Sign Supported English
Capella House Signing Programme
Why use sign?
It is a common misconception that signing is only helpful for those who cannot hear or cannot produce clear speech, however the benefits of signing have been proven for everyone especially those with
Speech Language and Communication needs. Here are some facts about signing that may surprise you:
Signing helps to build a stronger vocabulary-gesture is a natural human communication tool and signing is an extension of that, it provides additional visual clues to help with understanding. Having a fuller picture of a word in this way can strengthen it in our memory banks.
Signing improves attention on the speaker-sometimes when a person is speaking it is easy to switch off and look at other things which in turn make it harder to listen, signing draws the attention back to the person talking.
Signing helps us learn to read body language and emotions – signs provide more context clues than speaking alone and link to typical body language and facial expressions that many of use naturally used to convey emotions. Signs encourage the listener to watch these closely whilst they hear the word, building a bigger picture.
Signing encourages spoken language development- research shows that signing reduces communicative frustration and improves confidence, making interacting with others more desirable, this has a positive knock-on effect on spoken language.
Signing improves spelling and in turn can improve reading-those that learn the signed alphabet have shown significant improvements in their spelling which has a positive knock on effect on literacy skills.
Signing helps staff communication too! -signing encourages staff to slow their pace and simplify their language as they remember the signs needed to get their message across.
Signing is a life skill-knowing how to communicate with people with SLCN or those who are deaf is inclusive and is growing in popularity as a recognised skill for future education and employment.
What kinds of signs do we use?
Unfortunately, there is not one universal sign language even in English. You may have heard of
British Sign Language (BSL), this is the language used by the deaf community and follows its own word order and grammatical rules. Capella House uses Sign Supported English (SSE) the signs used match those used in BSL, but they follow the order and grammar rules of spoken English.
You may also have heard of Makaton, this is popular signing set with younger children, (you may have seen it on CBeebies) it also uses the signs from BSL for keywords only, but SSE can support the development of grammar by signing all words and including elements such as tense markers and word endings.
As staff and students learn will be starting with key word signing the majority of the time, meaning that only information carrying words are reinforced by sign, always accompanied by spoken language.
For example, in the sentence “Did you go swimming at the weekend” the underlined words would be signed. However, as everyone learns to sign fluently we will progress to full SSE, signing full sentences including the word endings for example ‘ing’ if it is beneficial for the task such as during literacy instruction.
What does the programme involve?
The programme is set up in stages, stage 1 contains the most useful words for day to day use and further topics will be introduced through the subsequent stages.
Students and staff receive a weekly short signing lesson led by the Speech and Language
There is a ‘sign of the week’ that is reviewed at the beginning of each day, is displayed throughout the school and all are encouraged to practice it regularly throughout the week.
In addition, videos are being developed for home learning and to encourage individual practice.
Each month one student and one member of staff will be named ‘Star Signer’ celebrating progress, effort or championing of signing.
If you have any questions about the signing programme or would like more resources to learn signing please contact Kerri - Speech and Language Therapist.
Spring 2- Week 2
This week our words are: fast, walk and happy.
Spring 2- Week 1
This week our words are :again, slow and listen.