ZoomFamily Support Wales are now offering British Sign Language (BSL) learning sessions via Zoom.

Our BSL sessions are priced at £23.00 per hour for each session for up to 12 individuals via Zoom.

For our starter session of 4 x 2 hour sessions with 12 people attending, this would be less than £2.00 per person per hour, and £46.00 for a complete 2 hour session for a group of 12 people, making the complete 4 x 2 hour starter sessions just £184.00 for a group of 12 people.

Starter Sessions: 4 x 2 hour sessions

How to Fingerspell the BSL alphabet, learn signs for Greetings and Introductions, how to form Questions, use Numbers (and Time vocabulary), learn the signs for Colours and Weather. This will give you a good basic introduction to BSL where you can learn a wide range of vocabulary and start to ask questions and have conversations. It will also explain BSL grammar and facial expression.

Detailed Basic: 12 x 2 hour sessions

Learn the BSL signs for a range of topics, including: Food and Drink, Family, Animals, Feelings and Emotions, Transport and How to create a dialogue. This will build upon the vocabulary learned in the Starter sessions and enable you to have everyday conversations, where you can express your opinions. This course will also cover BSL level 2 concepts like Multi Channels (combined signs) and Classifiers (handshapes with nouns or verbs).

Comprehensive: 20 x 2 hour sessions

Learn about story telling and Role Shift (a narrative with more than one person). Master the use Directional Verbs and Comparisons. Study Deaf Awareness and different communications systems. Gain knowledge about Topographical features (rooms, buildings, directions etc.) to help extend your sign vocabulary and Conversational skills. This course expands upon the content learnt in Detailed basic, improving your Receptive and Productive skills to allow you to become a more confident, fluid and clear signer with an appropriate pace.

Please contact Netty at Family Support Wales with any questions or to book a session.

Learning British Sign Language (BSL) can be incredibly valuable for several reasons:

Learn British Sign Language

  1. Accessibility and Inclusivity: It allows you to communicate with deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. This helps bridge the gap in communication and fosters inclusivity in various settings.
  2. Career Opportunities: Proficiency in BSL can open up a range of career opportunities. Many jobs, particularly in sectors like education, healthcare, social work, and customer service, value employees who can communicate in BSL.
  3. Cultural Understanding: Learning BSL provides insight into the Deaf community’s rich culture, history, and traditions. It fosters cultural sensitivity and understanding.
  4. Personal Growth and Empathy: Learning any new language enhances cognitive abilities and can lead to personal growth. It also encourages empathy by allowing you to see the world from a different perspective.
  5. Legal Requirement: In some professions and contexts, there may be legal requirements to provide services in an accessible manner, which may include knowing BSL.
  6. Enhanced Communication Skills: Learning BSL can improve your overall communication skills, including non-verbal communication, active listening, and understanding diverse forms of expression.
  7. Fulfillment and Satisfaction: Mastering a new language, especially one as important as BSL, can be personally fulfilling and satisfying.
  8. Community Engagement: It can help you engage with a wider range of people in your community, building stronger connections and relationships.
  9. Global Sign Language Community: BSL shares similarities with other sign languages like Australian Sign Language (AUSLAN), so proficiency in BSL can also facilitate communication with deaf individuals from around the world.
  10. Advocacy and Activism: Knowing BSL can empower you to advocate for the rights and needs of the Deaf community, helping to break down barriers and promote equal access to services and opportunities.

Remember, it’s not just about learning a language; it’s about understanding and embracing a unique and vibrant culture, and contributing to a more inclusive society.

Please contact Netty at Family Support Wales with any questions or to book a session.

Learn BSL

More about British Sign Language (BSL)

What is Sign Language?

Sign language is a visual way of communicating, using hand shapes, gestures, body language and facial expressions, instead of spoken words.

What is British Sign Language (BSL)?

BSL is the most common sign language in the UK. It is predominately used by Deaf people, but it is also used by nonverbal people, and people who may have limited language. It can be used as a tool for language development prior to developing spoken language.

BSL is a complete language with its own vocabulary, grammar and syntax (word order). There are differences in BSL, just in the same way that there are with regional differences and accents across the UK.

Is Sign Language universal?

No. Different countries have their own forms of Sign Language, just like they have different cultures and different spoken languages.
There are over 300 different Sign Languages used around the world.

Is BSL a recognised language?

Yes.  In June 2022 legislation was passed to make BSL a legally and officially recognised language in Wales, England and Scotland (although Scotland had already made it an official language in 2015). In Ireland, people use both BSL and Irish Sign Language (ISL).

Having UK wide legislation means that there is more accountability to recognise the rights of BSL users, have equal access to services, and to promote BSL as a language for all.

What is the current situation?

A BSL Advisory Board has been set up to advise Government on how best to remove barriers faced by BSL users. The British Deaf Association (BDA) has developed a draft Strategic Vision for the next decade which has a focus on: Education, Employment, Health, Social Care and Community. Together they aim to make the UK a more inclusive and accessible society.

What is the current situation in Wales?

In January 2020 the Welsh Government published a new Curriculum for Wales for schools. As part of the new Languages, Literacy and Communication area of learning, BSL is part of this learning experience and learners can choose to study BSL just like they can with French and German for example.

Please contact Netty at Family Support Wales with any questions or to book a session.