FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WORKSHOPS & COURSES
1. Does Singapore have its official Sign Language?
Singapore does not have its own official sign language. Nonetheless, since the 1950s, we DO have our own unique Sign Language, which makes our community unique as Deaf Singaporeans. That's our Singapore Sign Language.
Our Singapore Sign Language (SgSL) is derived from old Shanghainese Sign Language (SSL), American Sign Language (ASL) and signs of Signing Exact Language II (SEE2). Also, our localized signs are developed over time to align along with our Deaf Culture These unique signs are designed for many words unique to Singapore, like Clementi, Marina Bay Sands, and the Esplanade!
You can find out more about our SgSL from the comprehensive WIKIPEDIA.
Please note that our workshops and courses are taught by Deaf. It is led by Lily Goh who has her (at least) 20 years' experiences in teaching Sign Language. You are strongly encouraged to put what you have learnt from the Deaf communities into constant practice.
2. Are the workshops and courses open to members of the public?
Yes, they are open to members of the public who are hearing. We also accept deaf and hard-of-hearing students who wish to learn Sign Language.
Students who are aged 12 and above can apply for our workshops and courses. However, we need to formulate another curriculum for students aged 11 and below.
You need to start from Deaf Introductory Workshop, to Visual-Gestural Communication Workshop, to Basic Communication Levels 1-3 Courses. At this moment, we have our plans to develop and run the Intermediate & Advanced Communication Courses.
3. Can I arrange for the private tuition to learn Sign Language in my own pace? What is the Private-Track mode for Basic Communication Levels 1-3 courses?
Yes, you can learn Sign Language in your own pace, but it is at the best convenience and schedule of the instructor and student. This is the Fast-Track mode for the courses, and it is like a private tuition. The minimum/maximum time period for each session is 2 hours.
Charges* range below:
BCLevel 1: S$50.00 per 1 hour per pax
BCLevel 2: S$70.00 per 1 hour per pax
BCLevel 3: S$100.00 per 1 hour per pax
*Includes transport and other expenses.
4. Is there any assessment in each level of Basic Communication Courses?
Yes, each level has three graded quizzes, and exams. The quizzes are scheduled on Lessons 3, 5 and 7. The exams takes place on the last lesson/session. Please note that Basic Communication Course Levels 1-3 are different from Visual-Gestural Communication (VGC) Workshop as the workshop enables you to develop a better understanding (and practicum) of incorporating gestures in our daily communication through VGC. There is not any graded assessment in the VGC Workshop.
5. Will I get a certificate upon my completion of Basic Communication Course Levels 1-3?
Yes, you will get a Certificate of Completion on the last lesson after you have successfully completed the course with at least 50% pass in the assessment for each level. However, note for our Visual-Gestural Communication Workshop that you won't get any certificate as this does not involve any graded assessment.
6. I have learnt the Level 1 from other schools, such as the Singapore Association for the Deaf. Can I take the Basic Communication Level 2 instead?
Please note that we have our own curriculum that may be different from other training centres/schools. However, you are strongly encouraged to go for our Visual-Gestural Communication Workshop (at the beginner level). This may be on a case-by-case basis. You can drop us an email for a further discussion.
7. Where are your workshops and courses conducted?
We do not have a physical/permanent location. Once the application quota is met, we rent classrooms at Blk 261, Waterloo Street, Level 4 for our courses. The nearest MRT is Bras Basah MRT (Exit A). However, the Deaf Introductory Workshops are conducted at the Disabled People's Association @Jurong Point upon its availability. It has its limited space; it accommodates up to 12 people.
UPDATED AS OF JUNE 2020: In the light of COVID-19, our courses & workshops are conducted via ZOOM. The maximum class size is 8.
8. Can I pay cash on the first lesson?
No, cash payment is not acceptable. We accept online payment for better accountability. The payment shall be made prior to 7-9 working days before the first lesson. Please read the terms & conditions in the application form before you agree to submit it online.
9. Can I use my SkillsFuture Credit to pay for courses/workshops?
We regret to inform you that we have yet to become one of the training providers with SkillsFuture. Note that this business is solely run by Deaf; the one-person operation.
UPDATED AS OF 2017: We are unable to render our services at this moment till further notice.
1. How do I use a sign language interpreter?
The interpreter’s job is to facilitate communication between SgSL users and users of spoken language(s), such as English, Mandarin. The interpreter will not give opinions, advice, or support to either party; however sometimes she may ask for clarification to understand what is being said. The interpreter will sit or stand opposite the deaf person and near the main speaker. When you are speaking, talk directly to the deaf person and not to the interpreter. The interpreter will watch the deaf person’s signs, and her response will generally be in first person tense. You may see the interpreter using available graphics or handouts to support her interpretation. If you have any questions or concerns, relay them to the interpreter. We are willing to work with everyone involved to meet any needs that arise.
2. Why do I need a team of two interpreters?
Assignments lasting 2 hours or longer in length of time require 2 interpreters to be hired as a team. The reason for this case is to minimize interpreter fatigue. Research shows us the work of understanding one language, analyzing the overt and covert meaning of the language and also the necessary cultural mediation, and then applying the same process to produce an equivalent meaning in a second language, is a very mentally taxing task. After 1 hour of continuous work, the brain becomes fatigued and the quality of the interpretation suffers; errors and omissions rise.
3. Are your interpreters qualified enough for any assignment?
We regret to inform you that there is no association for sign language interpreters in Singapore. There are 6 full-time sign language interpreters in Singapore, and they are from the Singapore Association for the Deaf that is seen as a national body for deaf and hard of hearing people. However, we believe in our quality of service we render you or your organisation for the assignments.
4. When will I have the confirmation for the interpretation service?
Normally, we inform the requestor in 3 working days prior to the appointed date. We reserve the right to reject applications/requests at our own discretion. To avoid any disappointment, we encourage you to book our service online at least 9 working days in advance.