This paper discusses results from an Erasmus+ project called SELSI aimed to identify needs and strategies for linguistic support in Spoken Easy Language. It focuses on data collected in Italy among professionals who work with individuals needing linguistic simplification and on users who need simplified language themselves. More specifically, this study addresses both linguistic and non-linguistic aspects that are crucial for supporting the development of communication through Easy Language, e.g. textual and conversation-enhancing strategies, linguistic strategies, listener-engaging strategies and the use of multimodal materials.
The strategies discussed include the use of signpost language as a means to scaffold different textual parts and clarify the logical and semantic relations, the potential of metaphors for simplifying more abstract and potentially challenging concepts, the potential of interpersonal linguistic options and the use of multimodal resources for the creation of multisensory environments that support literacy development.
Overall, it will be argued, the data collected from professionals and from users exhibit a strong alignment: with very few exceptions, the strategies frequently employed by professionals coincide with the ones users find highly beneficial or helpful. These findings suggest that professionals employing Easy Language are presently headed in a positive direction, although they do highlight areas for potential future enhancements.