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Possible Sign Language GCSE

(18 Posts)
SameDifference Mon 17-Jun-13 16:09:32

I'm proud to be a part of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network and have just written a post about the possibility of a new GCSE in British Sign Language which is relevant to this board...

SameDifference Mon 17-Jun-13 16:10:05

Sorry, forgot to convert link

eatyourveg Mon 17-Jun-13 17:32:10

I read it on the bbc - excellent idea. Wish every school taught it.

bruffin Mon 17-Jun-13 17:34:36

My DD 15 would have loved to have taken a GCSE in BSL. She volunteers in a SEN playscheme and has picked up a bit of BSL and also Makaton but has always wanted to learn more. One of her careers aims is to be a SEN teacher and it would be just as useful to her as any other language.

Porka Mon 17-Jun-13 19:53:38

What a fantastic idea; my DDs would love to learn and it is such a useful life skill as well as being valuable for many careers.

Sirzy Mon 17-Jun-13 19:56:42

Fantastic idea, that is something I would love to do now as an adult.

I do think it is something which should be taught from a young age in schools (although of course there is the problem of enough people who know it to teach it).

IHeartKingThistle Mon 17-Jun-13 20:03:28

I'm so pleased this has finally been mooted. I did my BSL Level 1 while I was teaching and ran a club for some of the Year 7s but I would have loved to teach it at GCSE Level (might have got funding for more training that way too!). Not teaching now though damnit!

SameDifference Mon 17-Jun-13 20:16:20

Sirzy- way to solve that prob? Teach it to more people!

IHeartKingThistle Mon 17-Jun-13 20:54:57

Does anyone know the statistics on how many BSL users there are in the UK? Is it significantly less since the introduction of cochlear implants?

ihearsounds Mon 17-Jun-13 21:05:19

We have a couple of students with cochlear implants who still use bsl.

It's about time that bsl was taught in schools. We run a program with a local secondary teaching makaton, and we have a queue of students waiting to do it.

threepiecesuite Mon 17-Jun-13 21:32:04

I think this is a fantastic idea. I teach MFL and would be super keen to deliver this qualification. I can sign, self-taught by deaf family members.

LittleSporksBigSpork Mon 17-Jun-13 22:32:16

People who use BSL as their first or preferred language are between 50 to 145k depending on whose stats you're looking at (there have been issues with the census and Deaf communities due to lack of government support, the last census was awful for this). To compare - Gaelic users are around 60k by similar counts which does have a GCSE. Both are official languages recognized by the UK [BSL has had official recognition for 10 years, many argue it hasn't done much] and are meant to get the same status but they don't - getting information in BSL is quite difficult and no qualifications within the UK recognized system, just separate charities who have working very hard on getting a working system and a GCSE for BSL for many years. Having one will not only raise a lot of awareness and recognition, as well as get more people learning BSL, but it will get Deaf young people, who are more likely to be NEETs and have trouble accessing further education & employment, more recognition as well. While locally working on this, a national one would be nice.

Cochlear implants hasn't really affected the numbers as it is only useful for certain types of deafness and many with them also use and prefer BSL (and speech still doesn't come across well with those that do work, usually only to the extent of making lipreading easier).

IHeartKingThistle Mon 17-Jun-13 22:50:17

That's interesting, thanks. The NEETS issue is huge.

Dancergirl Mon 17-Jun-13 23:51:54

It's a great idea. I did a course myself a few years ago but I found it really hard. It's not just learning the signs, it's the lip patterns and facial expressions I found difficult.

sashh Tue 18-Jun-13 00:32:54

No actual evidence, but anecdotally the dyslexic people on my degree course seemed to find the grammar of BSL completely logical and learned very quickly.

I know Signature have been working on this for a while.

Elibean Tue 18-Jun-13 12:05:51

Great news smile

I learned up to Level 2 BSL years ago, pre kids, and remember marching to Trafalgar Square to try and get it recognised as an official happy to see GCSE possibilities now!

rightsaidfrederick Wed 19-Jun-13 02:31:51

This sounds great - I would love to do this myself!

sashh Wed 19-Jun-13 03:27:55

Elibean I was there too.

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