Adult Skills and Community Learning

Learning BSL is a real challenge, but it's a fascinating and very rewarding skill to acquire. Did you know, for example, that British Sign Language has a completely different grammar from normal spoken English?

Our BSL classes are very informal and practical.

They involve a lot of activities to help you remember the signs you learn. Some of these activities are carried out between the learner and the tutor; others between groups or pairs of learners. 

See our course listing for British Sign Language for details of the days, times, locations and fees for these courses.

Our Sign Language Pathway

Stage One – First Steps

These classes provide you with a five weeks introduction, and are normally free.

We start off with some basic finger spelling (so that you can sign your name, for example), and we include greetings and general introductions. For you to communicate successfully, it's also important to understand deaf culture and how to behave towards deaf people, so we also include deaf awareness at an early stage in the course.

Following on from this, we offer a series of courses which lead eventually to professional qualifications. The first of these is a certificate awarded by CERTA (formerly open College Network)

Stage Two – CERTA Level One (One Unit – ten weeks course)

On this course, we revise the alphabet and finger spelling and, in addition, we cover new topics, like introducing the calendar, numbers, time, and family and other people. You'll complete a portfolio of work for assessment.

Once you've completed this course, or if you already have some previous experience of working with deaf people, you can follow the next stages of the programme. These lead to qualifications provided by Signature and are recognised for professional work with deaf people.

Stage three – Signature Level One (One year)

There are three units which are examined separately. These are:

  • Introduction to BSL
  • Conversational BSL
  • BSL at School, College or Work

All the time, we're increasing conversational skills, fluency and accuracy.

Stage four – CERTA Level Two (One year)

On this course, you'll need to complete a portfolio of work which will provide evidence for certification. It's a preparatory programme leading on to Signature Level 2.

There are three units:

  • Communicating with Deaf people using BSL
  • Production of BSL
  • Reception of BSL

Stage five – Signature Level Two (One year)

You'll take three units, as examinations with your tutor, at the end of the course. These are:

  • 201 BSL Receptive Skills
  • 202 BSL Productive Skills
  • 203 BSL Conversational Skills

What our learners say

  • I enjoyed everything in the course. Great tutor and friendly people.
    Adult learner
  • The tutor made it a relaxed and enjoyable course while creating the right atmosphere to learn
    Adult learner
  • I enjoyed every single week and cannot believe how much I've learnt in this short time. Our tutor was fabulous. Thank you.
    Adult learner