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British Sign Language - Lower Intermediate 1

Course aims

Learners will develop communication skills in BSL, enabling them to participate in longer and more varied conversations about real life, routine and daily experiences than at Level 1, with increased confidence and fluency.

Course length

20 hours (10 weeks) per term.

Who is this course for?

The course is suitable for anyone who has achieved a Level 1 qualification in BSL or anyone who has studied BSL for a minimum or 60 hours.

Entry requirements

It is essential to have sufficient sight, manual dexterity, facial and body movement to produce and receive BSL.

Some literacy, numeracy and IT skills can help you learn a language. We can give you guidance and support to acquire these.

Course content

You will be supported to understand and use varied BSL in a range of familiar everyday situations:

  • understand key grammatical features
  • ask / answer simple questions
  • ask for and give information
  • repair communication (e.g. asking for repetition, clarification)
  • sign about the present, past and future
  • clear meaning and context
  • hand shapes and movements
  • signing conventions: pace and flow, signing space
  • role shift
  • placement and referents
  • BSL sign order
  • non manual features /facial expressions
  • participate in routine conversations in BSL
  • extract specific information from BSL clips
  • prepare and deliver a short BSL presentation.

At this level, the topics are set according to the needs of the language and the learners. Your tutor will give you further details at the start of the course.

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.

Throughout your course, you will be required to complete your Individual Learning Plan (or Personal Action Plan) which includes your learning objectives, long and short term goals.

You will have opportunities to review your own progress and reflect on how you can further improve your language skills. You will set up your own personal targets (task, project, etc.) which will be reviewed with your tutor via tutorials on a one-to-one basis.

A certificate of achievement may be requested on completion of the course.

Will I gain any qualifications?

This course has no formal qualification.

What could this course lead to?

Next level: BSL Lower Intermediate 2*
*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?

Interactive hands-on approach using a variety of teaching methods, watching tutor demonstrations and participating in individual, pair and group work. 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 practice daily.

Your commitment 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 cannot be 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;

Our courses are funded by the government on that understanding.

What do I need to bring with me?

You will need to bring a pen, paper, ring-binder (for hand-outs) and a USB memory stick to record clips   Access to the internet is advisable for receptive skills practice. All public libraries and BAES adult education centres offer this access.

Online Information

A range of online information is available. It is recommended that you watch BSL video clips, to help with receptive skills practice at home:,,,, ABC Awards

Suggested books, websites and Deaf Clubs:

Books: Thompson, Alan, (2003) Easy Way Guide to Signing, Smith Cath, (2003) Let’s Sign Pocket, Dictionary Communication Link, A Dictionary of Signs, Beverley School for Deaf Children


Deaf Clubs: The Deaf Cultural Centre, Ladywood Road, Birmingham, B16 8SZ
Walsall Deaf people’s Centre, 59a Lichfield Street, Walsall, WS4 2BX
Henry Fry Centre, Hertford Place Coventry, CV1 3JZ
Rycote Centre, Parker Street, Derby, DE1 3HF

Suggested Deaf Magazines
British Deaf News – British Deaf Association, One in 7 – Action on Hearing Loss, Deaf History Society – Deaf History Journal, NDCS Website – National Deaf Children’s Society

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