AUSLAN is the shortened name for Australian Sign Language, the main sign language that is used by the Australian deaf community. It is a visual-spatial, natural language with its own grammar and vocabulary. AUSLAN uses hand, arm and even body movements to communicate the language and sometimes finger spelling for words that do not have a sign attached to it. Learning AUSLAN allows our children to communicate with members of the deaf community, creating a more inclusive society for people with hearing impairments.
Learning AUSLAN reinforces the development of neural pathways and cognitive processes in ways that only a visual language can. The improvements include increased mental flexibility and stimulated brain development resulting in increased ability to retain information. Just like with learning any other language, our students will learn a new, handy skill and expand their knowledge of how language works.
A standard practice for sign language users who are deaf or hearing, is to use AUSLAN without speech. Practising voice off allows for full immersion in the program and helps children to develop better receptive and expressive skills. For teachers and children who are new to AUSLAN, learning by asking questions and practising the signs is encouraged. Over time, our AUSLAN teacher will encourage our students to turn their voices off.
Parent involvement and enthusiasm for AUSLAN is important for the success of the language program. We encourage our students to share what they have learnt with their family members so that you can all practise at home. We will also incorporate AUSLAN into assemblies and our Music program.