LSQ Courses: An Innovative, Modern Approach Designed by CBLS

LSQ Courses: An Innovative, Modern Approach Designed by CBLS

By Cynthia Benoit 

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Did you know that, according to Forbes and the New York Times, American Sign Language (ASL) has been the 3rd most studied language in the United States in recent years? 

Needless to say, in addition to this popularity, which has been growing for 10 years thanks to different depictions in the media, including the TV series Switched at Birth, the COVID-19 pandemic increased the visibility of Quebec sign language (LSQ) on different media platforms, sparking the collective curiosity about this lovely language called LSQ.  

Eager to provide optimal opportunities for learning LSQ and to be your ally in the development of your LSQ skills, CBLS is leading the way by offering online LSQ courses while embracing a modern, innovative educational philosophy.   

During the LSQ skills assessment project (ÉvaLSQ) that our team worked on in recent months, we realized that the main problems encountered by signers are mostly related to LSQ grammar, including facial expressions, the use of signing space and enactment (1) 

Based on this observation, we developed innovative teaching materials for the LSQ courses, which include these essential linguistic fundamentals in a discourse context. In addition, all the courses were prepared by a team made up of two Deaf linguists and experienced trainers, based on the ÉvaLSQ skills rubric, which allows learners to have a “map” or, in other words, a tangible overview of their learning, and to see how they are progressing, while being able to independently set objectives.  

This linguistic map is intended as a tool serving to strengthen learners’ autonomy and is one of the key attributes of our LSQ courses. Moreover, all of our trainers are Deaf and native signers2, and you can learn LSQ in the comfort of your own home.  

For additional information about: 

1 Definitions

Facial expressions: These are behaviours that are not produced by the hands. They can be produced by the head, shoulders and torso or by parts of the face, in particular, the eyes, eyebrows, nose, cheeks and mouth. These non-manual markers provide linguistic-type information and also allow the signer to convey practical information (for example, emotions, opinions, etc.).  

The use of signing space: Signing space refers to the space in front of the person when they communicate in sign language. Because sign language is a three-dimensional language, the person signing will need their space from head to hips. Signs should not go too far beyond the space intended for this purpose in order to avoid exhaustion, maintain the signer’s attention and ensure the safety of the people around them. As crazy as it may seem, it keeps the signer from catching onto someone passing by while they are signing, which happens more often than you might think.  

Enactment: Enactment in signed discourse allows the narrator to report the words, gestures or thoughts of another person in the first person as if they were the agent. This direct discourse structure is also sometimes called “role shift” or “constructed action”. In other words, another person is physically represented through the simultaneous production of signs by different articulators (such as the head, torso, eyes and facial expressions).  

2 For additional information about our instructors, please refer to this article: Why Learn A Sign Language With A Qualified Deaf Instructor?