Lesson 8

English Notes
BSL Video

This is lesson eight, which is about describing individuals: family members and other people. In the contents column of the framework you will find information related to the descriptions of people that are required for this lesson. The descriptions should be based on visual features, and should describe people in as much detail as possible. Students should learn to describe a person's individual features, such as bushy hair or long hair, or a thin moustache, or a dimple in the cheek. 

The next column is the linguistic content column, and this provides details of the linguistic features that you will need to teach in relation to this topic. There are the essential Non Manual Features: for example, the specific mouth patterns and facial expressions needed to describe a person who is tall or very chubby or skinny, and the furrowed brow, etc., which provide even more emphasis and detail. These are the specific linguistic features you need to teach the students to enable them to describe people.

Next is the cultural content column, in which you will find cultural information relating to the way that Deaf people describe other people. Deaf people have a tendency to remember the visual, physical details about a person, and then to recall these when describing the person. They also use these visual ‘labels’ to give sign names to people. Deaf people may be very direct in their descriptions of other people, which is a cultural feature of BSL: big hooked nose, or really, really fat. This directness may seem like rudeness, but it is not; it is simply the visual way that Deaf people remember and describe other people. It is important that you explain this to your students: they will be able to absorb this aspect of Deaf culture, which they need to understand in order to acquire the skills for describing people.

The final column provides the learning outcomes that students will be expected to achieve in order to be able to describe people in a culturally appropriate way once they are out in the community. This will also provide a list for the teacher, to ensure that you have covered all of the aspects of this lesson and have provided enough information for students to be able to describe people. Do remember that this framework is only a guide, and is not meant to be followed to-the-letter. You may select and use as much of it, or as little of it, as you wish, and adapt it to suit your own situation.

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