2023 was our first year offering Auslan as a Language other than English. The students and staff have embraced it very positively and have started using Auslan in the yard.
The Auslan program is being taught by Alison Hughes, a qualified teacher who is has been teaching Auslan for many years.
See the Auslan Signbank alphabet on the Auslan website.
Auslan is Australian Sign Language, the native language of the Australian Deaf Community, and is a visual-spatial, natural language with its own grammar and vocabulary.
Auslan has linguistic elements, such as hand shapes (including orientation, location and movement), non-manual features (including eye gaze, facial expressions, arm, head and body postures) and fingerspelling.
Auslan also has its own grammar, which is different from English. Auslan grammar is composed of precise hand shapes, facial expressions and body movements that convey concrete and abstract information.
Key Word Sign is different to Auslan. Key Word Sign is a communication system using single Auslan signs to support spoken language for individuals with communication and language delays.
Benefits of learning Auslan
Incorporating Auslan into the kindergarten program has many benefits for both deaf and hearing children.
Sign language can:
- enhance children’s educational and personal development
- increase memory retention and motion processing
- stimulate brain development and mental flexibility
- increase enjoyment in communicating for both hearing and deaf children.
Difference between sign and spoken language
Sign language and spoken language use different grammatical features and vocabulary to express language.
Spoken language conveys a message through words and sounds in sequence.
Sign language uses vocabulary, space, movement, facial expressions and non-manual features, and conveys a message through a combination of sign, fingerspelling, physical posture or facial expression.