British sign language is the most popular and most used sign language in the UK. Learning BSL has a number of benefits. BSL makes use of three-dimensional space and hand movements for effective communication for deaf and dumb people. The British Sign Language is really popular because it even has its own vocabulary. To give you an idea of how popular BSL is, it is the second most spoken language in Britain after English! You were not expecting that were you!? So, learning the British Sign language is like learning a second language.
The UK has more than 11 million people who have some form of hearing difficulty. That is, one in six people have a hearing problem in the UK. Hence, learning BSL is one of the best things you can do to stay ahead of the curve. Obtaining a mastery over BSL opens up a wide array of career opportunities for you. You can be a translator or an interpreter and you’ll also considerably build up your confidence. The best and easiest way to learn BSL is through online courses. They are concise and to the point and you can also do them wherever you want, whenever you want.
We have listed the top 10 online BSL courses for you.
1. BSL: The Alphabet by Skillshare
This course is offered by skillshare. Skillshare is a subscription-based language platform that is really gaining popularity for it’ efficient and engaging online courses. This is an introductory course. It is perfect for all the students who are just entering into the world of BSL. The course gives you a detailed introduction to all the alphabets of BSL. The course is taught by Ethan Gray who is a well known and experienced linguist. Gray has been working with BSL for years. The class is taken in a very simple way and maintains a slow pace to make sure that the alphabets are registered in the minds of the students. The course contains a total of 31 lessons. But even thought the number of lessons is high, you can finish the whole set in about an hour and by that time you will be familiar with every alphabet in BSL. The course also provides a variety of opportunities and exercises to help you use the alphabets. You will also get a alphabet guide booklet with the course.
2. Breakthrough BSL by Udemy
Breakthrough BSL is a paid course offered by Udemy. Udemy has been around for a while and they have established a good reputation as an amazing online learning website with courses with top class content. Their courses can be a little pricey though. This course is specially crafted for beginners who have just started learning BSL. The course is well structured and manages to teach most of the fundamentals in under one hour. The course is taught by Olly Richards who is a BSL expert and has helped thousands of students master the language. The whole course is divided into 4 modules with over 26 video lessons that explain all the basics of BSL including alphabets and numbers. The course also contains activities to help you expand your vocabulary. The course will set you back 18 USD, but it will be totally worth it and you will also get 13 downloadable resources.
3. BSL: Level 1 and 2 by John Academy
This course is a full fledged BSL course which starts off from the very basics to a lot more advanced and goes into a lot more advanced topic. If you are really into mastering BSL, this course is perfect for you. This course is offered by John Academy and you can find a lot of linguistic courses taught by experts. The BSL course is also led by a team of certified experts. The materials and the resources provided in the course is simple and easily understandable. You will start off with the basics like alphabets and numbers and then moves on to dialogues, greetings, travel etc. The course offers a solid 8 hours of video content. You will also receive a level 1 and level 2 certificate after the successful completion of the course.
4. Courses by Introducing British Sign Language
Introducing British Sign Language is another beginner level course that is offered by the British-sign.co.UK which is a popular learning platform that specialises in accredited BSL courses. The course is apt for students who want to use BSL in everyday situations like school and work. You can take one year to understand and learn everything in this course and to master the BSL language. The course has a one-year validity. The syllabus is taught by a bunch of experts who have been teaching BSL for a long time and the classes are engaging and fun for the learners. You will learn the fundamentals of fingerspelling, numbers, time, money colour and many more. There will be assessment tests after every segment which will help you to understand where you stand and what you have to work on. After successful completion of your course, you will be awarded a completion certificated accredited by CPD. The total course has 10 lessons and they have a ‘pay what you can’ policy which makes it affordable for almost everyone.
5. Courses by BSL Courses
BSL courses takes a calculated deviation from the conventional methods of teaching BSL. If you are someone who shuns the traditional way of language and prefer to create your own method, then this course is for you. The learning through this website is completely customisable in a lot of ways and you can either take tutored courses or independent courses. You will also find courses for any level of learners, from beginner to super advanced. The website also provides a number of interactive and one-one courses that provides you certificates in various specific areas of the industry which will help you a lot career wise. The website was created in 2010 and has since offered some of the most flexible BSL courses available online. You can also take bespoke courses that will help students prepare for upto Level 6 training. All of their courses are globally accredited.
6. Courses by Reed: British Sign Language
This is another basic course for students who have no experience with BSL and are just starting out learning the language. The course is short and to the point and covers all the fundamentals you’ll need to do more advanced courses later on. The course is offered by OfCourse, which is an online learning platform based in UK. The course contains all the basic topics of a BSL course like fingerspelling and vocabulary. The course has 2 hours of material which is enough to learn the basics. But this course is not suitable for advanced learners. Even though it doesn’t go very deep, the simplicity and efficiency of the course makes it a great beginner’s level experience.
7. Courses by Let’s Learn BSL
Lets learn BSL is one of the best courses you can find on YouTube to learn BSL. The video provides you with a really engaging and interactive experience even with the limitations of YouTube. There are a total of 10 lessons which you can watch and learn yourself. The biggest advantage is that it is YouTube. You can do it anytime and can pause mid lesson and take a break and do whatever you want. If you do not want to spend any money for learning BSL online, this series of videos might be perfect for you. But you will not be getting any certification because it’s basically YouTube videos. But if you put in just a little bit of effort, you will be able to cover all the fundamentals in a quick and free way.
8. Courses by School of Sign Language
School of sign language covers all the basics of BSL by providing free and simple content. The website also provides an interactive online learning program which is offered by Primary Sign. The website emphasises on the importance of learning the British Sign Language along with English and covers a wide range of topics like how to talk to a deaf person, numbers, alphabets, weather, sports and much more. The best part of this platform is that you can access the lessons anytime you want without even signing it. It is absolutely free for everyone and you can access it anytime. Their primary program has 4 plans with 4 different prices. These even include group plans and the costs range from 38USD to 210 USD.
9. Introduction to BSL by Royal Conservatory of Scotland
This course is offered by the Royal Conservatory of Scotland and is a complete course on British Sign Language for beginners. The course is quite long when compared to the other courses in this list but totally worth the time. The 10-week course has practical exercises and also group discussions which will help you learn the language faster and in a fun way too. You will get to interact with a lot of students who are pursuing BSL and that will develop some healthy competition too. Besides the fundamental topics like alphabets and numbers, the course will cover topics like introducing yourself, discussing your hobbies etc. The course is meant for students above 16 and the price of the course is 110 USD.
10. Courses by BSL Online
Bslonline.co.uk has a wide range of BSL courses for you to choose from. From an introductory course which they call the ‘Taster Course’ to more advanced bundles of content, the website had everything for anyone who wants to master BSL. The taster course has only 2 short lessons and 2 quick quizzes and you will also get a certificate of completion. The Level 1 Support course has 35 lessons with over 750 signs and 46 quizzes to test your progress. You can find courses to fit your wallet and you can get to mastering the British Sign Language.