Salvadoran Sign Language


A language of El Salvador

Alternate Names
El Salvadoran Sign Language, Lengua de Señas Salvadoreñas, LESSA


Language Status

4 (Educational).

Language Use

LESSA is in use in families with generational deafness, in public deaf education, within deaf associations, at churches with interpreted services, for distributing information on the internet, and for official interpretation for the government of El Salvador. The growth and spread of deaf education using LESSA suggests that the percentage of LESSA users will increase. Multigenerational deaf families all use LESSA (Ciupek-Reed 2012). Some deaf people (about 25% of deaf population) and schools use American Sign Language [ase] or ASL mixed with LESSA, especially in the western region. Costa Rican Sign Language [csr] is used in the eastern region, mixed with LESSA, by about 15%. Positive attitude toward developing reading and writing skills in Spanish [spa]. (Ciupek-Reed 2012).

Language Development
Literacy in written Spanish is increasing. Taught in primary schools.
Other Comments

Some Deaf and one deaf school use a variety of signing which is based on ASL, and which they even call ‘ASL’, but they cannot understand ASL from the United States. (Ciupek-Reed 2012). Christian.