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British Sign Language Signs For Homework And School

British Sign Language

Deaf children and young people who need to develop signing skills will be taught British Sign Language (BSL) in their education setting, or at home prior to starting school.

A day in the life of a Sign Language Instructor

Parents, family members, or friends may also need opportunities to learn and develop their signing skills in order to communicate effectively with deaf children. Sometimes this can happen alongside the child’s own learning. For example, where preschool children are being taught signing at home by our Sign Language Instructors, or at CHIPS (our ‘Play and Stay’ sessions), their parents will also be involved; where a child/young person attends an enhanced provision for pupils with hearing impairment, then the school may include families in some wider training opportunities.

The local authority provides locally-based BSL courses, at all levels, through its network of Adult Community Learning Centres. Online search facilities may be used to find Essex-based BSL courses or tutors.

The Signature website offers a course facility to enable you to find a BSL course near you. Signature (formerly Royal Association for Deaf People) is the regulatory body for taught BSL courses. Signature also provides BSL Homework for those learning BSL who need extra practice, and preparation for assessment.

Some free online training resources are available: Online BSL training

BSL courses are based on adult vocabulary and interactions, so are likely to be more suited to those who are communicating with young people.

Family Sign Language (FSL), however, is a curriculum aimed at families of young deaf children to learn basic BSL and support communication and language development. FSL offers a practical, interactive website which includes a dictionary of common signs and phrases, with real life families showing how to use signing in everyday life.

Other useful websites to support signing for children include:

Signed stories – Signed stories help to improve the literacy of deaf children and to let them share the joy of storytelling. Hundreds of children’s stories are accessible in BSL, animation, pictures, text and sound, to create a shared experience, and a useful classroom resource.

Qualification aim

This qualification is designed to enable learners to develop their skills to communicate with Deaf people using British Sign Language (BSL) in a range of everyday situations. The qualification will allow learners to participate in longer and more varied conversations than at Level 1. The course will develop communication in BSL about real life, routine, and daily experiences. The learner will be able to deal with most routine communication and have enough understanding of grammar to cope with some non-routine communication. Learners should be taught a number of regional variations in sign language.

The specification has been designed to be consistent with the National Language Standards at Level 2.

Qualification structure

The qualification is divided into three units, each of which can be achieved separately.

The units can be done in any order at any time but it is recommended that the content of Unit BSL201 is covered before Unit BSL202 or BSL203.

To achieve the full Level 2 Certificate in British Sign Language, candidates are required to achieve all units.

UnitQAN unit numberUnit titleAssessment
BSL201J/600/0210 BSL Receptive SkillsMultiple-choice examination
BSL202D/600/0214BSL Productive SkillsPresentation in BSL
BSL203A/600/0219BSL Conversational SkillsConversation in BSL

Suggested duration

The recommended guided learning hours are 100 hours as shown below:

UnitGuided Learning Hours (GLH)Additional study hoursTotal learning hoursCredit value

Guided learning hours includes assessment time.

Additional study hours include private study, homework, practice, etc.

Essential requirements

BSL competence standards include requirements for candidates to have sufficient sight, manual dexterity, facial and body movement to produce and receive BSL. It is the responsibility of the centre to explain these requirements before accepting a candidate for this qualification.

The qualification has four themes:

Theme 1Everyday Conversation30 hoursMandatory (this theme must be done)
Theme 2Eating and Drinking35 hoursOptional themes: Pick two of these themes. The themes chosen for unit BSL202 and BSL203 must be different.
Theme 3Spending and Shopping35 hours
Theme 4Travel and Holidays35 hours

Theme 1 is mandatory so all learners must do this. Learners will also study two other themes out of the three optional themes above. The two optional themes will be chosen by the teacher in consultation with the learner.

In Unit BSL201 learners will be assessed on the content of Theme 1 only. The hours within the unit include time for practice and assessment.

In Units BSL202 and BSL203 learners will use and build upon the vocabulary and grammatical features of Theme 1.

Themes 2, 3 and 4 include the vocabulary from Theme 1. Learners are expected to increase their understanding and use of BSL grammar and vocabulary in these units. Some of the learning hours will be used to practice their skills and carry out the assessment for Units BSL202 and BSL203.

For Unit BSL202 learners will be assessed on the content of Theme 1 and the first choice of the optional themes.

For Unit BSL203 learners will be assessed on the content of Theme 1 and the second choice of the optional themes.

Target group

Level 2 Certificate in British Sign Language is suitable for those who:

  • wish to achieve language skills at an intermediate level to improve communication with Deaf people
  • are Deaf and wish to gain a qualification in their native language
  • are family, friends and colleagues of Deaf people
  • want to progress from Level 1 study in BSL, and who may want to progress to more advanced levels of study in BSL at a later date
  • are studying for personal development.

The qualification is supported by over 300 centres throughout the UK ranging from Further and Higher Education establishments to schools and academies.

Progression routes

On completion of Signature Level 2 Certificate in British Sign Language, a wide range of further qualifications is available, including:

  • Signature Level 3 Certificate in British Sign Language
  • Signature Level 4 Certificate in British Sign Language
  • Signature Level 4 Certificate in British Sign Language and Introduction to Interpreting

Signature Level 6 NVQ Certificate in British Sign Language.

These qualifications would potentially lead an individual to various employment opportunities.

Learning resources

BSL Homework

Our online BSLHomework package is perfect for anyone studying towards a Signature Level 1, 2 or 3 Award in British Sign Language. BSLHomework is a comprehensive online library of video clips and support materials to help you understand the assessments, develop your vocabulary and linguistics skills, and practice your receptive BSL skills from wherever you are.

Packages start from £40.00 ex VAT

Signature Shop

In the Signature online shop you can buy homework DVDs for both BSL level 1 & 2. These DVDs will help you to practice what you have learnt as part of your course, and allow you to prepare for your upcoming assessments.

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