Lesson 4

English Notes
BSL Video


This is lesson number four, and it discusses all about how we make bookings and reservations. You’ll see on the framework that there are several columns: one of these has the ‘Linguistics content’ – so, what does that contain? Well, for example, there is the use of spatial and directional verbs: I BOOK [with you] or YOU BOOK [with me]; similarly, RESERVE [here] or RESERVE [there]. The use of placement is important; also essential are intensity of facial expression and other Non-Manual Features (NMF) to show, say, the difference between BOOK-MUST [Impatient]! and BOOK-URGENT [desperate]! The face and the NMF you use help to show the meaning more clearly.

In the Cultural Content column you will find essential information about the Deaf cultural aspects of making bookings and reservations. This is a communal thing: Deaf people get together to make bookings and reservations and set off in groups for different things. Getting together is a real event – Are you coming with us? Have you booked? No, not yet… This may be making group reservations for a meal out in a restaurant, or it could be booking a holiday together with a host of other Deaf people. Sometimes difficulties crop up. How can we book? – Oh no, there’s a problem: we have to phone up, so we must use a voice- phone. So, we need to call an interpreter to make the call with us. When Deaf people want to book a train ticket ourselves, we have to go through a lot of gesturing, writing things down – a really tiresome process. These things are all part of the Deaf cultural experience that contributes to sign language. Language is linked to culture, and here we see how it works when making bookings and reservations.

You will see that the last column contains ‘Learning Outcomes’. This means that, when Lesson Four is finished, there are certain things the students should know and have achieved. One thing you must remember is that these notes are only guidelines: we don’t expect you to follow them word-for-word. You may take parts out and add things of your own, and adapt as necessary to make it appropriate to what you need.

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