Since starting my BSL course last year (final exam on Monday!) I’ve been struck by the potential for mobile technologies to assist translation and memory for BSL students on the move. As a result, I was really excited to discover Mobilesign, an online dictionary developed by the University of Bristol’s Centre for Deaf Studies (and discovered via a hunch based upon yesterday’s edition of the BBC’s See Hear). From what I can glean, Mobilesign has been developed in conjunction with SignStation, a website promoting Deaf awareness and workplace materials.
Mobilesign contains over 5000 BSL signs, available through a minimal, mobile friendly interface. Suitable for phones, PDAs and any other networked mobile tech, signs can be searched for by string (any search term, or set of terms) or through the A-Z index. Through sister site SignStation you can explore by category or via a picture dictionary when you register. Registration is free.
Bristol cite an underlying bespoke content management system allowing
access to indexes of the most requested signs, related signs and regional variations. This rewards exploration, and complements other materials from CACDAP and the great resources developed by the University of Wolverhampton that I’ve linked to previously. To see all my articles linking to BSL resources, pop ‘BSL’ in the search box, or use the BSL category listed on the left.
Last week I blogged about Art Signs – an excellent video resource produced by Wolverhampton University, specialising in BSL vocabulary relevant to those in the arts, (higher) education or (in my case) digital media. Yesterday I spoke to some colleagues looking for wider vocabulary, so here are some links to other extensive glossary sites developed by Wolverhampton for those building skills in BSL in Further and Higher Education…
Including glossaries for anatomy, biology, chemistry, genetics, physics, environmental science, geography and geology. If you want to know what the sign for deoxyribonucleic acid is, you’ve come to the right place.
Including glossaries for architecture, construction, housing, surveying, computer aided design, civil engineering, electronic and electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.
I’ve been taking a CACDP British Sign Language (BSL) Level 1 course this year to develop my communication skills. My final exam is in a few weeks, with a topic focused specifically on work. Early in the course our course tutor John Smith, put the group in the way of newly developed BSL Online Learning Support resources for students studying our CACDP Level 1 course and as our vocabulary has developed, the value of such online video resources have become more and more appreciated.
The CACDP site is great for very basic vocabulary, but due to my academic background I’ve been searching for other online resources to use in tandem with the course to help revise specific vocabulary around higher education and learning sciences. During this search I’ve discovered the excellent Art Signs.
Art Signs is a glossary site from the University of Wolverhampton featuring hundreds of signs for the Arts categorised by discipline, alongside those relating to research, learning and teaching. Signs are listed alphabetically and thematically. Clips are short and speedy – but this is a comprehensive database. Everything from file types and internet terms, through methodology, to teaching and learning vocabulary is on there. Art Signs rewards careful searching and will be of great benefit to those working in Education, Research, Media, Technology and the Arts.
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 mightyYouTube. 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/.