Students chatting in Parkside building

A beginner’s guide to sign language for starting university

Looking to learn a new skill over the Summer? Why not try your hand - literally! - at sign language. You never know when it could come in handy to help a fellow student out if they're lost or in need of help, and it's a great way to find out a little about how British Sign Language (BSL) works and whether it's a skill you'd like to pick up fully.

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Clearing 2024

If you're considering your options for university this year, Clearing is a way for students to find the right course and university. Whether you aren't sure you'll meet your predicted grades, you've changed your mind about your firm choice, or you haven't applied yet, Clearing could be for you!

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[00:00:12] Jacob Hello. Hi, how are you?

[00:00:17] Emily I'm good, how are you?

[00:00:20] Jacob I'm excited. Birmingham City University is massive. I'm a little nervous.

[00:00:32] Emily Same, I'm nervous too. I'm deaf. I use sign language, and I also lip read a little

[00:00:44] Jacob I know some sign and I've done some deaf awareness. I'll try to sign.

[00:00:56] Emily Great. Where are you from?

[00:01:01] Jacob I'm from l o n d o n. London. And the sign is this [signs for London]

[00:01:10] Emily Ah London, yep.

[00:01:13] Jacob Where are you from?

[00:01:15] Emily I'm from Liverpool.

[00:01:18] Jacob Sorry. What's that sign?

[00:01:21] Emily Are this sign: l i v e r p o o l, Liverpool.

[00:01:32] Jacob Liverpool. Wow. OK, I'm thirsty. Do you want to go and get a drink?

[00:01:41] Emily Oh yes. I need a strong coffee.

[00:01:46] Jacob Yeah me too. Ready. Let's go.

[00:02:00] Emily [Speaker 2 repeats signs for the phrases used]. Hello. Are you new? Same. Nice to meet you. What's your name? I'm excited to be here at Birmingham City University. I'm a little bit nervous. I'm deaf, I use sign language and I read lips a little. I know a little bit of sign language and I've done a bit of deaf awareness. I will try and sign. Where are you from? I'm from London, you? I'm from Liverpool. Shall we go for coffee? Yeah, I need a strong coffee. Ready, let's go.