Family Support Wales are now offering an online video subscription course teaching British Sign Language (BSL).
Learning British Sign Language (BSL) can be incredibly valuable for several reasons:
- 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.
- 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.
- Cultural Understanding: Learning BSL provides insight into the Deaf community’s rich culture, history, and traditions. It fosters cultural sensitivity and understanding.
- 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.
- Legal Requirement: In some professions and contexts, there may be legal requirements to provide services in an accessible manner, which may include knowing BSL.
- Enhanced Communication Skills: Learning BSL can improve your overall communication skills, including non-verbal communication, active listening, and understanding diverse forms of expression.
- Fulfillment and Satisfaction: Mastering a new language, especially one as important as BSL, can be personally fulfilling and satisfying.
- Community Engagement: It can help you engage with a wider range of people in your community, building stronger connections and relationships.
- 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.
- 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.
Why learn BSL with FSW?
We will supply you with videos of everyday signs for you to learn online at a time that suits you.
We have produced simple to follow modules, where you can learn how to communicate in British Sign Language and form sentences to be able to discuss everyday activities, whether that be at home with your family, at work with colleagues and friends, or in an education setting.
The format of the videos is to teach you the basic signs – the vocabulary, then explain how to use this vocabulary in sentences and questions, and how to link associated signs together.
We have included aspects from the Level 1 BSL course – to build up your sign vocabulary, and then later, concepts from the Level 2 BSL course – a bit like steppingstones where you can increase your knowledge, understanding and confidence. There are 25 learning videos currently available with many more added weekly!
You can subscribe on a monthly basis for just £4.99/month, or at a discount of 12 months for the price of 10 if you subscribe for a year for £49.90.
All subscriptions include a 3 day free trial period so you are able to see all the course content FREE for 3 days. You can cancel your subscription before the end of the this 3 day trial period and will not be charged a penny.
If there’s someone you know who would like to learn BSL, you can gift a subscription for the course directly to them. This would make a novel, useful and educational gift – a refreshing change from socks or slippers!!
There are 41 learning videos currently available covering a wide range of topics (shown below). This is an ongoing course as we’ll be adding new lessons on a weekly basis on average. All new lessons will be automatically included in your subscription for no extra cost or new sign up etc.
A) SPOKEN INTRODUCTION
B) BSL INTRODUCTION
C) FINGERSPELLING – SIGNERS’ PERSPECTIVE
D) FINGERSPELLING – PRACTICE QUIZ
A) GREETING AND MANNERS
B) QUESTION WORDS
D) COLOUR PRACTICE GAME
A) NUMBERS (SOUTH)
B) NUMBERS (NORTH)
A) TIME – TELLING THE TIME
B) TIME – VOCABULARY
C) DAYS OF THE WEEK
D) MONTHS OF THE YEAR
F) QUIZ – MONTHS and NUMBERS
B) WEATHER – WITH FACIAL EXPRESSIONS
C) WEATHER – VOCABULARY WITH QUESTIONS
“Food and Drink”
A) FOOD AND DRINK
F) DAIRY PRODUCTS
H) SWEETS AND PUDDINGS
I) FAST FOOD AND TAKEAWAYS
L) QUESTIONS AND LIKE/DISLIKE
C) FAMILY MEMBERS
E) FAMILY ASSOCIATED WORDS
B) FARM ANIMALS
C) FOREST ANIMALS
D) RIVER ANIMALS
E) WILD ANIMALS
F) MOUNTAIN ANIMALS
G) SEA ANIMALS
H) POLAR ANIMALS
J) QUESTIONS ABOUT ANIMALS
K) ANIMALS FINGERSPELLING PRACTICE
“Feelings & Emotions”
E) MORE SIGNS
F) DESCRIBING PEOPLE
C) BIRTHDAY PARTY
“Travel and Transport”/
B) VEHICLES WITH ENGINES
C) WORKING VEHICLES
D) WATER TRAVEL
E) AIR TRAVEL
F) HUMAN POWERED TRAVEL
G) VEHICLE RELATED WORD
H) ROAD RELATED WORDS
K) STORIES- QUIZ
L) DIRECTIONS GAME
M) FINGERSPELLING PRACTICE
C) ACCOMMODATION RELATED WORDS
D) HOLIDAY RELATED WORDS
E) PLACES TO VISIT
F) THINGS TO PACK
H) DIFFERENT TYPES OF HOLIDAYS
I) GAME – WHAT’S IN MY BAG?
J) FIND THE DIFFERENCE GAME
A) HAPPY HALLOWEEN
B) HALLOWEEN CHARACTERS
C) WITCH SIGNS
D) HALLOWEEN ANIMALS
E) HALLOWEEN RELATED WORDS
F) HALLOWEEN EMOTIONS
G) HALLOWEEN THINGS
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.