At Reservoir Views, we are thrilled to say that we are delving into the enriching journey of learning Auslan. Auslan stands for ‘Australian sign language’ and is used by the Deaf community of Australia to communicate. As second-language learners of Auslan, we will have the opportunity to engage with the Deaf community and further develop our understanding and respect for others. It will deepen our appreciation for diversity and openness to different perspectives and experiences. Learning Auslan provides students with real-life opportunities to engage with the wider world and reflect on the cultural and social assumptions that may underly their own world views. Becoming so acutely aware of different perspectives is an integral part of developing effective communication skills.
We have teamed up with Auslan Education Services to provide students with a comprehensive, targeted and engaging program which enables students to learn Auslan in an efficient and coherent manner. The program encompasses the Victorian Curriculum standards and aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to enable students to not only communicate in Auslan, but also understand the language and themselves as communicators and develop their knowledge of the diversity of Deaf experience and culture.
Weekly review allows students to practice learned signs with further opportunities to integrate Auslan into daily classroom routines. There are cross-curricular connections in Literacy and across the Arts as students view, respond and create Auslan texts and learn poems and songs. As the program progresses, there will be more opportunities and expectations to communicate with ‘voices off’, practicing Auslan only to communicate. This is often done through various opportunities to ‘turn and talk’ (turn and sign) with their classmates and while playing Auslan games with their peers using signs learned and various NMF’s (non-manual features) such as the use of eye contact and facial expressions.
At Reservoir Views we value inclusivity, community engagement and critical thinking which are all standards that are cultivated further through the learning of Auslan. Learning Auslan is highly beneficial to all Australians and provides us with the tools and understanding to become effective communicators and inclusive members of society.