A1 Journal article (refereed)
Assessing Vocabulary in Deaf and Hearing Children using Finnish Sign Language (2021)

Kanto, L., Syrjälä, H., & Mann, W. (2021). Assessing Vocabulary in Deaf and Hearing Children using Finnish Sign Language. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 26(1), 147-158. https://doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enaa032

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kanto, Laura; Syrjälä, Henna; Mann, Wolfgang

Journal or series: Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

ISSN: 1081-4159

eISSN: 1465-7325

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 26

Issue number: 1

Pages range: 147-158

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enaa032

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:


This study investigates children's vocabulary knowledge in Finnish Sign Language (FinSL), specifically their understanding of different form-meaning mappings by using a multilayered assessment format originally developed for British Sign Language (BSL). The web-based BSL vocabulary test by Mann (2009) was adapted for FinSL following the steps outlined by Mann, Roy and Morgan (2016) and piloted with a small group of deaf and hearing native signers (N = 24). Findings showed a hierarchy of difficulty between the tasks, which is concordant with results reported previously for BSL and American Sign Language (ASL). Additionally, the reported psychometric properties of the FinSL vocabulary test strengthen previous claims made for BSL and ASL that the underlying construct is appropriate for use with signed languages. Results also add new insights into the adaptation process of tests from one signed language to another and show this process to be a reliable and valid way to develop assessment tools in lesser-researched signed languages such as FinSL.

Keywords: sign language; Finnish Sign Language; vocabulary (knowledge); children (age groups); deaf; hearing persons

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-19-08 at 19:42