How a year has changed teaching BSL

In the space of 11 months, so much has changed for our team and how we offer our British Sign Language courses. We ran our last in-person BSL class back in Early-March 2020 and soon after that we went into National lockdown.

We knew we had to make some changes fast to accommodate our students. So, we set out to figure out how we can transition our BSL courses to online-based learning. The first thing we did was set up our BSL level 1 classes as zoom webinars and then we spent a few days recording our full BSL level 1 course into videos and got our tech team to figure out how this could be turned into an interactive online BSL course. Overall, I think we made a very smooth transition and managed to set up all that we set out to do.

I guess the point of this blog is to kind of give an update on how we’re doing and highlight the positives we’ve seen from all the changes.

Going fully online made us as a business relocate to a new office with faster internet speeds. As it was vital that we could run our BSL webinar classes as efficiently as possible. It was a big change for us, especially as we were used to having all our students learn with us in person and now, we had to see them all behind a screen. But as for many, this whole pandemic has made the use of Zoom, second nature to us.

The positives of change…

Moving to offer only Sign Language courses online, has for the first time allowed us to reach more students across the UK. We have students joining us from different parts of the UK like Scotland, Wales and amazingly we’ve had students join us from abroad, as far as Singapore. It’s a pleasure to have such a reach, especially knowing that we can make a larger impact for people who want to learn British Sign Language.

This move has also had other positive impacts, we have seen a reduction in our running costs. And with the new added ability to take on more students, this has allowed us to pass on the benefits by reducing the cost of our BSL Level 1 course. Which in turn will hopefully allow more people to join the journey to learn British Sign Language.

After a few initial months of confusion on how we could still offer BSL exams, as traditionally this is something which would be conducted in person only. We finally got some clarity from our accreditors and we also transitioned to online BSL exams, which was a relief as many of our students were ready to complete their BSL Level 1 and BSL Level 2 exams and received their BSL certificates.

One of our favourite positives is, seeing more families join in together to learn British Sign Language. It’s great to see families benefit from learning British Sign Language together.

We’ve also been able to better organise our BSL lessons, offering a more streamline teaching method which allows us to share screen and let students watch real exam videos and even take part in special BSL events where we have co-hosts joining in to teach BSL.
Another great benefit for our students is our ability to offer more classes per week and the option of allowing existing students to join as many of the sessions as they need in order to fully learn the contents of each lesson. So, a student can repeat their BSL lesson as revision by just joining into the next repeat lesson the following day or week.

BSL for all

What kind of started off as a confusing time for us, has transitioned into a positive outcome which has allowed us to teach more people British Sign Language than ever before.

With our newfound superpowers, we want to teach BSL to the whole world, lol.

If you’re keen to learn British Sign Language, sign up to any of our BSL Level 1 weekly courses and you get to do the first lesson for free before deciding if the course is for you. Join by yourself, join with a friend, join with the whole family. BSL is fun to learn and we promise you will have a great time on our course.  If you like binge learning, we even offer an Intensive BSL Level 1 Course.

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