Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide students with practical skills in British Sign Language (BSL).
  • By the end of this module the student will be able to participate successfully in BSL interactions, relating to everyday life in the Deaf community.


  • This module is designed to enable students to develop practical skills in the comprehension and production of BSL.
  • As such, the focus is on practical skills rather than explicit knowledge about the language.
  • During the first phase of the module, considerable emphasis will be placed on comprehension strategies, with tutors including 'Total Physical response' exercises in their classes.
  • The content of the language will relate primarily to everyday topics and topics related to Deaf culture and the Deaf Community.
  • Students will be expected to watch Deaf television programmes on a regular basis, read the 'popular' Deaf literature, and, in so far as possible, take part in Deaf activities and meet with Deaf people.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module students will have gained a basic knowledge of key linguistic aspects of British Sign Language (BSL):
  • location
  • sign order
  • tense and aspectual markers
  • role shift
  • non-manual features
  • multi-channel signs
  • classifiers
  • affirmative and negative forms
  • the role of fingerspelling in BSL
Subject-specific Skills:
  • be able to use BSL to express a range of functions including obtaining and giving information, discussing, explaining and describing
  • be able to understand and produce simple narratives in BSL
  • have a basic knowledge of the UK Deaf community
  • be able to take an external, nationally recognised basic examination in BSL administered by the Council of the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People or the Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters
Key Skills:
  • self directive language learning
  • targeted academic reading
  • cross cultural reading

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures
  • Language Classes

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 6 Two per term 1 hour 6
Language Classes 30 One per week 2 hours 60
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Practicals Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
comprehension 1 20%
comprehension 2 20%
skills production 1 20%
skills production 2 20%
conversation 20%

Formative Assessment:

12 practical BSL tasks

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University