Professor Tang Wai Lan Gladys
Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages
Professor Gladys Tang joined The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1989. In 2004, she became the founding chair of the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages. She also established the Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies in 2003 and has been Director since then.
Trained as an applied linguist, Professor Tang believes in the value of translational research between theoretical linguistics and language acquisition in different contexts. Her research focuses on the linguistic structure of sign languages, especially Hong Kong Sign Language, acquisition of signed and spoken languages by deaf and hearing children, development of language assessment tools for deaf children, and deaf education. Her Hong Kong Sign Language: A Trilingual Dictionary (The Chinese University of Press, 2007) is the first ever documentation of signs commonly used in the Deaf community of Hong Kong. She also co-edited a volume that focuses on why sign bilingualism and coenrollment education supports language, cognitive and socio-emotional development of not only deaf but also hearing children (Bilingualism and Bilingualism Deaf Education, co-eds, Marc Marschark, Gladys Tang & Harry Knoors, Oxford University Press, 2014). Additional to book chapters, she has published in journals like Lingua, Sign Language and Linguistics, Frontiers in Psychology, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, and Cognition Recently, she is preparing a book on a Reference Grammar of Hong Kong Sign Language to be published by Mouton de Gruyter.
Research Impact Beyond Academia
Professor Tang’s research has led to a positive change of attitude towards sign language and Deaf people in society, institutionalization of sign language in public communication, and a global movement of establishing sign bilingualism and co-enrolment education as a form of inclusive education for the deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
- Linguistic structure of Hong Kong Sign Language
- Acquisition of HKSL and Chinese by deaf and hearing children
- Development of language assessment tools for deaf children
- Sign Bilingualism and Co-enrolment in deaf education