If you’re considering signing up for a British Sign Language (BSL) course in 2023, then now is the time to start planning. It may seem intimidating initially, but BSL courses offer an opportunity to pick up a valuable language and connect with the Deaf community. Whether you want to learn for personal enjoyment or career enhancement, enrolling in a course has many benefits, from improved communication skills to increased job prospects. In this blog post, we will explain why it’s worth considering getting a BSL course in 2023 and provide helpful advice on finding the right course for you!
What is British Sign Language (BSL)?British Sign Language is widely used in the United Kingdom and beyond for deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals who prefer to communicate by signing. This language has been studied and used for centuries, reaching back to Martha’s Vineyard in the United States when Thomas Gallaudet, who famously developed American Sign Language, learned signing from two of Martha’s Vineyard’s signers. BSL uses hand position and body language to create words and phrases while focusing more on facial expressions and gestures, unlike American Sign Language, which uses different parts of the hands combined with movements like twirling or circles. It is estimated that over 70,000 people currently use BSL as their primary form of communication in the UK alone. However, its importance cannot be understated; hard-of-hearing people can communicate freely with others around them and make their voices heard.
The Benefits of Learning BSLLearning British Sign Language (BSL) benefits individuals of all ages:
- It can open the door to communicating with Deaf communities who use BSL as their primary language, enabling opportunities to connect and build relationships with them.
- Studies show that learning a new language improves cognitive abilities, such as problem-solving and multitasking skills.
- Learning BSL can improve employment options for those seeking jobs within the social care sector or related areas.
- Studying BSL gives signers an insight into how Deaf people experience their environment and helps increase cultural awareness, ultimately leading to a more inclusive community for everyone involved.
How to Find a Quality BSL CourseFinding a good quality British Sign Language course that meets your needs can be daunting. Investing your time researching all the courses available before committing to ensure you get maximum value from experience is essential. Start by asking people within your network if they have had any experiences with specific courses. Please read up on reviews online, and attend a free introduction class or sample lesson from the provider to ensure it’s a good fit for you. If a course sounds too good to be accurate and no reviews are available, be wary — these can often be scams. Once you find a quality course, commit yourself to learn as much as possible before using sign language in everyday life scenarios.
The Cost of Taking a BSL CourseA BSL course, while often considered expensive, can be affordable. Learning British Sign Language (BSL) is not only an excellent way to gain access to the world’s largest Deaf community but also an excellent way to learn a new skill that is both engaging and enjoyable. Many linguists recommend that the best way to learn any language is through face-to-face lessons and activities with professionals, which are far less costly than traditional learning modes such as textbooks. In addition, many organisations aim to provide cost-effective courses in sign language nationwide. With some research, anyone can find resources and support for taking a BSL course that fits their budget.
Consider Pros and Cons When Deciding Whether to Take a BSL Course in 2023Deciding whether or not to take a BSL course may be a difficult choice for anyone considering it in 2023. There are many pros and cons to consider when making this decision, such as the time and money commitment, the availability of classes, and whether studying BSL (British Sign Language) is necessary.
- On the positive side, taking a BSL course can open up new job opportunities and allow those who wish to communicate with deaf friends, family members, and colleagues a chance to do so.
- However, taking courses in British Sign Language can be very pricey, which makes them inaccessible for some people. Additionally, it can take significant time to learn all the nuanced aspects of the language and have enough practice with native signers.