which of the learning outcomes might be only for hearing/Deaf interpreters. Be sure that all the learning outcomes are defined at a tresholdlevel. Ensure the proposal has been properly written, using the appropiate wording. Deadline: 26th October 2012.

  • Collect all the sections in one document and send it to all the participants for last minute comments. Deadline: 23rd November, 2012

  • The resulting document, including the outcomes of efsli Working Seminar III, will be presented at the efsli annual general meeting (AGM) 2013, that will take place in September 2013 in Slovenia