• Top 10 Best Sign Language Books in the UK 2021 1
  • Top 10 Best Sign Language Books in the UK 2021 2
  • Top 10 Best Sign Language Books in the UK 2021 3
  • Top 10 Best Sign Language Books in the UK 2021 4
  • Top 10 Best Sign Language Books in the UK 2021 5

Top 10 Best Sign Language Books in the UK 2021

Sign Language uses hand movements and gestures to convey meaning and is used not only by the deaf community but also by parents of children with developmental delays and those who want to communicate better with their babies before they learn to speak. British Sign Language (BSL) is the most widely used in the UK, while Makaton sign language has been developed using elements of BSL to help young children communicate visually with their parents and peers.

Shopping for a sign language book for beginners? Look no further than our ranking of the top ten books on sign language, rated according to value for money and quality. Whether you want a picture book on sign language for babies, a sign language dictionary or a reference book explaining how sign language works, we have something for you.

This Article's Contributors

mybest Editing Team
  • Last updated: 04-04-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Sign Language Book in the UK – Buying Guide

In this article we’ll talk you through the types of sign language books available online this year, and help you think about the best option for your personal needs. There are many fantastic sign language books for adults, children and complete beginners, so take a look and discover which book will suit you best.

Consider Who You Intend to Communicate With when Choosing British Sign Language or Makaton

Consider Who You Intend to Communicate With when Choosing British Sign Language or Makaton
When you’re choosing a sign language book, if your aim is to communicate with deaf friends, colleagues or children you will probably be best off choosing a guide to British Sign Language (BSL). This is a fully developed language that uses hand gestures, lip movements and facial expressions to communicate a whole range of concepts. It has its own grammar structure and is always evolving and adapting like any other language.
In contrast, Makaton is a sign language developed from BSL to help children with development delays to share their thoughts more easily as they are learning to speak. Children with learning difficulties and those living with Down’s Syndrome (and their parents) often benefit greatly from using Makaton, as it allows kids to sign their thoughts and needs to adults and other children before their speech has developed fully.
Look out for a book on Makaton if you want to help younger children, with or without additional educational needs, to express their feelings through signs as a supplement to spoken language; it’s useful, enjoyable and can be a valuable bonding experience between parent and child.

Check that a Book is Aimed at the Relevant Age Range

Check that a Book is Aimed at the Relevant Age Range
If you are teaching yourself a sign language as an adult, you’ll probably want to choose a book aimed at readers of 18 years and older. There are “Teach Yourself” style books which often have more detailed descriptions and complex concepts than books for parent and baby, where there’s lots of colour and illustrations.
Of course, many British Sign Language books are laid out in a way that could appeal to any age group, with an image to illustrate each word and sign. Adults may also enjoy more complicated analyses of sign language, such as books which look closely at the linguistics of signing.

Pick a Book With a Style and Learning Approach that Suits You and Your Area of Interest

You’ve decided to start learning a sign language, but it’s worth thinking about how the book will be laid out and the teaching methods it uses before you commit to buying. Take a moment to decide the type of approach that will benefit you most as a learner.

Dictionary-Style Books With Clear Illustrations of Hand Gestures Are Straightforward and Easy to Follow

Dictionary-Style Books With Clear Illustrations of Hand Gestures Are Straightforward and Easy to Follow
The simplest style of sign language book is one which is divided into vocabulary topics, with illustrations to explain hand shapes for each sign. These types of books exist with different age groups in mind, but ultimately take you through a variety of useful words, from the everyday to the more obscure. Choose a dictionary-style book if you’re a beginner or hope to teach signs to a little one.

Books Which Delve into Linguistic Theory Are Better for Academics or Those Seeking a Deeper Understanding

Books Which Delve into Linguistic Theory Are Better for Academics or Those Seeking a Deeper Understanding
For anyone seeking a more in-depth understanding of British Sign Language, it may be a good idea to look for a more complex exploration of the linguistics of this fascinating language. Some books simply teach the sign and variations for each word.
Others give the reader a more nuanced understanding of the evolution of a language, its intricacies and patterns. These types of sign language books are ideal for students seeking a more profound understanding of the language or using their findings for reference in wider-reaching projects.

Story Books with a Narrative Are Great for Practice – Especially With Little Ones

Story Books with a Narrative Are Great for Practice – Especially With Little Ones
You may favour a book that practises rather than teaches sign language – especially if you’re learning the skill with a baby or toddler. If this is the case, storybooks with a narrative that includes various basic signs are a great way to consolidate your child’s new-found skill.

Extras Such as a DVD or CD-Rom May Help Speed up the Learning Process

Extras Such as a DVD or CD-Rom May Help Speed up the Learning Process
Look out for additional learning resources that come with your book, such as a CD-ROM or DVD which should help flesh out your sign language learning experience, since it can sometimes be hard to follow written instructions describing gestures.
CD-Roms and DVDs are helpful since they allow you to watch the sign before copying it. This could be extra useful to complete beginners with no prior signing knowledge and generally aids understanding of dynamic signs which contain a simple movement.

Top 10 Best Sign Language Books in the UK

With these thoughts in mind, have a browse of our picks of the top 10 Sign Language books you can find online. From colourful collections of vocab for babies to in-depth explorations of the linguistics of signing, we’re sure you’ll find a book that’s right up your street.

10

Cath SmithSign Language Companion

A Handbook of British Signs

£8.55

Type of Sign LanguageBSL
Age RangeTeen & upwards
StyleDictionary with additional notes
ExtrasNone
Available inPaperback, hardback
9

Joe JacobsHow to Sign with Babies

With Terry the Monkey

£4.99

Type of Sign LanguageBSL
Age RangeParent & baby
StylePicture book
ExtrasNone
Available in Paperback, kindle
8

Sue SearleAt the Bottom of My Garden

A Rhyme and Sign Adventure

£7.49

Type of Sign LanguageBSL
Age RangeParent & baby
StyleStory book
ExtrasNone
Available inPaperback
7

Margaret WalkerMakaton Core Vocabulary

Signs

£9.99

Type of Sign LanguageMakaton
Age RangeParent & child
StyleDictionary with additional notes
ExtrasNone
Available in Kindle
6

Cath SmithSign Language Link

£6.99

Type of Sign LanguageBSL
Age RangeTeen & upwards
StyleDictionary with additional notes & chapters
ExtrasNone
Available inPaperback, spiral-bound
5

Rachel Sutton-SpenceThe Linguistics of British Sign Language

An Introduction

£36.30

Type of Sign LanguageBSL
Age RangeTeen & upwards
StyleReference book
ExtrasNone
Available inPaperback, hardback, kindle
4

Paul Redfern & DeafworksTeach Yourself British Sign Language

£18.99

Type of Sign LanguageBSL
Age RangeTeen & upwards
StyleDictionary with additional notes & chapters
ExtrasDVD
Available in Paperback
3

Annie KublerChild’s Play: My First Signs

Illustrated

£5.44

Type of Sign LanguageBSL
Age RangeParent & baby
StylePicture book
ExtrasNone
Available inHardback
2

City LitBritish Sign Language for Dummies

£13.99

Type of Sign LanguageBSL
Age RangeTeen & upwards
StyleDictionary divided by topic with additional notes
ExtrasCD-ROM
Available inPaperback, kindle
1

Cath SmithLet’s Sign Dictionary

2nd Edition

£13.55

Type of Sign LanguageBSL
Age RangeTeen & upwards
StyleDictionary with additional notes
ExtrasNone
Available in Paperback, kindle

Compare the Best Sign Language Books

Image
1
Cath Smith Let’s Sign Dictionary  1

Cath Smith

2
City Lit British Sign Language for Dummies 1

City Lit

3
Annie Kubler Child’s Play: My First Signs   1

Annie Kubler

4
Paul Redfern & Deafworks Teach Yourself British Sign Language 1

Paul Redfern & Deafworks

5
Rachel Sutton-Spence The Linguistics of British Sign Language 1

Rachel Sutton-Spence

6
Cath Smith Sign Language Link  1

Cath Smith

7
Margaret Walker Makaton Core Vocabulary  1

Margaret Walker

8
Sue Searle At the Bottom of My Garden  1

Sue Searle

9
Joe Jacobs How to Sign with Babies  1

Joe Jacobs

10
Cath Smith Sign Language Companion  1

Cath Smith

Name

Let’s Sign Dictionary

British Sign Language for Dummies

Child’s Play: My First Signs

Teach Yourself British Sign Language

The Linguistics of British Sign Language

Sign Language Link

Makaton Core Vocabulary

At the Bottom of My Garden

How to Sign with Babies

Sign Language Companion

Features

The Consumers Favourite Detailed BSL Bible

Foolproof Language Learning From a Trusted Company

‘Sturdy, Colourful & Clear’

Learn Through Real-Life Examples

Understand Signing Principles From a More Scientific Perspective

Signs in your Pocket for on the Spot Sign Referencing

Ideal for Children With Learning Difficulties

An Engaging Journey through a Garden of Signs

Charming Illustrations from a Fun Series

Get the Basics Down With Bitesize Topics

Price£13.55£13.99£5.44£18.99£36.30£6.99£9.99£7.49£4.99£8.55
Type of Sign LanguageBSLBSLBSLBSLBSLBSLMakatonBSLBSLBSL
Age RangeTeen & upwardsTeen & upwardsParent & babyTeen & upwardsTeen & upwardsTeen & upwardsParent & childParent & babyParent & babyTeen & upwards
StyleDictionary with additional notesDictionary divided by topic with additional notesPicture bookDictionary with additional notes & chaptersReference bookDictionary with additional notes & chaptersDictionary with additional notesStory bookPicture bookDictionary with additional notes
ExtrasNoneCD-ROMNoneDVDNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Available in Paperback, kindlePaperback, kindleHardbackPaperbackPaperback, hardback, kindlePaperback, spiral-boundKindlePaperbackPaperback, kindlePaperback, hardback
Link

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Summary

So there you have it, ten brilliant sign language books you can buy online which should help you get to grips the British version of this clever form of communication. Whether you’re teaching sign language to your baby, your child or yourself, there are lots of wonderful options that suit every learning style. We hope you’ll find the perfect sign language book for you.

Author: Annie Hopkins

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