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Study information

British Sign Language for Beginners (Part 2)

Module titleBritish Sign Language for Beginners (Part 2)
Module codeFLB1115B
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Mrs Beth Bartholomew ()

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The module is intended for students who have an elementary understanding of British Sign Language (BSL) and have completed British Sign Language for Beginners (Part 1) in Term 1. It will further your understanding of signs so as to engage in everyday 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 A2 Basic User level of the Common European Framework and aims to:

  • Reinforce and develop your understanding of the basic grammatical structures of British Sign Language, enabling you to communicate effectively through Productive Skills, Receptive Skills, and Conversational Skills at an improved elementary level on a variety of general topics.
  • Enable you to give and understand a broader range of basic information and to achieve a confident elementary level of communicative competence in everyday situations.
  • Develop your understanding and awareness of deafness and Deaf Culture.

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 basic 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 new language 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 a basic 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

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

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


  • Fingerspelling
  • Signing space
  • Signing structure
  • Handshapes
  • Non-Manual Features (NMF)
  • Question forms
  • Movement & Direction
  • Timelines (Past, Present & Future)
  • Numbers
  • Enumeration
  • Verbs
  • Nouns
  • Adjectives
  • Describing verbs using NMF
  • Pronouns


  • Pets and Animals
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Food and Drink

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 teaching33Language classes
Guided independent study117Consolidate 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 assignment500 words1, 5, 7-8Written feedback
Presentation3 minutes1-8Oral 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
Test (productive)504-5 minutes1, 3-8Written feedback
Test (conversational)507-8 minutes1-8Written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Test (productive)Test (productive)1, 3-8Referral/Deferral period
Test (conversational)Test (conversational)1-8Referral/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

Main English text:

  • Rachel Sutton-Spence and Bencie Woll, The Linguistics of British Sign Language: An Introduction, 1998

Recommended materials:

  • 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

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • A range of online and DVD video resources

Key words search

BSL, British Sign Language, Beginner

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

FLB1115A: British Sign Language for Beginners (Part 1)

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date