Information and History of British Sign Language
British Sign Language or BSL is a method of communication by making gestures with hands and facial expressions. If you watch TV you may have seen on some programs a person will be signing what is being said. You may have noticed when out and about people talking to each other using their hands. These people are all using British Sign language it is a common language covering the UK. As with English, every area has its own dialect or twist on words but the core language is the same. Sign language can be traced back through the ages with finger, hand and two handed alphabets published over time. Today's finger alphabet is very similar to one published by Daniel Defoe in 1720. In 1880 The Conference of of Educators Of the Deaf took place in Milan, Italy. The outcome of this conference was that those present voted that pure oral methods of teaching should be used in D/deaf schools. Thus sign language was banned from the class room. This continued up till around 1974. When, quite rightly, it was decided that sign language should once more be used in the class room. Sign language had survived this period by being used outside of the class room. However, this did contribute to the many local and even generational differences in BSL that flourished in the social areas of the D/deaf schools and where BSL was passed down by D/deaf parents. As well as the many local deaf clubs influencing the shape of the local BSL. In 1992 the modern British Sign Language dictionary was published and in 2003 the UK government finally accepted BSL as a language in its own right - although it has not got a legal status.
So who uses British Sign Language? Well to some people it is their first or preferred language. This of course is a reference to the estimated 70,000 Deaf people in the UK. To others it is a way of communicating with D/deaf people be that because of family or friends being D/deaf or because of their chosen profession. One to One Support Services as well as being a training company is also a domically care company with a specialisation in sensory impairments so some of our staff use BSL to communicate with clients and with other members of staff.
What do the qualifications in BSL mean? As with any skill or language it can be learnt by being passed along by family or friends, however, there is the more formal route of class room based teaching and gaining certificates. In the UK the qualifications in British Sign Language are nationally accredited and awarded by Signature, formally CACDP, who are a charity which promotes excellence in communication with deaf people. They do not teach the courses themselves but regulate those that do. A link to the Signature web site is HERE
How much different is BSL to English? BSL at the level 1 stage is leaning spelling the alphabet using fingers and gestures for basic words. From someone who tried to lean French, BSL is easy as the brain is thinking in English. However, true BSL has its own grammar and principles which are different from English. This is more relevant when learning at level 2 and above. As with any language just trying to communicate in a persons own language hold its own rewards.
Who teaches BSL? Hopefully the above has made you interested in learning British Sign Language. This is where we can help. We are an approved training centre by Signature to be able to teach BSL courses. We are starting this September (2010) to run evening class.
STOP PRESS. This course in now fully booked. We will be running our next BSL level one evening class starting 4th November 2010. The length of the course is one night a week for 30 teaching weeks and covers the basics of BSL and will allow you to start on the road to becoming proficient in BSL and gain a level 1 certificate. Unlike learning a completely new language, like French or Spanish, BSL is English words so all you have to learn is the gestures that go with the words. Cost is £250 pounds and includes workshops and exams. Location - At our training centre in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. We believe in a friendly and fun leaning atmosphere!
British Sign Language - Level 1
Next Course Starting Soon!! Please contact us to register your interest.
BSL level 1 is split into three units (BSL101,BSL102,BSL103) each of this units can be achieved separately but a whole lead to level 1 qualification
At present we are running two level one classes, both 6pm-8pm for one evening a week. Fancy doing something different in the evening? Give us a call.
At the end of the qualification , learners will be able to
-Understand and use a limited range of simple words and sentences in BSL
-Take part in simple , predictable conversations in BSL
-Give and follow simple directions or instructions in BSL
-Give and follow simple familiar statements or descriptions in BSL
How do I book on a course? Simple contact us! Telephone 01246 200018 or fill in contact form here
British Sign Language - Level 2
This is the next level up from stage 1. Funny that. It is for those that have already achieved level 1 or equivalent.
BSl Level 2 is split into 3 units and increase the knowledge gained in level 1. (BSL201,BSL202,BSL203).
BSL unit 201 - Receptive skills.
BSL unit 202 - Productive skills.
BSL unit 203 - Conversational skills.
To register your interest in this course please contact us. We going to be running this course starting in March 2011.
To return to our training course page, please click here
British Sign Language - Level 3
We are hoping to be running a level 3 course in the summer of 2011, if not sooner! We are in the planning stages now and once we have
set dates they will appear here.
Level 3 is for those that have level 1 and 2 or equivalents.
Watch this space for more details , or contact us and we can keep you updated by email!
How do I find out more information? Simple contact us! Telephone 01246 200018 or fill in contact form here