terptree: terptree's Kerrie has started a Level 1 BSL course - follow her learning journey.....

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Monday, 30 September 2013

terptree's Kerrie has started a Level 1 BSL course - follow her learning journey.....

Kerrie has started learning BSL!

terptree's very own Kerrie has started a Level 1 BSL and over the next 9 months, she will be sharing her learning experiences with you through our blog.

I am sure that you will find her up-dates enjoyable and those who have been through this process already will be able to relate to a lot of what you will read.


This is my first blog about being a Level 1 BSL student (I am so excited to be able to call myself that!).  I’m now on week 3 of the course so I’ll give you a quick recap on weeks 1 and 2 first…

Week 1 was fantastic, I really enjoyed it and our Teacher Suzanne Smith is just brilliant! It was a great introduction. I have been practising my finger spelling as much as possible, for example whenever I’m in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil, I’ll be fingerspelling ‘cup’ ‘tea’ ‘coffee’ ‘sugar’ etc. It is the vowels that I seem to struggle with, which is strange as I thought they would be the easiest as they are so straight forward but I keep getting them muddled up when I get a bit ahead of myself and try to go too fast! Need to remember to slow down.

I missed week 2 as I was at the terptree Communication Professionals event in London – and what a fab event it was! Everyone who came along was so lovely and each time I told someone that I had just started level 1 they seemed genuinely excited for me. Pretty much everyone said it won’t be long before I get the bug and want continue onto level 2, I already think they could be right.

So here we are at Week 3. At first I felt a little behind, it was clear that everyone else in the class had grown in confidence in the week that I had missed, but Suzanne gave us a big recap of week 2 and I soon caught up. She also very kindly started at the opposite end of the room to me when she was going along asking us questions so that I was the last to answer and could watch the other members of the group before answering myself!

It feels like we have covered a lot in these first few weeks. One thing I was pretty pleased with myself about this week is when we were discussing our families, Suzanne asked me if I had any brothers or sisters. I was able to tell her that I have two sisters and give her their names, I also told her that they are twins. Suzanne had shown us the sign for twins (she is a twin herself) when telling us a bit about herself in week 1 so I had made a mental note of that one in case we ever discussed families!

Victoria (terptree Victoria) and Suzanne had both said that the best way to learn is by teaching someone else. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to teach my two young children BSL as they are complete beginners like myself and it would be an amazing skill for them to have at such a young age. In the short amount of time that I have spent teaching them, my four year old son can already sign ‘My name K-I-E-R-A-N’ perfectly so I am a very proud Mum right now. My stubborn little daughter had point blank refused to let me show her at first but suddenly became interested having seen the praise her brother is getting. Little minx. She is getting there with her name (Nyah) now although she finds the Y quite hard but she puts a lot of effort in the H, it’s definitely her favourite letter! Bless her. I think when I pick them up later on today I will show them colours and days of the week.

Apart from teaching the kids the odd bit, I have also been using the Spread Signs app when practising at home, which has been really useful and I can make sure I am getting the signs right, rather than just trying to do it from memory. Suzanne has been giving us handouts with the words we have covered during the lesson so I use those to give me an idea of what signs to look up and practise instead of being tempted to look up the rude words ;-)

More to come from Kerrie throughout her course.....

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