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Signing and gesture: wonderful ways to enhance communication

May 23, 2018

Signing and gesture: wonderful ways to enhance communication

The use of key word signs and gesture is a wonderful way to enhance someone’s understanding and expressive experience of communication.

Signing provides visual information to accompany speech, and the visual sign lasts longer and is less fleeting than speech, which can make understanding language easier.

Signing and gesture naturally promotes attention between communication partners.

Many of the signs are iconic, meaning they look like what they represent and are guessable.

When we use signs and gestures our rate of speech naturally slows down and key ideas are highlighted by the sign/gesture.

Signing is one way to provide wonderful scaffolding for learning language structure as well as new vocabulary and signing is often seen to increase people’s verbal communication and speech.

Having some key word sign knowledge is a great tool for those of us living with or working alongside children developing language as well as people who experience communication challenges.

It is a skill that is relevant for parents and family members, child care workers, support workers, Allied Health Professionals and anyone interested in enhancing their communication partner skills.

Mamre’s new Allied Health service will host a Key Word Sign Basic Workshop presented by Jessica Preston (Speech Pathologist) on Tuesday 19th June at Mamre, 40 Finsbury St in Newmarket from 9.30-2.30pm.  Cost is $70.  Booking information here:

Key Word Sign Workshop


Signing karaoke carpool video

Here is a fun carpool karaoke video in support of World Down Syndrome Day that features 50 mums and their children using key word sign to sing along to song A Thousand Years by Christina Perri.

The video was originally inspired by Singing Hands – a UK organisation whose videos have helped many people learn Key Word Sign (the UK equivalent is called Makaton).

Singing Hands YouTube Channel:

Signing Karaoke Carpool Video