Students from Littlies to Biggies enjoy learning how to communicate better without using words!
We know that learning an additional language is extremely beneficial to children’s social-emotional and cognitive development. Auslan, the sign language of the Australian Deaf community, provides a valuable linguistic counterpoint to written and spoken English as its means of expression, grammar, vocabulary and syntax are unique and exquisitely different.
In contrast to the linear path of spoken and written English, Auslan provides an opportunity for students from Littlies to Biggies to express original unscripted ideas amongst themselves and with invited members of the local Deaf community by applying their knowledge and skills with both the visual and spatial features of Auslan. This ability to spontaneously compose language on the spot is a hallmark feature of language fluency allowing students to converse and learn directly from Deaf community members as their receptive and productive language skills develop.
Sign language is not a quiet language! Auslan is literally language in action that successfully harnesses children’s affinity for creative dramatic play, physical movement and making themselves heard by thinking in and through another language without speech necessarily. Such are the educational benefits of learning additional languages, especially Auslan.
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