Auslan is new to Bittern Primary School for 2019. As required by The Department of Education, all government primary schools must teach a language. Bittern Primary School has chosen Auslan (sign language) for a variety of reasons;
• Sign language involves using your hands, body and facial expressions to communicate with those around you. As it is a visual language, Auslan involves using the visual-spatial part of your brain. This is the same part of the brain that we use to learn to read. For this reason, sign language is be very beneficial to teach children as it exercises the same part of their brain that is linked to reading.
• Research also shows that children who learn sign language are more readily able to translate letters and words to the written language. Using sign language from infancy through to Year 6 results in improved literacy acquisition.
• Children who are exposed to sign language are generally more self confident and have increased self-esteem.
• Learning sign language stimulates brain development as you use both the left and right hemisphere of the brain compared to learning a spoken language, which only uses the brain’s left hemisphere, resulting in potentially a 12 point higher I.Q. at eight years of age than non-signing children.
• When sign language is incorporated into other learning activities, children are learning visually, verbally, and kinaesthetically all at the same time—simultaneously engaging children of different learning styles and creating greater memory retention.