Lesson 6

English Notes
BSL Video

This is lesson six of the framework, which, as the content column shows, provides information relating to food and drink. In the adjacent linguistic content column, you will find a large amount of linguistic information relating to the topic of food and drink. This includes the articulation of yes/no questions, such as SOME FOOD WOULD YOU LIKE? or A DRINK WOULD YOU LIKE? and WH-questions, which are different to yes/no questions, such as EAT/DRINK YOU WOULD LIKE WHAT? Discourse relating to food and drink also involves the use of referencing, as the student must point to various locations in the signing space to refer to items previously placed; for example, the use of referencing in the question CHILDREN WOULD YOU LIKE THAT ICE-CREAM? 

The linguistic content column also provides syntactic information, such as the ordering of question structures. For example, the question 'What would you like to eat?' would be structured with the question marker in the final position instead of at the beginning of the clause, i.e. FOOD YOU WOULD-LIKE WHAT?. This adheres to the topic-comment structure of British Sign Language, where the topic (FOOD) appears before the comment (YOU WOULD-LIKE WHAT?). This structuring of syntax is also accompanied by specific facial expressions, such as the raising or furrowing of the eyebrows, which add specific information to the clause. Non-manual features also provide information relating to the manner with which a proposition occurs, such as eating greedily and hurriedly or eating slowly and with finesse, or eating continually or just taking a quick bite. There are many ways to articulate information relating to food, depending upon the context of the clause, and students need to learn to produce signs according to the context. British Sign Language is a very rich language and provides a wealth of information in each proposition. 

When exchanging information about food, it is also important that the correct mouth patterns are used, as this is a non-manual feature that is used to provide information complementary to the manual signs. For example, when signing about eating a lot of food, the mouth patterns would be large and exaggerated; when signing about having a small amount of food, minimal mouth patterns would be used. Similarly, subtle mouth patterns would be used when describing a person picking carefully at fine foods, and exaggerated mouth patterns would be used alongside the manual signs for GORGING. The mouth patterns aid the reflection of the attitude of the person and of the amount of food being eaten. 

The correct use of classifiers is also important in this area. For example, specific 'handling and grasping' classifiers are used to indicate the size and shape of the food being picked up. In the case of food that is long and thin being handled, the classifier representing this shape would be used, and it would be unusual to see a hand-shape representing the picking up of large, rounded objects being used to pick up delicate foods. A very young child grabbing the delicate food carelessly would use this classifier, but it would not be appropriate for an adult to use it to indicate picking up small pieces of food, unless you were using it specifically to show that the adult grabbed at the food in an inappropriate manner. It is important that the appropriate classifier is used that reflects the manner in which the food is picked up. The correct classifier hand-shapes must also be used with signs related to drinks, such as the handling classifier that represents a delicate cup being picked up in CUP OF TEA. This may change to indicate the hand-shape used when picking the teacup up in a rush, or the more rounded classifier hand-shape representing the handling of a mug may be used. A different classifier would be used to indicate the handling of a champagne flute, as there are many different classifier hand-shapes relating to drinks.

The next column of the framework contains the cultural content, and this provides information about Deaf people's experiences of eating out, such as the way that Deaf people use pointing and gestures when ordering from a menu in a restaurant or a burger place. It is also vital that Deaf people sit opposite each other at a table, and they find it very uncomfortable if they are seated next to each other. So, you will need to explain about the way that Deaf people need to have no obstructions on the dining table so that they can see each other clearly; they also need to be seated opposite each other, at a distance that is not too close but not too far away, so that they can sign to each other comfortably.

The final column provides a list of the learning outcomes that the students will be expected to learn, and this is a useful reference for you as a teacher. You do not need to use all of the information provided in this lesson plan, and the learning outcomes are there to help you to check that you have covered all of the topics under this section. You will then know that the students have learnt a sufficient amount of information that they can use out in the community.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.