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British Sign Language - Improvers Plus Modules 1, 2 & 3

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

BSL Improvers Plus Module 1: 22 hours (11 weeks)

BSL Improvers Plus Module 2: 22 hours (11 weeks)

BSL Improvers Plus Module 3: 22 hours (11 weeks)

Who is this course for?

For learners who:

  • have completed a Level 1 qualification in BSL
  • have completed BSL Improvers course
  • have previously studied BSL for up to 100 hours  
  • have some knowledge of BSL to describe about the past and future events

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 routine, work and social situations:

  • Understand key BSL grammatical features (placement and referents, enumeration, hand shapes and movements, directions/orientation, NMF and facial expressions, BSL syntax, sign space, pace and flow, timelines
  • Demonstrate the use of role shifts and directional verbs
  • Expressing emotions
  • Adjectives/adverbs to create descriptions
  • Modal verbs (e.g. can, may, must, would like)  
  • Participate in routine conversations in BSL
  • Extract specific information from BSL clips
  • Prepare and deliver a short BSL presentation


  Examples of extension topics are set, according to the needs of the language and the learners.

  • Meeting people
  • Professional life
  • House & home
  • Public Services
  • Health and Illness
  • Free time and entertainment
  • E-shopping
  • Making comparisons (e.g. mortgages, car insurance)
  • Travel and Holidays home and abroad
  • Experiences of past and future events
  • Attitudes and opinions, giving and asking for others' opinions
  • Current affairs

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.

Will I gain any qualifications?

This course has no formal qualification.

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

What could this course lead to?

Next level: BSL Lower Intermediate 1* (Modules 1, 2 & 3)
*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 30 minutes every day (4 hours per week) on self-study, homework, language practice, etc.
  • Complete the course;
  • Complete all the assessments;

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 Website Links

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

Suggested books, Deaf clubs and Deaf Magazines

Books: Thompson, Alan, (2003)  Easy Way Guide to Signing,  Jak Limited 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, (BID), 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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