Sign Language Week – free courses!

It’s Sign Language Week from 13th – 19th March, so we have decided to share some of the best reasonably priced and free sign language courses available.

Why learn sign language?

In the UK around 25,000 people communicate through sign language today. Learning sign language enables you to converse with family, friends and people at school or work who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Plus, if most adults in the UK learned to use sign language most of us would benefit at some point in our lives. A staggering 40% of people in the UK aged 50 and above have some degree of hearing loss which rises to 70% for the over 70s.

As well as being a practical, valuable skill, learning sign language is fun and it gives your brain a good work out!

What’s Sign Language Week?

Sign Language Week, organized by the British Deaf Association (BDA), celebrates the day that British Sign Language (BSL) was acknowledged as an official language. On 18th March 2003 legislation was passed in parliament to recognize BSL as an indigenous British Language.

The theme for Sign Language Week 2023 is ‘Protecting BSL’. It’s all about preserving this beautiful visual language for future generations.

Free sign language courses

Here are some sign language courses and videos that won’t cost you a penny!

Basics of British Sign Language

Basics of British Sign Language is a free course by British Sign Language expert Olly Richards, which teaches you the basics of BSL. This is a CPD accredited course so you will receive a certificate at the end.

You learn the alphabet, months of the year, days of the week, colours and animals. By the end of the course, you will be able to translate some words into BSL and hold basic conversations.

Bright BSL

Bright BSL is a free app that enables adults and children to learn sign language online at their own convenience. The instructors, Karen and Andrew, were both born deaf and have used BSL for most of their lives. They are qualified instructors with a real passion for sharing their skills.

Bright BSL is very simple to use. You learn sign language through quick, fun quizzes. To begin with, you match pictures of objects to video clips of Karen using BSL. You gradually build on your skills, until you can recognize and sign phrases and whole sentences.

This app is definitely an engaging and rewarding way to learn!

Learn Beginners BSL

Learn Beginners BSL is a series of free YouTube videos by Natasha Lamb and her sister Kelly-Ann who is deaf. The videos were made so young children could learn a new skill during lockdown. If you have a young child, you can learn sign language with them through activities and nursery rhymes.

There are 26 videos, and they are around 10-20 minutes long. You and your child will start by learning the alphabet and gradually be able to sign whole sentences.

School of Sign Language

On the School of Sign Language webpage there are links to some fantastic free videos. You can learn the alphabet, greetings, colours, days of the week, numbers, language relating to family and much more!

As you watch a video, we recommend pausing it at intervals to practise. It’s a good idea to watch just one or two videos a week so you have lots of time to practise what you’ve learnt before moving on.

Reasonably priced sign language courses

We have included these courses because they are run by experienced professionals and offer incredible value for money.

Pip Johns- British Sign Language Tutor

If you live in the Ely area, have a look at Pip John’s British Sign Language classes. She is a Deaf and British Sign Language user who runs in-person sign language classes for adults and children over 12.  

Pip has over 10 years’ experience teaching adults and she’s received many fantastic reviews. Her evening classes cost £60 for 5 weeks. It is worth following her Facebook page for the fantastic sign language tips and updates she shares.

If you are looking for CPD accreditation, offer a fantastic BSL course for beginners. The course is £15 for 16 hours, and you receive much more learning than you do with the free courses listed above.

You can study at your own pace over a period of up to two years. Most people complete the course in just a few months by dedicating between 1 and 2 hours a week on their studies.

Love learning with TutorMyKids

We hope our list of free sign language courses has inspired your family to get involved in Sign Language Week!

At TutorMyKids we are dedicated to igniting a love of learning that lasts a lifetime. We believe the best learning is active, fun and brings joy to people throughout their lives.

We offer home tuition in English, maths, sciences, humanities and languages to children in Cambridge, Ely, Huntingdon, Newmarket and the surrounding areas. Please get in touch for a chat: