British Sign Language (BSL) - An Introduction

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This unit is designed to provide learners with the opportunity to develop their conversation and productive skills in British Sign Language (BSL). It also provides the opportunity to develop their knowledge of BSL in various contexts.

Topics covered will include: fingerspelling, numbers, key personal information (name, age, address), family, hobbies/leisure, food and drink, likes and dislikes, feelings, signing space, and non-manual features.

Approaches to learning and teaching are learner-centred, participative and practical. Courses focus on developing candidates’ understanding of productive skills in familiar contexts and topics. Topics are selected according to learners’ interests and priorities.

Learners will be encouraged to take responsibility for developing language skills and their ability to use them in key contexts.  


Learners do not need any prior knowledge or experience of BSL. Some previous knowledge and interest in BSL may be advantageous.


Successful completion of the Unit will enable the learner to:

 1 Hold a simple conversation in British Sign Language.

 2 Express information in a simple monologue using British Sign Language.

Learners will be expected to develop the following skills

·         The ability to use simple ideas and content in contributions to a conversation.

·         Applying knowledge of simple language in contributions to a conversation.

·         Conveying meaning to a sympathetic signer during conversation.

·         Responding appropriately to questions and comments during a conversation.

·         Using simple ideas and content to express information.

·         Applying knowledge of simple language when expressing information.

·         Expressing information with sufficient accuracy.


Learners will develop their knowledge of BSL from the following contexts:

·         Society

·         Learning

·         Employability

·         Culture