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WITS course

Basic Conversational South African Sign Language (SASL)


15 Jul, 2024

Digital Campus Basic Conversational South African Sign Language (SASL) Course

Course overview

Basic Conversational SASL is a comprehensive and fun course to learn about basic South African Sign Language. In this course, you will be introduced to Deaf culture, basic vocabulary and sentence exercises. You will also gain insight into the skills needed to build your communication relationship with your Deaf family, friend or colleague and the significance of sign language for Deaf people and children.

Course curriculum

  • Module 1: Introduction to SASL
  • Module 2: Home, Family & South Africa milestones
  • Module 3: Weather and Transportation
  • Module 4: Using Numbers
  • Module 5: Holding a basic conversation!

Course outcomes

  • Describe what is SASL, and use basic SASL to communicate with Deaf people
  • Describe your home in South Africa and use basic sentences to describe your family and life in South Africa.
  • Describe the various ways to hold a conversation about the weather and transportation.
  • Describe the signs related to number system including family ages, money, time and months
  • Describe the Deaf culture in a basic conversation with your new Deaf friend


Prof Claudine Storbeck, Robyn Swannack, Nenio Mbazima

Course summary

Format: Wits certified online short course
Certification: Wits University certificate of competence
Length: 8 weeks
Breakdown: 6 weeks consecutive online lectures, one exam in week 8
Hours per week: 3 to 4
Language: English

Learn more about our Credly qualification badges here


Students. Accomplished

Paul Motibane


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Brochure Download

Basic Conversational South African Sign Language (SASL)

Prof Claudine Storbeck, Robyn Swannack, Nenio Mbazima

Prof Claudine Storbeck

Prof Claudine Storbeck is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Deaf Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has been involved in issues surrounding Deaf Education and Deaf Studies for 27 years.

Robyn Swannack

Robyn Swannack is a lecturer, researcher and coordinator of South African Sign Language resource developments at the Centre for Deaf Studies at Wits University. She is a second-generation Deaf person and passionate about the Deaf community. She holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology from UCT and is the only Deaf anthropologist in South Africa. She founded and coordinated the University of Cape Town SASL classes in 2012 and taught over 450 students in over six years.

Nenio Mbazima

Nenio Mbazima is a video producer at the Centre for Deaf Studies at Wits University. He is also the videographer and editor of the videos in this course. He joined the Deaf community when he was ten years old and went on to write an award-winning book about his amazing experience as a Deaf person. He loves telling stories in sign language through the lens of a camera.

Brochure Download

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