Agnes Dyab (UK)

Agnes Dyab (UK)

Agnes Dyab was vice chair of BDA (British Deaf Association) and has vast experience in teaching, training, mentoring and coaching ranging all ages - BSL, Deaf Studies, and Deaf Adult Education at the national, European and international levels.


0.0/5 rating (0 votes)

What, in your opinion, are the strengths and weaknesses (area of improvement) of the current system of BSL teacher training in the UK?

Areas of improvement:

Firstly I feel that marketing/signposting of places to go for training is limited. There is not much information out there in regards to teaching training specifically related to BSL, and if you are not in the BSL community that could be more complex and it is normally by word of mouth.

The models of BSL training was run by BSLTA but now this is non-existent.

Those who have passed the course only have CTLLS/level 4 E&D, therefore meaning it is not a full qualification. This then means the potential of becoming a manager of a training department is limited because you need to have DTLLS/level 5 E&D or a PGCE/PCET. They would, therefore, have to go back to do a few more units using the RPL route.

It seems that people can be called BSL teachers and given jobs in this role but their employers are not always bothered if they have been through the appropriate training. This means that we do not have the same reputation and credibility as modern foreign language teachers.

Different awarding organisations have different procedures in place when checking that teachers have the correct qualifications for the position. In comparison to the background checks of assessors, IV’s and EV’s, the checks for teachers are lacking, which in turn affects monitoring and quality assurance. If you have BSL teacher training in place, how do the learners know if you are still the appropriate person for the job?


At the moment it seems that we have two Deaf led BSL teacher training centres available. Private training providers are now eligible for funding through SFA. The promotion of courses is spread through word of mouth making up for the lack of media and advertising.

Can you give us examples of ‘best practice’ in your country?

I was never a student of BSLTA, however, I have seen their resources and that to me was best practice, the only improvement needed is an update.

Can you tell us about the accreditation of sign language teachers in the UK?

There is no such thing as accreditation of BSL teachers in the UK, there is merely a breakdown of the qualifications needed. However, at Appa Training I always insist that potential learners understand the route of becoming a BSL teacher, for example, teacher training from level 3 PTLLS/BSL Sign Linguistics and CPPD. 

Can you tell us something about curriculum development in the UK? Are curricula for training sign language teachers based on the CEFR?

At the moment curriculum development is non-existent, however, I know there has been curriculum development in the past. I was involved with some of them, therefore I think now is a good time to do an overall review, as the materials are still relevant. The information in the curriculum you can see is cross-referenced with the CEFR, however, it doesn’t make a statement like other awarding organisations, for example, City and Guilds and OCR.

What, in your opinion, is the way forward for sign language teaching and the training of sign language teachers in the UK and in Europe?

Set up a round table so that we can answer your questions and go forth. This needs to be set up because there’s no informal/formal register for BSL teachers. PTLLS/BSL Sign Linguistics and CPPD.

 Date of the interview: May 2017