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British Sign Language – Beginners online (Part 1 & Part 2)

Course aims

To enable learners to understand and use simple BSL phrases, and exchange information in familiar situations, using BSL.

Course length

Part 1: 6 weeks - 10 hrs

Part 2: 5 weeks - 10 hrs                                                    

Who is this course for?

Part 1: The course is suitable for complete beginners with no prior knowledge of BSL.

Part 2: The course is suitable for beginners who have just completed the Beginners Part 1 course or for those who have studied BSL at very basic level for about 10 hours. As a minimum you should be able to introduce yourself, count up to 20, say where you live and what you do for a living.

Course content

Over Part 1 and Part 2, learners will acquire basic knowledge of:

You will be able to:

  • Understand and communicate in simple BSL when meeting familiar and unfamiliar people
  • Address, greet and take leave of another BSL user
  • To finger spell for names of people and places; and recognise others’ finger spelling
  • Use strategies for asking for clarification and polite conventions
  • Ask and respond to simple questions in BSL order
  • Demonstrate BSL features (BSL order, placements, referents, enumeration, nonmanual features, facial expressions, handshapes and movement, timelines)
  • Know basic numbers system for telling the time, age, money and dates
  • Sign simple affirmative and negative phrases
  • Ask for and give relevant personal information about self or others
  • Describe different ways of travelling
  • Ask for directions, giving and describing directions in familiar places or buildings
  • Commenting on the weather

Please note that the above topics and language functions may vary according to the needs of the learners.

How will I be assessed?

This course has no formal qualification; however, your work in class will be assessed by your tutor in order to enhance your learning. You will be expected to take these assessments.

What could this course lead to?

After completing BSL Beginners Part 1 and 2, you will be able to join BSL Beginners Plus module 1*.

*Please note that we cannot guarantee that this level will be offered as all courses are planned subject to sufficient demand

How will I learn?

The course will be delivered live using a range of interactive audio-visual and IT resources available online via the BAES Moodle Platform.

Interactive hands-on approach, using a variety of teaching methods, watching tutor demonstrations, and participating in individual, pair and group work. A variety of IT resources include internet access and watching BSL clips. We aim to match the teaching to a wide range of individual learning styles and to make your learning enjoyable, challenging and rewarding. You will be given homework to complete after each session and you will need to devote some time to practise regularly.

Your commitments as a learner:

  • Attend every session of your course. If you need to miss a class, please let your tutor know in advance. Learners should consider their personal commitments and circumstances that may prevent attendance before enrolling on a course as missed classes will affect their learning. Missed classes cannotbe taken at another time.
  • Have sufficient time for self-study and completion of homework. In order to maximise your learning, we strongly recommend that you spend at least 15 minutes every day(2 hours per week) on self-study, homework, language practice, etc.
  • Complete the course.
  • Complete all the assessments.

Useful websites

The BAES online course directory:

Brasshouse Languages website:

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