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We all get frustrated when we can’t get our message across to other people. Children with delayed language find it hard to understand and use speech and it can be very frustrating for them too. Signing can help by providing a visual system that supports communication.

We all use natural gestures before we learn to speak. Children learn and understand what is said to them more easily when we use visual methods such as facial expressions and gestures to support their understanding.

Here at The Grove Academy, we are learning to use Key Word Sign (KWS). It uses signs and natural gestures to support children to understand new words and express themselves. It can also be helpful for other children who don’t have language delays to learn to sign so they can communicate with their peers who do.

KWS incorporates signs from our local deaf sign language (Auslan) but unlike deaf people, we always use speech when we sign so that children learn how the word sounds as well as how it looks. The signing is also more simplified.

It is a great way to encourage and support language development. Research shows that it absolutely supports spoken language and does not cause children to stop learning to speak. We hope you enjoy learning some new signs with us this week.