LA1PB3N-IWLP British Sign Language 3 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:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Mr Ugo Marsili


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is intended for students with previous basic knowledge of British Sign Language (BSL) (LA1PB2 or equivalent – which will confirmed via a pre-entry placement test).

This module aims at enabling students to achieve a level of competence between Level 2 and 3 of comparable National Awarding Bodies for British Sign Language, i.e. Signature and iBSL, within a defined range of topics. It will enable students to move from the immediate personal domain of communicative situations into broader social and work related domains, such as legal, media, mental health, higher education settings. It will also enable students to further their knowledge of Sign linguistics and Deafhood studies.

This module is taught at level 4 of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. The University of Reading 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 language learning this means: a) acquiring knowledge of grammar and vocabulary  b)  developing strategies for receptive skills c) understanding and using  the language in order to communicate within defined situations and 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 finger-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 queries, contact


The module aims at providing students with:

-the ability to communicate in BSL in broader social and work related situations about matters of relevance encountered in work, education, leisure etc.

-a competence in BSL grammar and vocabulary in order to communicate at a more independent level

- further insights into aspects of Deaf culture and everyday life of Deaf communities in the UK and abroad.

- a basic understanding of the relationship between the Deaf community and the British community and how they interact with each other,  giving consideration to the partial merging of both cultures.


Assessable learning outcomes:

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

-Sustain a straightforward conversation reasonably fluently in a range of complex topics presenting it as a visual sequence of points.

-Understand the main points of clear standard sign language on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school and leisure, including short narratives.

-Receive factual manual information on a limited range of subjects related to their field and interest with a satisfactory level of comprehension.

- recognise and apply increasingly more complex BSL grammar and structures with increased confidence when signing and receiving about subjects within his/her field of interest

-possess and control an increasingly wider selection of BSL vocabulary in order to follow signers and communicate about subjects within their field of interest.

Additional outcomes:

At the end of the course students will also have:

-developed their ability to work in a team and to a deadline

-strengthened their communication skills

-identified further aspects of society and every-day life within the signing Deaf communities 

-identified real world issues related to the Deaf and the BSL user community

- deepened their intercultural awareness and sensitivity for a different culture

-developed their independent learning skills

Outline content:

The module will consolidate and develop the language and communicative situations of selected areas relevant to interacting and working within Deaf communities. Topics will include work and study in Deaf organisations, schools, youth culture, news and media, plans for the future, etc. A solid linguistic foundation will continue to be ensured by the study of grammar and vocabulary, always presented in context in an accessible and engaging way.


Global context:

Although the module offers insights into Deaf culture mainly within a British context, several aspects refer and can be relatable to international contexts.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching methods are based on interactive language development tasks, such as group work and role playing,. Deaf culture is taught through lectures and discussions. 

 Learning activities are supported by various media such as video clips and, where appropriate, computer software. The module is taught as far as possible in the target language.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 9 10
Seminars 18 20 3
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (directed) 11 10
    Exam revision/preparation 3 10 24
    Advance preparation for classes 27 22 3
    Preparation for presentations 3
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 3
    Revision and preparation 3 7
    Essay preparation 5
    Reflection 6 3
Total hours by term 80 90 30
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 20
Project output other than dissertation 20
Oral assessment and presentation 40
Class test administered by School 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

A 30 minutes productive skills exam.

A two hour final written examination.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

  • A project consisting of a written output (in English) and a group presentation in BSL (weeks 4&5 Spring term)

  • An in-class test for receptive skills (week 11 Spring term)

Formative assessment methods:

  • A draft project proposal (week 10 Autumn Term)

  • Weekly regular tasks – in class and outside – on which feedback is provided

Penalties for late submission:

Assessment 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: productive skills examination 70%, written paper 30%.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 6 August 2019


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