BSL Vocabulary Test
What is it?
This is a test of BSL vocabulary knowledge for children.
What is involved?
There are three tasks assessing vocabulary knowledge for understanding and production, plus an optional, meaning association task. Each task consists of 120 items. It is recommended that an adult enters the child's response and controls the interface.
Production (Task 1)
Form Production - child sees a picture and must produce the corresponding BSL sign (30 - 45 mins)
The web-based BSL-VT is a computer-adapted test, i.e., each item that a student answers correctly in Task 1 is automatically removed from Tasks 2 and 3. Consequently, the stronger the student performs on the first (more difficult) task, the fewer items are left for the other (easier) tasks and the faster it can be completed.
Understanding (Tasks 2 and 3)
Form Recognition (Task 2) - child sees a picture and must match with one of four BSL signs (5 - 20 mins)
Meaning Recognition (Task 3) - child sees a BSL sign and must match with one of four pictures (5 - 20 mins)
Meaning Association - child sees a BSL sign and must produce three other BSL signs with associated meanings (45-60 mins)
This task is less about scoring whether a response is right or wrong and more about the type of response the child provides, which provides the test administrator with an idea how the child has organised their mental lexicon. A child that produced mainly categorical responses, e.g., 'CAT' - 'DOG' may suggest that the child has a more mature semantic network that allows for faster storing and recall of words compared to a child that mostly produces non-categorical (thematic) responses, e.g., 'CAT' - 'PURR'. Ideally, one would expect to see a gradual increase in the use of categorical responses over time. This allows the child to manage a constantly growing vocabulary more effectively.
Who is it suitable for?
What normative data is available?
Deaf children aged 4 - 15
Who should use this test?
Can I use this test to teach sign language?
This test is not designed for teaching BSL to deaf children, however university lecturers may wish to use it to teach students about assessment. Adult educators teaching BSL can use it to demonstrate different aspects of BSL vocabulary to their students.
Demo of Form Recall Task
Demo of Form Recognition Task
Demo of Meaning Recognition Task
Demo of Meaning Recall Task
Test citation and norms
Mann, W., Roy, P. & Marshall, C. R. (2013). Investigating British Sign Language vocabulary knowledge in deaf children from different language learning backgrounds. Deafness and Education International, 15(2), pp. 91-116. [Access Paper](http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/5645/1/Mann_Roy_Marshall_2013.pdf)
Mann, W., & Marshall, C. (2012). Investigating deaf children's vocabulary knowledge in British Sign Language. Language Learning, 62(4), 1024-1051.
Mann, W., Sheng, L., & Morgan, G. (2016). Lexical‐Semantic Organization in Bilingually Developing Deaf Children With ASL‐Dominant Language Exposure: Evidence From a Repeated Meaning Association Task. Language Learning, 66(4), 872-899.
The web-based BSL-VT is a computer-adapted test, i.e., each item that a student answers correctly in Task 1 is automatically removed from Tasks 2 and 3. Consequently, the stronger the student performs on the first (more difficult) task, the fewer items are left for the other (easier) tasks. This approach makes the test more time efficient to administer.
You can stop the test at any time if it is not possible for you to administer all tasks in one session. Just click on ‘Home’ or close the browser. Next time when you log in, go to /‘Caseload’/, click on the student and select ‘Resume’. You will continue where you last stopped the test. All responses from the previous session will be saved.
The test report can be downloaded once demographics and all scores are entered.
Configure the BSL Vocabulary Test Menu Page
If this is your first time administering the web-based BSL-VT, make sure you have selected ‘No’ under ‘Randomise task content?’ For re-administering the test to any student who has completed the test at least once, select ‘Yes’.
Select ‘Tasks 1-3 only’ under ‘Sections to include’. Click on ‘Test Participants’. Select participant you would like to test from the list. Under ‘Actions’, select ‘Launch’.
For a list showing the picture stimuli for all Task 1 items, download the file List of Vocabulary Targets in English (available under 'Downloads'). Make sure you familiarise yourself with the pictures in order to score students’ BSL production for Task 1 accurately.
Use and score the BSL VT Task 1 – Production - Form RECALL
Watch the instructions for Task 1.
To score, enter the English gloss (e.g., CARROT) for the signed response in the text box and select score:
If a student struggles with an item, remind him/her to check the letter underneath the picture and provide prompting, if necessary: N = noun (what is this?); V = verb (what is s/he doing?); A = adjective (how does s/he feel/look like?)
For additional information, download 'BSLVT Task1 Form Recall Prompt Sheet'. Once the student has completed all items, click on ‘Continue’ to move on to the task 2, form recognition.
Use and score the BSL VT Task 2 – Understanding - Form RECOGNITION
In preparation for this task, download the file Task 2/3 – Target Signs (available under ‘Downloads’). This file contains stills of each BSL target sign we used. Make sure to check for geographical variation before you administer the test to a student. In case the student does not recognise a particular target sign, show him/her the sign that they are familiar with.
Watch the instructions for Task 2. Click ‘Play/Replay’ to watch each the video for each signed response and click on the matching sign. Make sure the student watches all videos before selecting a response.
Once you have completed practice item 2, click on ‘Continue’ to start the test.
Once the student has completed all items, click on ‘Continue’ to move on to the task 3, meaning recognition.
Use and score the BSL VT Task 3 – Understanding - Meaning RECOGNITION
Watch the instructions for Task 3.
Click ‘Play/Replay’ to watch video of target sign and click on the matching picture response.
Once you have completed practice item 2, click on ‘Continue’ to start the test and complete all items.
Use and score the BSL VT Task 4 – Production - Meaning RECALL
This task should be administered separately from Tasks 1-3. Its main purpose is to document a student's vocabulary growth & increase in strength of vocabulary knowledge over time. Responses are scored based on their type and not according to whether they are correct or incorrect. Test administrators are advised to focus on the actual responses instead of the score. You are encouraged to print out student’s responses after each completed administration and compare/document progress over time.
Watch the instructions for Task 4.
Click ‘Play’ to watch video of signed target item. Enter the English gloss (e.g., CARROT) for each signed response in the text box and select score for each response:
In addition, indicate whether each response was in signed, fingerspelled, spoken or written form.
Once you have completed practice item 2, click on ‘Continue’ to start the test.
Additional guidance for scoring
In case of any problems or questions please contact Wolfgang Mann.
Data is generated in CSV format for easy import into your preferred data management software
A separate CSV file is generated for each participant. Each contains the raw data including the order in which the items were presented, the correct answer for each item, the answer chosen by the participant, and the accuracy score, 1 or 0 for the comprehension tasks, and 1, 0.5, or 0 for the production tasks.
One mark is awarded for each correct answer. The total score for each task is 120, with an overall maximum score for all 3 tasks of 360.
For questions related to this test, please contact the task owner, Wolfgang Mann.