First Award information


The First Award is the introductory level award and is designed for those just starting to use PGSS.

Information for candidates for the First Award Examination.

This is an informal assessment rather than an examination; a satisfactory performance shows that a learner is beginning to develop a good working knowledge of the Paget Gorman Signed Speech. The main criteria for success are using intelligible signing in short, simple sentences, suitable for children with specific language impairment, and being able to 'read' them back.

What the candidate needs to learn

1. Vocabulary list for First Award. These words include all standard hand postures (SHP) and many of the Basic Signs.
2. To use the above signs fluently in short, varied sentences (up to six words long).
3. To 'read' back short signed sentences.
4. To understand the terminology and abbreviations used in the Paget Gorman Signed Speech Manual.
5. To interpret the instructions for simple unfamiliar new signs. (Learners are advised to practice initially with signs whose instructions begin with an SHP).

What the candidate needs to demonstrate

1. Sign five Standard Hand Postures.
2. Sign five Basic Signs from this list: building, container, fabric, fire, fruit, ground, paper, room, thing, think, vegetable, wall.
3. Read a list of abbreviations in full, eg. 'S=sign, e-a=elbow action'.
4. Sign a set of short sentences containing very familiar words and phrases.
5. Say or write a set of short sentences signed silently by the assessor.
6. Read and accurately perform two unknown signs within ten minutes.

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