This year we have integrated non-verbal forms of communication to augment verbal communication for the children in our program. We are predominantly using Key Word Sign which uses simple signs from the Auslan language to highlight key words and pair the signs with the verbal words during communications.
We use signs in our good morning meetings to welcome children to kinder and ask how everyone is feeling. We use signs during morning tea and lunch to ask who is finished, who wants more, who needs a drink etc. The children use these signs to communicate the same things to us. We use signs when singing songs and reading stories and we often pair this with the use of ICT watching signing videos on our screen –Some of our favourites to do in KWS include ‘Old MacDonald had a farm’ and ‘Where is the Green sheep?’.
We have dedicated part of each day to learning new signs and to solidify our knowledge of already learnt signs. Some of the areas we have covered: The alphabet , feelings/emotions, questions, animals and colours. The children are using signs amongst themselves and with educators in play – particularly when asking for or offering help which was the first signing that we learnt. Use of Key Word Sign has helped with gaining focus and attention and with behavior guidance.
We find the complimentary use of Key Word Sign beneficial to all areas of our program and routine and seek its inclusion in all we do at Kinder.