Good morning people!
This is just an update about how my second BSL exam went this Monday.
I got to class about half an hour early, and ended up waiting in this lounge area, which is down the corridor from my class, and is where most of us normally wait if we arrive early or are having a break. I saw one of my classmates there, and we started signing to each other, asking how each other’s weekends were, and if we were ready for the exam.
Other people trickled in to the lounge, and then people started bringing out bsl (British sign language) books out and actually it was kind of funny, because there was a moment when this lady was asking about this other ladies’ partner, and the sign for partner is a bit similar to the sign for prison/prisoner, and both of those signs are not too far off from exam. 🙂
So five minutes before class I started making my way down the corridor to our classroom (408) and our tutor beckoned us in. We went over some tips, and then we partnered up to have general conversations (in bsl of course). We’d sign, then swap partners. And sign again.
It was pretty cool I think, especially if you think about the fact that in October when we first started, fingerspelling our names was an achievement, not to talk of carrying out a lengthy conversation about your family, or what you got up to during your grocery trip.
After that, our tutor wrote out the times are exams would be at, next to the list of our names. (Half of our class had already completed their exam that morning). I think I was third to last to be examined. We all headed back to the lounge and tried to figure out what three topics we’d get to choose from.
Basically we’d had five possible topics that we’d be recorded signing with our tutor on, and of those five three were chosen by the signature body (and sent to our tutor) then of those three, when we each went in for the exam we’d choose one topic to have a conversation on for five minutes.
When the lady before me went in I was feeling a little bit nervous, so instead of waiting in the lounge, I went and sat outside our classroom, where it was dark because the automatic lights shut off when there’s no motion detected along the corridor.
I just sat there and breathed quietly steadying myself, and said a little prayer. When it was my turn to go in I stood up feeling a bit less nervous. My tutor had me put my signature by my name (so the examiners would be able to mark my video) and choose a topic from the list of three. The first topic was, “how do you spend your free time and weekends”. I can’t remember what the third one was because when I saw the second topic, “describe your friends or family”, I think I stopped reading the list. I could do this!
I finger spelled my full name to the camera, and signed my chosen topic, and then had a 5 minute 17 second long conversation with my tutor. I remember signing sad incorrectly.
Instead of having my pinky finger facing outward and my thumb facing inward, I got a bit frazzled and had my pinky finger facing inward and my thumb facing out ward. Other than that though I think I did alright.
I used my face (non manual features) to lend expression to my signs, I showed productive and receptive skills, and it was a good conversation in that not only did I answer questions, but I asked them too, giving appropriate responses to the consequent answers. I think I did pretty well, here’s to hoping the results reflect that 🙂
Thanks for reading