University of Edinburgh

British Sign Language Immersion Weekend

Friday 13 Sunday 15 June 2008 (Residential)

Course evaluation summary

Number of Participants: 17
Number of Respondents: 17

Overall Assessment: 

How will you use what you have learned in the activities you selected (please specify which ones these were)?
Conversational skills and describing skills and new vocabulary. (Museum of childhood and Zoo).
I have a better understanding of BSL and feel I can give a more informed choice to parents of newly diagnosed deaf children. I will be able to use BSL a little more accurately when working with pupils and can explain how to transcribe into signed English or SSE or the written.  Vocabulary extension has been a real plus too and learning other signs for same word.
Overall improvement of my signing. Better understanding of classifiers, organisation of signing space and order of details from general to specific in giving information or telling story.
Shopping Tour, Deaf History Tour. Practising BSL and learning new signs and ways of using them can only improve my own signing with clients.
As basis for further development and practice, descriptions of objects etc, using structures set out in Museum workshop.
Visited the museum. Tour showed students how to explain objects, how to start, position of person going into detail. Made the exercise fun and interesting. Thought the tutors were great interacting with students at all times. Deaf Heritage Tour gave great knowledge of dedicated people to the deaf in the past up until now. All tutors knowledge is firstclass.
Museum of Childhood, Deaf Heritage Tour. To enhance vocabulary and grammar.
Museum and Tour. Museum - excellent learning environment. Well thought out and informative.  Helped clarify a lot of misunderstandings. Tour - excellent info. Would be good to have John do tours for secondary pupils. I'm sure they would find it most interesting.  Could that be arranged annually - would ensure deaf pupils had opportunity to do Deaf Studies to some degree?
My first activity was 'Shopping' with Beth Harte. I learned how to describe and sign about clothing items in a different way, and I also learned some new vocabulary, which I will remember and use in the future. In the afternoon I was on 'Deaf History Tour' with John Hay, which was excellent. It was very interesting and he was very knowledgeable and I will go and read more about it when I’m home.
Deaf Tour - John Hay, very interesting, really knowledgeable, would probably read more info. Showed and discussed lots of things about Edinburgh - really enjoyed tour. Zoo - Tracey and Christine - Both really nice girls helped to improve my use of BSL and descriptions of animals.
Zoo - my class will be studying animals next term - we will probably go to the zoo. Museum of Childhood - general signing, descriptions. Class topic next term - things from the past.
Shopping - will practise clarifying signs (describing objects). Deaf Heritage Tour - Very interesting and informative (knowledge may be of use for upper school).
Very good morning with Ronnie - learned lots of grammar points and order. Also will use these to explain DVD sign stories with my pupil.
My skills have globally improved which will impinge on my teaching - more vocab, better usage. It is difficult to keep skills up when isolated so this is great opportunity.

Be more aware of structure, grammar of BSL. Encourage BSL tutor to focus on this to embed skills.  Use this as a base for further development. (Shopping and Museum of Childhood).
John Hay (Tour) Zoo (Tracey and Christine). Great to be with BSL signers and have great conversation that hopefully I will be able to pass on to everyone I meet.
Deaf Heritage Guided Tour - New vocabulary. Museum of Childhood - Refresher on BSL lip patterns and order of description of objects.

What was best about the course/event?
Ronnie Harte - Very clear presentation and made it make sense.
Learning so much in an enjoyable and meaningful way. Networking. The venue, meal out etc were all superb and it's been a real break. Been fantastic meeting such lovely deaf tutors on a social level too.
Quality of tutors, especially Ronnie Harte, and the manner in which the content was delivered. Excellent opportunities to see, practise, repeat. Good number of people/students to allow for different abilities and to give support to each other. Activities encouraged natural use of BSL, not artificial classroom situation, plus conversational signing. Also good to meet other BSL users and assess own ability/improvement especially when not in contact with many BSL users at work or home.
In two days I have been signing more than in the last three years - and with deaf people who had great BSL.
Interaction with other professionals. Tutors were well prepared. Welcome received.  Meal/socialising Saturday evening.
Tutors were excellent, made students feel at ease. Tutors were very patient when explaining things. Meeting people from other working backgrounds.
Meeting other post level 2 learners, getting to watch deaf BSL users for extended periods of time.
Relaxed environment. Well supported in activities by deaf tutors. Never made to feel inadequate when signing. Days well organised.
For me because I have a deaf son and work with deaf children I loved the Deaf Heritage Tour. I would like to see this weekend happening ever year with maybe different events because I found everything about it very enjoyable and valuable.
Generally being with BSL users was great opportunity to mix and improve on skills I already have.
Ronnie Harte!  Learned a lot in such a short space of time. Wish someone had told me rules when I started signing eg, general classifiers - specific - function. Brilliant!
Good opportunity to improve BSL skills in a relaxing environment.
Giving me confidence to try signing more opportunity to practise conversation in a relaxed way. Met lots of interesting people.
Immersion. Good quality role models. Organisation - obviously lots of planning had gone into it.
Museum of Childhood was excellent!! Mr Harte, very enthusiastic and excellent explanations of BSL "rules".
John Hay tour.
Meeting other sign language students who have different jobs to learn of their experiences.

How would you rate the following: Excellent = 1; Poor = 5

Enhancement to your expertise


Content and supplementary material


How would you rate the following: Excellent = 1; Poor = 5

Clarity of presentation


Pacing of course/event


What, if anything, could have been improved about the course?
I think it would be of benefit to have more voice off time but this would be difficult to enforce.
Only thing is on the zoo trip, the learning experience wasn't as good. More vocab exercise.  However, very relaxed and enjoyable.
Felt that visit to Zoo was a lost opportunity. Compared to morning visit to Museum not structured, basically turned into vocabulary exercise. Both Catherine and Tracey friendly, pleasant, approachable but no effective teaching or reinforcement of BSL features.
Maybe a bit less "walking" the next time. But I loved signing in locations.
Friday evening finish a little late after working all day.
Nothing, the course was well organised. I thought that for the first time it ran smoothly and everyone was catered for.
Perhaps a wider range of attendees and more group activities on Saturday.
Tour too long and difficult if weather is poor - holding umbrellas, bags and trying to sign.
Maybe accessing more activities.
Friday night was very intense after working all day but it was good.
Shopping trip to be more structured - spent more time wandering about than signing - maybe offer a different activity instead.
Nothing really.
More time as usual. Maybe less content to give more time.
Friday night ran very late, very difficult to stay focused, especially after day's work.
I really liked being outdoors - this is the first time I have been on a course like this.
I would like to see some fingerspelling practice (receptive) or better still, a separate course for this skill.

Any other comments regarding the course?
Well planned and organised. Excellent!
When's the next one - I'll come again! How about other 'free' venues around the city - galleries, gardens etc, - if this would keep the cost down. Found signing around venue fantastic to encourage joint focus. Wine lovely idea/welcome at Friday meal but not expected - another possible cost cutter?
Meeting other students and finding the quality of their signing and fingerspelling. It gives me incentive to improve.
Great weekend. Well done Eileen! Thank you - thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope to have a follow up.
Restaurant was fantastic on Saturday evening. Had a great time in general and very impressed with tutors.
A most enjoyable way to improve my communication skills in a real setting.
As time for lunch became short a list of reasonable restaurants close to Moray House would have been useful. Or may be arrange a packed lunch?
Thoroughly enjoyed weekend - very useful mixing and meeting other deaf adults/BSL users.
We had to get funding from Deaf and Dumb Society in Glasgow. Not sure if we could get again,  but I could not afford to pay myself.
I thought all the presenters were very patient and supportive, even in their free time. If cost is too high for future courses, I would be happy to provide own accommodation, meals etc, or only stay one night, or one day course.

Location and Venue

Convenient location for this course: No Response 8; Yes 9; No

Excellent = 1; Poor = 5

Convenience of venue


Quality of venue


Likely to attend if venue was used again:No Response 1; Likely 16; Less Likely

Outcomes Assessment

If you are a teacher, how would you rate this course in relation to the following "Chartered Teacher Standard" components:
Very useful = 1; not useful = 5

your professional values and personal commitment


your professional knowledge and understanding


your professional and personal attributes