Lesson 7

English Notes
BSL Video


The first column of this programme shows the topic of "Famous Deaf People". The next column, Linguistics Content, should include information about the sign names of famous Deaf people throughout history. The process of giving the BSL sign name first and finger-spelling the full name in English second needs to be highlighted. However, if the person does not have a sign name, then their name should be finger-spelt, providing initial information of whether the person is male or female. Providing this information first is helpful in avoiding confusion, especially when the finger-spelling is rapid. An example of the first method could be the sign name using the middle finger of each hand tapped onto the palm of the other hand and lip-pattern for paddy, followed by finger-spelling PADDY LADD. Referencing the person by pointing to a specific location, which allows them to be referred to later in the conversation, is important, particularly when a number of people are being referred to. Other linguistic aspects which should be included in the session are: location, to clarify who is being talked about when making a comparison between people; a description of the person using clear classifiers; facial expression. A description of Paddy Ladd might include HAIR, LONG, WHITE; another person may have lank hair, a beard or moustache etc. Clear, accurate hand-shapes are an integral part of this type of description.

The next column is the Cultural Content of this session and there are many more details available relating to cultural aspects, such as sign names, whether the person is hearing or Deaf and the cultural norms of each group when providing names on our website, together with many stories. These can be accessed by clicking on Cultural Content.

The last column shows the expected learning outcomes for this session. Students should be observed participating in discussions and asking for explanations, as they seek to learn more about Deaf people. How the student relays that information to others can be assessed by giving the students information relating to a range of Deaf people, and then asking each one to choose their favourite person and explain why. This exercise allows the tutor to check the linguistic content, such as facial expression and referencing. 


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