New data on the situation of bimodal bilingual education in Europe

Original story provided by Verena Krausneker, Claudia Becker, Darina Tarcsiova, Mireille Audeoud
(ERASMUS+ partnership Austria – Germany – Slovakia – Switzerland)

 A Project called De-Sign Bilingual, funded by ERASMUS+, has documented the current status of sign bilingual education in Europe by means of an experts’ questionnaire as well as thorough analysis of official documents. One of the findings of the project was that legal basis is prerequisite to establishing and securing sign bilingual education. It entails the legal recognition of the national sign language(s), the right to bilingual education, bilingual curricula and sign language as a subject in schools. While there is a great diversity of such laws in place, close to 60% of the 39 European countries do not yet have legal foundations for sign bilingual education that are available nationwide.

As a result of the project, an interactive map on sign bilingual school education in 39 European countries has been created, including the legal foundations in these countries, available at

The core topic of De-Sign Bilingual is the quality of bimodal bilingual education in Europe. One major insight is that everywhere in Europe the national sign language(s) play a role in schools.

Tools and materials that are useful for the implementation of bimodal bilingual schooling have been created, mostly in German, but the Bi-Bi Toolbox, is also available in English.

All tools and materials, including main findings of De-Sign Bilingual and the Calls to Action on Policy Makers are available at and free for use. The materials can also be translated into other languages, if you are interested please contact

Currently the project is working on publications that will describe the data in more detail and include 8 Good Practice Examples found in Europe.