2018 SASL and SASLI

Dear Friends

We receive many queries about how to go about becoming a teacher of South African Sign Language (SASL) , or how to become a teacher of Deaf children or adults, or how to become a South African Sign Language interpreter.  Frequently we have queries from people who want to be interpreters AND teachers.

We recommend that those of you who are considering a career in SASL, do a languages degree at Wits University with SASL as one of your BA majors.    All queries in this regard should be directed to the SASL Department at WITS (The University of the Witwatersrand). After three years of full time study, this will leave you with a good foundation for interpreting, teaching, and other careers involving South African Sign Language or working with Deaf people.  You can then choose to do a post graduate school teaching qualification,  or a qualification in Adult Basic Education, or  specialise in further studies in interpreting, or study further in linguistics or literature etc.  Remember that as an interpreter you should at least have two strong languages, and that without good English job opportunities may be limited.

For more information about becoming an interpreter, you can contact the DeafSA National SASLI coordinator Mpho Teme at nationalsasli@deafsa.co.za .

As SLED we offer accredited South African Sign Language courses.  SLED works in Deaf Education in Schools, and primarily offer accredited training to teachers and teaching assistants.  When we do offer public training, it will be advertised on SLED social media as well as on this blog.

When we become aware of good training options offered by other organisations, we will also recommend these on our Facebook page and through this blog.

Another question we are frequently asked is about distance learning options  – at this stage there is no accredited distance learning options for SASL yet.

We always welcome questions  – email us at sasl@sled.org.za



Springtime – National Month of the Deaf in South Africa!

September is the National Month of the Deaf in South Africa.

This image from DeafSA is available for download, re-sharing, and setting as profile picture.


Cape Town – hearing families of Deaf individuals

Greetings, as promised we are sharing information about relevant SASL events here.

Coming event in Heathfield:


Deaf culture and sign language programme at the Deaf Community of Cape Town for hearing families of Deaf individuals on 13 and 14 September.

Click here to link to the DCCT facebook page for more information.

Please respond via their Facebook page or contact DCCT directly.


SASL Poetry with SLED and WITS University – in McGregor

Participate in South African Sign Language Poetry with some your favourite SASL poets and top South African Sign Language academics!

Sign Language Education and Development (SLED) and the SASL Department of the School of
Literature, Language and Media at the University of the Witwatersrand will be presenting at the McGregor Poetry Festival. (Click here to reach the Poetry Festival website) 

The Saturday programme is open to all:

Event #57 at 12:00 Workshop: Creating South African Sign Language poetry. Presented in South African Sign Language and interpreted into English.
Event #92  at 16:30 Poems for the eye, from the Deaf heart. Presented in South African Sign Language and interpreted into English.

Bookings via Computicket.

The Thursday programme (strictly for fluent first language SASL users only) may already be fully booked – Event #01 / 11:00 – 15:30 / Workshop: Creating South African Sign Language Poetry: Haiku


World “Read Aloud” Day in SASL

Welcome to all our new subscribers.

We know that you are waiting for news about public classes….

Here is something to inspire you in the mean time.  SLED, in partnership with Nalibali, produced this  story for World Read Aloud Day 2017.

You can read the English text by clicking here.   You can also search the Nalibali story site for The Feast in other South African Languages.

All I want for Christmas….

“I don’t want a toy car for Christmas.  I want my Mommy to know how to sign – that’s what I really want.”

Suddenly the boy saw a bright light shining in the window he rushed to the door.   There was a sleigh flying through the sky driven by a fat, jolly man with a wide belt and a bushy beard.

He stopped next to the boy.    “These reindeer are giving me problems!” he complained.

“You can sign!” exclaimed the boy.   “Oh hello there – yes I can sign.”

“Your reindeer are giving you problems?”   “Oh yes they’re a problem.”  “I could give you the oxen that I herd?”

“That’s just right – let’s swap them!”  “Yes let’s swap!”

“So there they are! My sleigh is ready.  Come on!  Sit next to me.  Off we go!”   The sleigh took off and flew into the air.  Looking down there was a herd of rhinos stampeding across the African plain.  Father Christmas stopped the sleigh and looked admiringly at a rhino.


He took a present from the back of his sleigh and threw it at the rhino that skilfully caught it on its horn.

“Thank you!”

“My pleasure! Bye”

Father Christmas got back into the sleigh and soon they were flying through the air again.  On they flew until they saw a tall thing.  After flying around it, Father Christmas stopped the sleigh.

“What’s that?”

“Oh that’s Mandela’s statue.”

“Mmm is that so?”

“He was a very special leader.”

Father Christmas respectfully tipped his hat before urging the oxen back into the sky.

They flew and flew until they saw something exciting happening far below.   Father Christmas stopped the sleigh and quickly climbed out.

“Come on!” he signed.

He started to dance like the others with his big tummy shaking.   He threw his legs into the air and stomped them down hard.   The boy joined in too and everyone was dancing.

“Oh dear it is late.  The sun will be up soon.  We need to go.”   He threw presents at the dancers.

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

“My pleasure!”   Soon the sleigh was flying through the air.

They flew and flew until they stopped outside the boy’s home.  “Off you go now.  Go to sleep.  Off you go.”

“But where’s my present?”

“Oh not today.  Not yet.  Tomorrow your present will be there.  Off you go. Go to sleep. Go.”

The boy reluctantly climbed out of the sleigh and walked towards the house.   Father Christmas was soon flying away.


“Hey! Wait! What about my oxen?”   But Father Christmas was gone.  The boy looked at the reindeer.  Oh well….

He walked into the house and was soon fast asleep.

The sun rose.

The boy woke up, threw off his covers and jumped out of bed.   He ran to look for his present but there was nothing there.  He was very upset.

“Father Christmas is a liar!   He said my present would be here and there is nothing!”

Just then someone tapped him gently.

“Whose a liar?”

“You can sign!”