What is Makaton and why do we use it?
Makaton is a language programme. It aims to teach communication, language and literacy skills. It supports children to understand language (as each concept has a visual clue) and/or to express themselves. What are the benefits of using Makaton?
•Developing language skills
•Facilitating social interaction
•Helping build relationships
How do we use Makaton ?
We use Makaton signing with all children in the nursery and Children’s Centre. We use it during free play activities as well as in group and story times.
Nursery staff regularly use signs along with speaking to support children’s understanding.
Is it the same as British Sign Language?
Signs are taken from BSL, the naturally occurring language of the deaf in this country.
Only the key words or important words are signed.
Won’t it prevent children speaking?
- Signs, Symbols and Speech are used together.
- Research shows that signing encourages speech and language development.
- Gesturing is an important stage in typical language development i.e. children gesture before they say their first words .
- Makaton is simply standardised gesture, all of us use the same gestures.