Articles on: General Enquiry

I work with children - should I be learning BSL, Makaton, or something different?

British Sign Language, known as BSL,  is an independent language which is separate to spoken English, having its own grammar and syntax.  BSL is used mostly by people who are Deaf.

There are a number of other communication systems that you might come across which incorporate signs.  Examples of these are Makaton and Signalong.  These systems are used most commonly by people who have communication difficulties or learning disabilities.  These systems are usually built on keyword vocabulary and use signs that are often based on BSL but do not use BSL syntax and structure.

We can't advise you on whether you should be using BSL, or another signing system, with the people that you work with. Depending on your situation you may find one of these options more suitable:

If you are unsure then it would be a good idea to seek advice from a speech and language therapist or communication professional who will be able to offer you guidance.

Updated on: 19/12/2020

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