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Study information

British Sign Language Intermediate

Module titleBritish Sign Language Intermediate
Module codeFLB2230
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Miss Emily Wakley (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module is intended for students who have an understanding at an intermediate level in British Sign Language (BSL) and have completed British Sign Language for Beginners (Part 1) and (Part 2). It will expand your knowledge of signs in a range of elementary and sophisticated communicative situations. You will find this module particularly relevant if you are pursuing a career in teaching or health, or are in contact with deaf people on a personal/professional level. In order to take this module you will be expected to be fluent in English, and to have the ability to use your hands and mimics.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module is broadly equivalent to C Proficient User level of the Common European Framework and aims to:

  • Reinforce and develop your understanding of the grammatical structures at a competent level in British Sign Language, enabling you to communicate effectively through Productive Skills, Receptive Skills, and Conversational Skills at an intermediate level on a variety of general topics.
  • Enable you to give and understand a broader spectrum of information and to achieve a confident intermediate level of communicative competence in everyday situations.
  • Develop your understanding and awareness of deafness and Deaf Culture
  • Develop your understanding and awareness of the differences in Spoken and Signed Languages.
  • Develop your understanding and awareness of the differences between Formal and Informal signing styles

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate a sound grasp of the grammatical structures of BSL
  • 2. Comprehend the language through receptive skills and to be able to back-channel in conversations to demonstrate understanding of information related to everyday situations
  • 3. Communicate effectively on a range of general topics through signed presentations and conversations

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Understand the principles of learning a language with uses of semantics and organise learning with guidance from the tutor
  • 5. Use available learning aids in a variety of media, including English texts on BSL, BSL dictionaries and video resources, to consolidate learning

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Communicate at an improving level in BSL
  • 7. Show evidence of self-study and research skills used to develop language skills
  • 8. Demonstrate a good understanding of Deaf Awareness in communication

Syllabus plan

The course will cover the following grammar and topics across the communication skills of reception, production and conversation:



Signing space

Signing structure


Non-Manual Features (NMF)


Movement & Direction

Placements and Referents

Timelines (Past, Present & Future)

Verbs: Plain, Agreement & Spatial


Describing verbs using NMF

Appropriate Mouth pattern






Travel and Holidays

Shopping and Consumer Issues

Eating and Drinking Out

Deaf History and Culture


University Life

Jobs and Work

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching66Language classes
Guided independent study254Consolidate learning in class by: preparing exercises and activities for class, including presentations in BSL and short written assignments in English; watching signed clips in BSL to develop receptive skills and develop vocabulary. Learning activities are supported by various media including written English texts, online videos and DVDs.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written assignment based on own research1000 words4-5, 7-8Written feedback
Presentation 3-5 minute presentation1, 3-8Oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation in BSL (Term 1)203-5 minute presentation1-2, 4-8Written feedback
Presentation in BSL (Term 2)305-6 minute presentation1-2, 4-8Written feedback
Conversation in BSL (Term 2)305-6 minute conversation1-8Written feedback
Test (linguistics)201 hour written test1, 4-5, 7-8Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Presentation in BSL (Term 1)Presentation1-2, 4-8Referral/Deferral period
Presentation in BSL (Term 2)Presentation1-2, 4-8Referral/Deferral period
Conversation in BSL (Term 2)Conversation1-8Referral/Deferral period
Test (linguistics)Test (linguistics)1, 4-5, 7-8Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Rachel Sutton-Spence and Bencie Woll, The Linguistics of British Sign Language: An Introduction, 1998
  • Cath Smith, Let’s Sign Dictionary, 2nd Edition 2009
  • Cath Smith, Signs Make Sense: A Guide to British Sign Language, 1990

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

BSL, British Sign Language, Intermediate

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

FLB1115A: British Sign Language for Beginners (Part 1) and FLB1115B: British Sign Language for Beginners (Part 2)

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date