Auslan (Australian Sign Language) is the language of the Deaf community of Australia and is descended from British Sign Language (BSL).
Signed languages have their own grammar and lexicon which are not based on the spoken language of the country or region although they are influenced by them.
Although signed and spoken languages share many linguistic principles, the non-modal gestures (face and body language) hand orientation and location results in some unique features of signed languages not found in spoken languages.
Today Auslan seems to be undergoing a period of rapid change. The enormous expansion of sign language interpreter services being used within society has made Auslan visible to everyone.
At St James we have identified the importance of our students being able to communicate with the Deaf Community and for our school to be able to provide an inclusive education to any student with hearing or communication impairments.
During 2023 we have begun our journey of Auslan being our LOTE (language other than English) and provide comprehensive teaching and learning of Auslan throughout all year levels.
Reception/Foundation – Students are becoming familiar with Auslan, including the introduction of letter recognition and basic vocabulary. Some cultural aspects of Auslan will be discussed.
Years 1-6 – Student focus will mainly consist of revision of the previous year’s learning with the introduction of new vocabulary and grammatical structure later in the term.
Teaching and learning is delivered through games, song, and discussion, affording all students opportunities to practice Auslan in different scenarios.
The curriculum has been designed with the desires to communicate and interact particularly around topics that are familiar to students and their community.