Tuesday, 6 October 2009


This week we went through more new vocabulary as well as finding out about dates (all in BSL) for the Slough Deaf Club events. Mark went through the exam criteria for 102. I signed up for Signature BSL Homework site. It is really good-very short videos that you can watch time and time again and a tab where you can reveal the words if stuck, also a dictionary with some alternative signs too. The 101 lessons are free then you have to pay for more.

Mark gave us a picture of a domestic scene and got us to use this to describe the people in the picture. We also learned about signs for when you are ill. See this video of the new signs.

For the last part of the lesson we watched some very fast signing using the Signing for Dummies DVD that Mark recommends for practice.£12.99 from Amazon click here to go to the page. More lessons tonight!


Sunday, 27 September 2009

101 Exam

I came back jet lagged and conscious that I had three weeks out of the UK and failed to Sign at all. So the lesson was a bit of a shock to see that in my absence everyone had been practising like mad and this week was the dress rehearsal for the exam the following week.

Mark had a video camera which had been recording him earlier ready for his Level 4 NVQ assessment. He managed to get us to all have a go at five minutes of some simple vocabulary and then when we had all sat in the hot seat he told us that that was it for real-the exam......all I can say is that I fluffed as much as I could and hopefully have passed.

I learned that we need to repeat back what is said to us to engage with the person we are talking with-that is excellent for me because it means that I am reflecting the signing and particularly good when the finger spelling is too fast.

Last week we were back in to serious learning of new vocabulary. The first words were all to do with work. I hope that I have understood these correctly. Here is the first video.

The next video is all about multi-channelling. I think that is learning a phrase that has a combination of a sign and a facial expression and or a word. The word sounds seemed to be "poo", "rem" and "rum" and the facial expressions were things like puffing out your cheeks, sticking your tongue out slightly, pursing of lips and showing your teeth!

Here is Mark teaching us these signs-again please correct me if I have the subtitles wrong.

Looking forward to Tuesday's lesson as I have been doing some practice this week!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Jeanette Teaches This Week

Becky, Matthew and I had lots of fun and were made to work quite hard this week as Jeanette filled Mark's place as he and Alex are somewhere very nice on holiday.

We practised questions and numbers and learned some new vocabulary. I took lots of video but so far have only edited one short bit of film.

See here

I will try to get some more up on youtube soon but I am rushing around getting ready for a trip to Australia and New Zealand and I will miss three weeks of lessons so please could someone get the notes for me. In Australia they have their own sign language as do lots of countries but apparently there are some similarities.

See some of you tonight. Jacqui

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Week 3 Time and new vocabulary

We started this session straight in at the deep end. Mark gave us a list of sentences to attempt.
See you tomorrow
See you later.
See you next week etc.

The signs seem to instantly float out of my head and all of us are quickly trying to draw little diagrams or instructions about the sign. It is so easy to confuse them and it all seems so simple when Mark demonstrates.

I am trying to go through the sheets once a day first thing in the morning. We also have the added joy of Mark giving us either the informal or formal signs, and often Mark tells us that an alternative sign is now in use.

We were reminded about context and facial expression, and that BSL syntax is different so that lots of little words are unnecessary and word order changes with "Classifier" first.

Anyway I am still trying and think in time some of this new vocabulary will stick.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Week 2. Finger Spelling

This week we started the session with some exercises to get our fingers and brains moving. Mark got us to practice reading and spelling some simple three letter names.

Hopefully this will link to a You Tube video.

Later in the session we played a game of pelminism. We turned over cards with simple pictures and looked for snaps. then we had to use sign to describe what we could see on the card. This was fun and a good way to practice colours. We also learnt some new vocabulary for fruit and words like background, tree and flower.

Watch the Pelminism game here

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Week 1

A small group of us met in K2 building in Bracknell for our first lesson. Mark introduced himself and immediately started to teach us. I realised that I was suddenly in a no speaking realm. A few of us tried to say hello but there were no formal introductions and I began to panic as I realised that I would have to learn fast because we would not be talking.

Mark gave out some sheets. Information about how many people are deaf, facts and figures and a bit of background info. He told us to learn this ready for the EXAM.

First we learned the alphabet. I began to experience what it must be like for deaf children. They are totally reliant on watching everything. If you can hear then you can write notes and listen at the same time. For me to write notes meant that I missed what Mark was signing-oh help.

Then we moved on to other vocabulary -numbers and then colours. Some of the signs seemed obvious and then one minute later I had forgotten them or got confused. Some signs seem to stick immediately-others like why and what and where and when....I can sign them but get muddled as to which one is which.

This makes me realise that learning must be based on real contexts. I will remember when I am communicating for real not just to practice.

By the end of the two hours I felt exhausted and frustrated. It was so hard to learn and entering a silent world was strange. Mark is very relaxed and has a wicked sense of humour. I think he will be quite a tease when he gets to know us all.

I was a complete beginner. Knew nothing. Others had quite a bit of vocabulary and were already quite confident. The emotion of being left behind came surging up. When you are a confident and successful learner then you have no ideal of the emotions that those who struggle to learn feel. Their small victories are insignificant as you have already mastered things and want to learn more.

I was determined to make progress and have carried my sheets with me all week and was even caught practicing on the train the other day....got some strange looks out of the side of eyes. So...what was the order of the vowels...why do I muddle up i and u and they are both in my name?