LA1PB1N-IWLP British Sign Language 1 non-credit

Module Provider: International Study and Language Institute
Number of credits: 0 [0 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Ugo Marsili


Summary module description:

This module aims to provide students with an introduction to British Sign Language (BSL), concentrating on its communicative use in everyday situations. It will develop the two key skills of signing (in lieu of speaking) and understanding (in lieu of listening).

This course is aimed at beginners with little or no knowledge of BSL. On successful completion of the course students will have achieved CEF (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) Level A1/A1+

This module is taught at level 4 of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.  Reading University allows students from any year to take this module.

Students will identify and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to address problems that are well defined but complex and non- routine. In the context of British Sign Language learning this means acquiring knowledge of grammar and vocabulary, developing strategies for understanding and practising signing, in order to communicate within defined situations while developing tools to enable students to respond to unexpected occurrences.

Students will exercise autonomy and judgement by developing independent learning skills.

They will gain understanding of different perspectives and cultural differences in approaching a variety of situations.

Support is given and adjustments are made for students with disabilities. However, IWLP language modules are communicative in nature and students are required to work in small groups.  Also, students should be aware that spelling, grammar and sentence structure are assessed. In this respect the IWLP assessment is exempted from the University’s requirement to take specific learning difficulties into account when marking.  For languages where handwriting is assessed, computers are not allowed. For queries, contact


The module aims at providing students with:

  • the ability to cope in typical situations faced by non-deaf persons when meeting Deaf people either in public places or at Deaf centres for a short period of time;

  • an introduction to the nature of language and language learning;

  • a basic awareness of Deaf culture and BSL language development;

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the end of the course students will be able to:

  • communicate in BSL by signing at a simple survival level,

  • understand simple signed dialogue on familiar, everyday matters

  • obtain specific details about such matters from deaf people signing in filmed clips, etc.

  • apply simple grammatical structures

  • make appropriate use of the BSL dictionaries

  • demonstrate an awareness of Deaf culture and BSL language development

Additional outcomes:

  • Students will be involved in regular group activities and role playing to develop signing skills. They will make progress through developing skills of self-study and application and will develop an awareness of and sensitivity to Deaf culture and a basic understanding of the history of sign language.

Outline content:

Students will learn:-

- to give, request and understand personal information;

- to express and understand simple opinions;

- forms of address, greeting and leave-taking;

- to make simple arrangements and transactions on a practical level. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The course provides a systematic approach to acquiring essential grammar structures in a communicative context. Teaching methods are based on interactive language development tasks, such as group work and role playing, and include the study of short signed clips, oral development work and receptive comprehension exercises. Learning activities are supported by various media such as filmed clips and, where appropriate, computer software. The module is taught as far as possible in the target language. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 27 30 3
Guided independent study 53 60 27
Total hours by term 80.00 90.00 30.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 25
Oral assessment and presentation 40
Class test administered by School 35

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

In order to consolidate and develop their language learning, students are encouraged to complete regular tasks – in class and outside – on which feedback is provided. 

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.

“The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with  University policy:

• where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;

• where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:”

You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Length of examination:

A one-hour paper.

Requirements for a pass:

40% overall for UG students, 50% overall for PGT students. 

Reassessment arrangements:

Re-sit in August/September examinations period on basis of examination only (relative percentages: oral examination 60%, written paper 40%.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 5 October 2017

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