Coleg Llandrillo is the only centre in the UK to provide a brand new and innovative teacher training course for sign teachers, delivered in British Sign Language!

The Institute of British Sign Language (BSL) Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training for Sign Language Teachers, is a 2-year, part-time course which is delivered at the college's multimillion pound University Centre at Coleg Llandrillo (UCCL), which was built in partnership with Bangor University.

All students on the British Sign Language course are deaf teachers, and their contribution to the education of deaf people is particularly valuable. The course integrates cutting-edge research with tutor expertise, to develop skilled, knowledgeable and critical teachers.

One of the students, Bethan Hughes from Llandudno, said:

I am finding this course really interesting and I'm excited to learn more as I go along, and hopefully I will soon be qualified in teaching.

Coleg Llandrillo BSL tutor David Duller, who is also deaf, said:

In 1995 I had the opportunity to go to Durham University where I was taught BSL for the first time in my life. There has been no similar course for many years, meaning that young 18 to 30-year-old deaf people have missed out. I have had 25 years' experience as a sign language teacher and would like to pass on my knowledge to others, so that our language and culture can continue to thrive.

Paula Jones, Coleg Llandrillo's BSL and Deaf Studies Coordinator, said:

The course is completely different to the educational standard, as it is delivered in the learners' own language, so they have no need for an interpreter. The college envisages that the course will eventually become a distance learning qualification over the internet, having a great potential to go nationwide.

British Sign Language was recognised by the government as a language in its own right in March 2003. BSL is the first or preferred language of an estimated 70,000 Deaf people in the UK. Like any spoken language such as French or Spanish it takes time and practise to learn and use British Sign Language (BSL) fluently. BSL is broken down into different levels and can be learnt through a variety of courses, from basic introductory courses to recognised qualifications like an NVQ and even as an honours degree.

For more information on British Sign Language or Deaf Studies courses at Coleg Llandrillo, contact the college's Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.