International Sign

International Sign

Upcoming courses:
To be confirmed - apply now to join waiting list
Last Updated: 15-02-22
At a glance:
Beginners (A1)
Taught by a native ASL signer
10 weeks
2 hours/week
Online course

£500 (inc. VAT)

Course content

The aim of this course is to introduce learners to the principles of International Sign (IS). Crucially, International Sign is not considered a language; the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) defines IS as “a contact variety of sign language used in a variety of contexts, particularly in international meetings such as the WFD congress and events such as the Paralympics [...]. It can be seen as a pidgin form of sign language, which is not as conventionalised or complex as natural sign languages and has a limited lexicon”.

This course focuses on the skills needed to communicate effectively with people who use another signed language, e.g. deaf people who have immigrated to the UK from other countries, communicating with deaf people abroad etc. There is an emphasis on developing language skills to be able to communicate more visually, drawing on common grammatical features across signed languages such as signing space, classifiers, productive lexicon and non-manual features.

The course is delivered fully online through Zoom. Your teacher will use a variety of teaching and learning methods to cater for all learning styles and to meet the needs of all learners. The course is designed to be fun, engaging and meaningful and will give you the opportunity to practise your productive and receptive skills by means of group work, pair work, role-plays, games, presentations and discussions.

The course is designed for people who are already fluent in one other signed language, e.g. BSL. This course is not suitable for people who are learning a signed language for the first time (please see our Level 1 BSL course).


There are no assessments for this course.

Entry Requirements

You must already be fluent in a signed language (e.g. at least Level 3 BSL) but you do not need any formal qualifications.


Learning International Sign can bring great benefits to widening your understanding and exposure to deaf communities around the world, facilitate international travel and networking and learning more about the grammar and etymology of signed languages.

If you are a professional sign language interpreter, learning International Sign may help you to develop your non-manual features, vocabulary, productive lexicon and receptive skills. It may also help you to communicate with deaf service users from other countries with limited proficiency in your working signed language(s).

After you complete this course, you can progress on to further training in International Sign. WFD and WASLI have an International Sign accreditation process for deaf and hearing signed language interpreters:

Dates and times

To be confirmed


Total: £500 (inc. VAT)

£250 deposit required to reserve your place.

BSL First LTD | Company number: 12860304 | VAT number: 379905441
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