Understand and express opinions and beliefs and distinguish them from fact

Understand and express opinions and beliefs and distinguish them from fact

Expressing Opinions and Beliefs

  • Statement Clarity: When expressing an opinion or belief in BSL, make sure to use suitable signs and non-manual features that indicate you’re sharing a personal view rather than a fact. This distinction is crucial to avoid miscommunication.

  • Consider Context: The relevance and appropriateness of sharing an opinion or belief can depend on the conversation’s purpose and the relationships between those involved. Choose the timing and content of your statements with care, considering the social dynamics and etiquette of sign language interaction.

  • Emphasise Uncertainty: If the opinion is based on uncertain information or assumptions, show this uncertainty through facial expressions and signing speed. This will ensure your opinion isn’t taken as a fact.

Understanding Expressions of Opinions and Beliefs

  • Analytical Observation: Try to distinguish statements of fact from opinions or beliefs during a conversation. Look out for specific signs and non-manual cues denoting an opinion or belief, such as facial expressions, different signing speeds, or specific introductory phrases.

  • Less Literal Interpretation: Be aware that expressing beliefs or opinions could sometimes involve more figurative or non-literal signs. Understanding these requires paying attention not only to the specific signs made but also how they are performed and the context within the conversation.

  • Interactive Confirmation: If you are unsure whether a statement is an opinion, a belief or a fact, don’t hesitate to clarify. Use signs for questions like ‘is that what you believe?’ or ‘is that a fact?’. Active engagement will help avoid misunderstanding and promote better communication.

Recognising Facts

  • Clear Indicators: Statements of fact often have clearer and more assertive signing accompanied by direct facial expressions. Learn to recognise these cues to distinguish facts from opinions.

  • Analyzing Context: Be conscious of the framing provided by the context of the conversation. Often, facts are shared with less emotion and more clarity than opinions or beliefs.

  • Confirmation of Sources: If you find it challenging to distinguish between a belief and a fact, ask for the source or evidence supporting the statement. This can help understand if the expressed information is factual or not.