University of Edinburgh

British Sign Language (BSL) Acquisition and Assessment of Deaf Children

Presented on Friday, 28th August 2015


This two-part workshop provided participants with an opportunity to examine and discuss a range of practical and theoretical issues related to BSL acquisition and assessment of deaf children.

Part 1 explored individual differences in (sign) language acquisition and/or different conditions in which language is acquired and developed by deaf children. Attendees learned about current research involving BSL and children.

Part 2 focused on the challenges related to assessing signing deaf children. Attendees had an opportunity to get some hands on experience with the latest assessments available for BSL.

In addition, findings from a recent study that used dynamic language assessment procedures with signing deaf children were presented and discussed.

Target Audience

Teachers of the Deaf, Educational Psychologists, Speech & Language Therapists, and all other professionals who have an interest in BSL and work with children with a hearing loss.


Dr Wolfgang Mann, Senior Lecturer in Special and Inclusive Education, University of Roehampton


10.30 am BSL acquisition and development(pdf)

11.45 am BSL assessment - a look at available tests

1.30 pm Hands-on session with two online BSL assessments (Web-based British Sign Language Vocabulary Test (BSL-VT) External site)

2.15 pm Dynamic assessment with deaf children

3.15 pm Summary

3.30 pm Course Evaluations