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Our guide to British Sign Language courses

British sign language courses offer an opportunity for beginners and intermediate students to learn to communicate with deaf people. Typically a programme designed for those with no prior experience, courses will help you to learn at your own pace, teaching basic skills in conversation with the everyday vocabulary and grammar necessary to gain greater fluency in the language, with the eventual aim of communicating fully with members of the deaf community. This is useful for socialising and for those working in community roles.

British Sign Language course reviews and other useful articles

British Sign Language reviews - what others are saying about British Sign Language

Brilliant

Where: [sonus]

What: British Sign Language level 1

by Laura - October 2013

Really enjoyed learning BSL level 1 with sonus, fantastic teacher and group made this course fun and interesting. sonus sign club was great to practice with other learners during holidays. Looking forward to BSL level... more

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More British Sign Language articles

Subject Focus: Sign it like Beckam

Whether to gain the ability to communicate with a deaf friend like the Beckhams or to open the door to a new career, studying British sign language can be highly fulfilling… The reasons for wanting to learn sign language are many and varied, from having had more

Awarding organisations for British Sign Language courses

  • Signature
  • Signature is an organisation that promotes quality communication with deaf and deafblind people. Signature provides qualifications that are Ofqual (The Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator) accredited.  The qualifications offered range from beginner to professional levels in Deaf and Deafblind Awareness, British sign language, Irish sign language, Deafblind communication, communication support, sign language interpreting, and translation. Services are generally provided to promote smooth communication with the deaf and deafblind in any given situation.

  • Institute of British Sign Language
  • The Institute of British Sign Language (iBSL) is an organisation that is committed to offering standard qualifications in sign language and deaf studies. iBSL works with other providers of British Sign Language studies and ensures that these meet the standards set by Ofqual. The Institute of British Sign Language’s qualifications range from entry level through to level 4.  iBSL also conducts training for individuals looking to teach and assess the iBSL qualifications. Most of iBSL’s qualifications have e-assessment and e-portfolios, with the option of storing the work of its students online. 

  • Qualifications & Curriculum Authority
  • The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) closed down in March 2012. It used to accredit qualifications as per the QCA National Qualifications Framework to meet employer and learner needs. The QCA were also involved in developing the UK curriculum, and regulating the UK exam system – these roles have now been taken on by the Standards and Testing Agency (STA). 

Related careers: BSL/English Interpreter

British Sign Language (BSL) / English interpreters facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing people in a variety of settings such as health and social services, religious services, legal, police and court (criminal & civil), employment, further and higher education, arts, theatre and television. British Sign Language / English interpreters have high-level skills in two languages, English and BSL, which is now recognised as a language in its own right. Interpreters are trained in theoretical knowledge, language and practical interpreting. Interpreting...more

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