Have you heard of Makaton? This is an international sign language used by both students and adults to develop language skills. The spoken word is used along with hand gestures and symbols, ensuring a multisensory approach to language development.
Over the years, teachers in Primary have realized the importance of non-verbal communication to support student understanding. A team of FIS teachers and students has been working on learning Makaton.
Last week, staff, students, and community members were invited to a mini-training session. The goal was to teach two representatives from each grade eight gestures and their meanings: Hello, good morning, good afternoon, good night, please, thank you, how are you, and goodbye. They received a sheet with the recorded gestures so that they could, in turn, teach it to their classmates.
The introduction of Makaton can help frame a consistent approach to signing at the FIS. Students can develop essential communication skills including attention and listening, comprehension, memory, recall and organization of language and expression.
The training will be implemented regularly to learn more and more signs and streamline the use of Makaton within classrooms.
The advantages are apparent: language and communicating with others are the building blocks of successful learning.