At the start of the month I signed on to a CACDP course for a level one certificate in British Sign Language (BSL) at South Nottingham College. As anyone learning a sign language will know, paper notes can be difficult to revise from, so I anticipated hitting video materials online safe in the knowledge that we are all living in the future, I would find everything necessary to my personal advancement with the aid of the mighty YouTube. A bit naive?! Frankly, yes.
Although we may be living in the future (robot companions notwithstanding, DISCUSS), it quickly became clear that YouTube is not the place to rehearse your BSL. American Sign Language is, perhaps unsurprisingly, king, and even then using the search tool to hunt through the video archive for relevant vocabulary is increasingly like dowsing with a meat hammer. I was therefore delighted today to discover that CACDP has very recently launched an Online Learner Support Pack for BSL 101.
The Online Learner Support Pack is a free resource for everyone starting to do BSL101, and is a great way to help learners get off to a good start in learning British Sign Language.The Support Pack allows access to hundreds of videos of individual signs and sentences to help practising between classes, so if you have trouble remembering a sign, you can now go online to find and practise it instantly. Topics from BSL101 covered include the manual alphabet, numbers, transport, meeting people, weather, and directions. As the internet becomes more mobile, I wonder if this can and will become the BSL pocket dictionary?
CACDP stress that this resource cannot be used to learn the complex language of BSL alone, as it is intended to only to compliment the methods of BSL teachers. However, for those learning, or wishing to ‘Brush Up’ their British Sign Language skills, the online support materials are currently available to all, gratis. To register visit: http://bslsupport.cacdp.org.uk/.