Are you missing the point? Vocabulary, Receptive & Linguistics

BSL order is very different and sometimes we lack the awareness, vocabulary or receptive skill to get the full meaning of a phrase.

Often, it is crucial ‘non-verbal’ connectors that we fail to see. It results in us ‘missing the point’ despite understanding most of the signs. That is frustrating.

In this series of workshops we will completely dissect a range of video clips on various topics. This will increase your vocabulary and improve your receptive, linguistic and grammar skills. Each session will also focus on ‘sticking areas’ that students often struggle with – such as turn-taking convention, mouth pattern, aspect, tenses etc.

‘Improvers’ workshops are for signers of Levels 2, 3, and 4. Each session lasts 2 hours and are £20.00 each. This is discounted to £15.00 per session if you book five or more.

Students will be issued with a certificate of attendance to use towards Continued Professional Development (CPD)

Workshop Pricing
£20.00 per workshop
£15.00 if you book five or more workshops

Fees are payable before the start of the workshop.

For more information and to book a place you can also contact us on Text: 07989 017945 or telephone: 01428 751561 or email us at bsl@dotsignlanguage.co.uk.

Workshop 1 - How the use of 'Aspect' changes the meaning of verbs in BSL

Topic: Employment

Guildford

WHEN: TBC

VENUE: TBC

Description
Fluent signers use far less signing because their use of ‘Aspect’ is extensive. For example, did a person wait a short time for the bus, an average length of time or did they have an horrifically long and annoying wait? This is all shown by ‘Aspect’. In the workshop we will examine a video clip based on the topic of ‘Employment’. We will examine all the grammar and vocabulary – paying particular attention to ‘Aspect’.

Workshop 2: The use of the information structure in BSL - 'Topic-comment'

Topic: Home Life

Guildford

WHEN: TBC

VENUE: TBC

Description
Deciphering a BSL phrase can be tricky, especially when everything appears to be ‘back-to-front’! The structure of a phrase/sentence in BSL can be very different from English Language. BSL has a Topic-Comment-Structure. You need to identify the topic of the conversation and then what is happening to it, only then can you appreciate the full meaning of the sentence which is being signed. We will examine a video clip on the topic of ‘Deaf People’s Home Life’ looking at all the grammar and vocabulary paying particular attention how to use the topic-comment structure.


Workshop 3 - The use of space as part of BSL Grammar

Topic: Education

Guildford

WHEN: TBC

VENUE: TBC

Description
Verbs move through it; it is a defined size; it can be syntactic or topographic…..we are talking about BSL Sign Space. All the signs are made in the set ‘signing space’ and, depending on the meaning, will be within Syntactic Space and/or Topographic Space as well as conforming to Spatial Hierarchy. In this session we will examine a video clip on the topic of ‘Deaf Education History’ looking at the signs and vocabulary paying attention to the use of space and how this use affects the meaning of signs.

Workshop 4 - How to use connectors in BSL sentence construction

Topic: Daily Living

Guildford

WHEN: TBC

VENUE: TBC

Description: Did she just nod or was she using a Connector?
In English Language we verbalise our connectors, for example ‘if..but..as well…also’ etc. However, connectors as such do not exist in the same way in BSL but they are still required to create complete sentences. They are demonstrated by pauses, head nods and Non Manual Features (NMF). Can you recognise these BSL connectors or are you missing them? In this session we will look not only at all the signs, but also at the subtle body movements and Non Manual features  – everything that tells us about a relationship or link between ideas. The video clip for your vocabulary learning will be based on the topic of ‘Daily Living’ and throughout the clip we will be focusing on connectors.


Worshop 5 - The use of mouth patterns in BSL - to use or not to use?

Topic: Gadgets

Guildford

WHEN: TBC

VENUE: TBC

Description
Mouthings are related to the vocabulary of spoken English, the mouth makes the shape of the English word.  Mouth gestures are different, they have complex morphology and are used to clarify comments, productive signs or verbs. They do not fit in with an English mouth pattern. Although BSL has borrowed from English, there are times when it isn’t possible to sign and speak simultaneously. There are times when you are expected to use mouth pattern and times when it is inappropriate whilst signing. Mouth patterns produced in BSL are an independent part of BSL phonology. In the workshop we will be looking at a video on the topic of ‘Flashing Light Doorbells’. We will focus on identifying all the mouth patterns made during the video clip, why they were made and what they mean.

Workshop 6 - The use of role shift and eye gaze

Topic: Communication

Guildford

WHEN: TBC

VENUE: TBC

Description: What are you looking at?
If you are marking the past and the future you are going to look from the side to directly ahead; if a question is rhetorical – you can’t look at the person you are talking to as this signals turn taking. In some signs eye gaze is obligatory, for example, what is the difference between ‘boss’ and ‘God’? But also, it tells us where people/referents are, indicates a 2nd or 3rd party and indicates role shift. Can you ensure people know the difference between you as ‘narrative’ and you playing another character in your story? Ultimately – where you are looking is crucial in BSL. You need to recognise it in others and replicate it yourself. For your vocabulary and receptive learning we will be looking at a video clip on the topic of ‘Communication’. Throughout we will be looking at eye-gaze and establishing what they are looking at, why, and what this means.


Workshop 7 - The use of 'tag questions' depending on facial expression

Topic: Consumers

Guildford

WHEN: TBC

VENUE: TBC

Description
Which non-manual signs means what? How is an eyebrow supposed to look? What shape is my mouth supposed to be? Where are my shoulders positioned to make a question out of a statement? Fluent BSL users turn statements into questions by adding ‘tags’ combined with NMF. If you miss the tag – you’ve missed the point. We will examine a video clip on the topic of ‘Consumer Issues’ identifying all the signs and vocabulary paying particular attention to the use of tag questions.

Workshop 8 - Past, present and future - the use of tense in BSL

Topic: Deaf Culture

Guildford

WHEN: TBC

VENUE: TBC

Description: Up, Down and all around!
English has three tenses: Past, Present and Future. However, some languages like Chinese do not use tenses at all. BSL is one of these languages. Looking sideways can mark time, as can look down or can look straight ahead. These important time markers are often missed by BSL learners as they are concentrating on the ‘signs’ and not the non-manual features which are more difficult to spot. In the session we will examine a video clip on the topic of ‘Deaf Culture’. We will be specifically looking at how past, present, and future are indicated in BSL.


Workshop 9 - Conditional, subjunctive, affirmation and negative - identifying Moods

Topic: Deaf Culture

Guildford

WHEN: TBC

VENUE: TBC

Description: Is he sad about something or saying no?
What is a conditional clause and how do you show it? Did you shake your head to respond to a ‘Yes-No’ question to negate a phrase or to express regret? What is the difference between ‘no, none, never, nothing, nobody, not yet, won’t, shan’t, why not, not bad…’ etc. Are you looking at conditional, subjunctive; affirming or negating moods? What are they, how do you recognise them and how do they change meaning? For vocabulary and receptive learning we will be examining a video clip on the topic of ‘Deaf Culture’. We will be focusing throughout on how to use and identify the various moods in BSL.

Workshop 10 - Conversational turn-taking conventions - how to take turns

Topic: Deaf Schools

Guildford

WHEN: TBC

VENUE: TBC

Description: Is it my turn?
Is she just staring at me or relinquishing her turn? Many languages and cultures have different turn-taking rules and BSL is no exception. But what are the rules? When is it my turn? Am I interrupting? Am I being rude? How will my conversation partner know when it is her/his turn? We can think of turn-taking in conversations in the same way as turn-taking when playing a game of Snakes and Ladders. For vocabulary we are going to examine a video clip on the topic of ‘Deaf Schools’. We will be specifically looking at which non-manual features are used to indicate when a person has finished signing, is inviting the other person to sign or is preventing them from joining in.


More New Workshops starting in February 2018