A British Sign Language student from Cornwall College Camborne has been nominated for the Learner of the Year award at the 2010 Signature Annual Awards.
Deborah MacDonald from Camborne, who is studying British Sign Language Certificate Level 2 and also works at the College as a life skills tutor and learning support practitioner, has been nominated for her dedicated approach to the course.
“I nominated Deborah for the outstanding and innovative work she has done in partnership with her tutor this year,” said Stephen Roberts, Curriculum Area Manager for Community Education. “Deborah approached me last year with an idea to use Flip video cameras to record teaching sessions in order to create videos for all the learners to take home and practice their signs. She has also worked with her tutor to build up a video resource of the tutor signing words in British Sign Language (BSL) to help learners increase their vocabulary and learn regional dialects with BSL. Deborah has also been using her BSL skills with our learners to ensure they can access learning.”
The Learner of the Year category consists of 20 nominees from all over the country and the winner will be announced on 2nd June.
“I decided to learn sign language as we have many students in our faculty that have hearing problems and I wanted to be able to communicate with them. I’ve found the course so interesting; the fact that signs can slightly change between regions just like with spoken language and how important facial expressions are when signing,” explained Deborah.
The Signature Awards aim to acknowledge people’s dedication to overcoming barriers in communication between deaf and hearing people and those whose contribution moves towards achieving a society in which deaf people have full access.
“I started filming myself signing on my video camera to help me learn because when practising in the mirror, I couldn’t take notes or see what I was doing wrong at the same time. The flip camera is great as its hand held and everyone can get a chance to use it and see for themselves any mistakes they might be making. Filming the tutor has been helpful because we now we have the start of a visual dictionary.”
“I was not expecting to be nominated for any award, so was surprised and honoured. The video’s I’ve created from the sessions are for the rest of the group as well as myself, we all help each other and the whole group are fantastic,” added Deborah.
Dave Linnell OBE, Principal of Cornwall College, said: “This is wonderful recognition for Deborah, she has shown tremendous dedication and our learners will truly benefit from her new skills.”
The 28th June – 4th July is Deaf Awareness Week where organisations working with deaf people across the country will be inviting everyone to ‘Look at Me’. The aim is to improve understanding of the different types of deafness and highlight the many ways of communication.
A new Adult part-time courses brochure is available now at Cornwall College Camborne, please contact the College on 0845 22 32 567.