BSL Level 1: Part 1

This is for you if you have no prior knowledge of British Sign language (or so little that you effectively want to start again from scratch). You will learn basic skills to enable you to make yourself understood and to find out information in everyday situations.

You will be taught by a trained and experienced deaf BSL tutor. Having a deaf tutor (the equivalent to a native speaker) has its benefits. Students acquire real experience communicating with deaf people and have a better understanding of how interaction with signs takes place.

Key information

  • Session information: Mondays or Tuesdays from 6-8pm or Wednesdays from 3-5pm.
  • Timeline: Starting week 12 October 2020 - running until week commencing 14 December 2020
  • Course length: 10 weeks October - December 2020. 
  • Fees: Full Course £110 with an additional fee of £33 for the exam- the exam fee can be paid at the time or enrolment or once the course has started.

This course will be taught in a group size of a minimum 8 and maximum 11 students. Course fee includes all tuition, access to VLE (virtual learning environment), handouts.

DUE TO COVID-19 this course will begin online.  If there is an opportunity for us to resume face to face classroom teaching on campus we will do so providing all learners can access the campus. 

This course will start in October and run for 10 weeks. It comprises 30 learning hours over one terms. Lessons are two hours long and take place once a week.  When enrolling you are committing to the full 10 weeks.  

Enrol now

Entry level

No previous knowledge of BSL is required.  The course is suitable for absolute beginners.

Course content

Topics and content

  • People and Personal Information, Issues, Events (describing people, or issues such as current affairs, events such as holidays, birthdays, special occasions. Descriptions of 10 people and personal information could include family information, work colleagues, work roles, pets)
  • Descriptions using numbers (describing people, in relation to age, time, money, or objects purchased in shops/food and drink, relating to travel and accommodation, e.g. 3- hour flight, villa with 5 bedrooms. Vocabulary range should also include such BSL terms as young, youngest, old, older, elderly, before, past, future, o’clock, parts of the hour, sign differences between pounds (money) and pounds (weight), locations and/or handshapes/ hand-movements for age, time and money)
  • Using the calendar (Using information about ‘when’ and describing periods of the day/ night, days of the week, months of the year, the seasons and special days of the year, yesterday, tomorrow, today, next week, weekend and so forth)
  • Signing Structure (placement, use of verbs & phrases, non-manual features, sign order, handshapes, direction, orientation, signing space and fluency)
  • Use of simple linking conventions and prepositions (i.e. use of sign structures linking words and phrases)
  • Work, school and/or college (describing activities that happen at work, school or college, including products, services, training or learning activities)
  • Expressing attitudes, opinions, likes and dislikes (narrations using BSL terms such as good, bad, better, awful, worse, best, possible, impossible, agree/disagree, upset, disappointed, worried and so on)

Production skills

  • Learners should demonstrate they can sign at an appropriate pace and flow, using signing space correctly, fingerspell correctly and with reasonable speed, and use a range of vocabulary relevant to the unit
  • Learners should demonstrate that when providing statements or descriptions in a narrative mode, they are able to use simple, set phrases that link the content of their narrations to everyday activities
  • All narrations must contain clear factual information, instructions or descriptions in proper sequence

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this course learners should be able to...

  1. Provide simple, prepared statements or descriptions in British Sign Language of personal, social or work-related facts.
  2. Express everyday emotions and preferences, using a limited range of set phrases.
  3. Provide a simple narration linked to the calendar

Assessment Criteria

  • Provide a simple, prepared statement containing standard work-related information, i.e. products, services, orders, quantities OR personal/social-related facts
  • Provide a short, prepared description incorporating personal and/or social-related facts, ideas or opinions using everyday emotions or preferences (i.e. dislikes, likes)
  • Describe a series of events linked to their own personal calendar

Progression route

If you wish to gain formal accreditation (iBSL Qualification Specification) for this course you can take the 'Level 1 Award in British Sign Language Studies' – Part 1 (iBSL-1A2) exam, awarded by the Institute of British Sign Language (iBSL), for which there is an additional fee of £33.

You may wish to continue your learning with the Level 1 Part 2 (1A3) course.