Dr Robert Adam

Robert Adam


I am Research Associate and I undertake research into sign language in the everyday lives of Deaf people. Examples of my research include: Deaf people who are bilingual in two sign languages, Deaf people who work as interpreters or translators in the Deaf Community and other sociolinguistic research into sign languages. I also work on the British Sign Language Lexical Database and am involved with Strands 1 and 2 within DCAL. My doctoral research examined unimodal bilingualism (between dialects of British Sign Language and Irish Sign Language in Australia, Ireland and Northern Ireland) where language contact exists between different sign languages.

Prior to my current role, I was a Postgraduate Researcher with the Sign Segmentation Project, based at City University. The project focussed on how Deaf people when they sign or watch signing are able to understand meanings through picking out signs from a continuous sign stream. This will help us to understand how people learn sign language. This information will be useful in the future for developing resources and materials for teaching, language assessment.

A Deaf native signer, I have been involved with sign language teaching and research for a many years. Before joining DCAL I was Teacher Coordinator at City Lit in London. I taught at the National Institute for Deaf Studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia for a number of years before joining the Australian Sign Language Lexicography Project at Renwick College, The University of Newcastle in Sydney as Research Associate. 

In 2010 I won the Provost's Award for Public Engagement in the Researcher category and with colleagues, organised a DCAL Deaf Open Day in 2010 and a DCAL Deaf Roadshow in 2011 (with the support of UCL Beacons for Public Engagement and the BSL Corpus Project) which visited Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle, where Deaf people were able to attend public engagement sessions and find out about the research being done at DCAL, and have the opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback and make suggestions on future research projects. Outside of DCAL I am a Trustee of the Royal Association of the Deaf and Vice Chair of Governors at Frank Barnes School. I am also a member of the World Federation of the Deaf Expert Group on sign language. 

For contact: e-mail: Robert Adam