Why should you use key word signing in your Early Learning Services?
There are the usual benefit of using key word signing
- Greater communication
- Greater understanding and confidence
- Reduction in frustration and tantrums
- Enhanced bonding
- Stimulation of both hemispheres of the brain
- Language skills
- Dexterity skills
- Empowers children and gives insight to their character
For Early Learning Service you also have other advantages of using signing in your setting.
- Enhances stories and games – using signs can make stories and games more interactive, more fun and more engaging. Children can gain a greater understanding of the story or the game, understanding rules easier and being able to following what is being told to them.
- Inclusive – using signs means more children can engage and communicate with each other, it enables not only those that already use key word signing to communicate but those that are still learning to communicate.
- Visual and verbal cues – at this young age, it is often difficult to know whether the child responds better to visual or verbal cues. As key word signing uses both visual and verbal communication, it can reach both types of learner.
- Normalises different communication modes – using signing throughout the Early Learning Service highlights that there are different ways to communicate and that communication is not just about words. It normalises key word signing for all children, helping those that rely on different way to communicate feel less different.
- Greater awareness of body language – communication is about more than words, research suggests as much as up to 93% of communication is non verbal. As body language and facial expression plays a huge part in key word signing, children become more aware of body language and can assist them in recognising and responding appropriately to the body language of others.
- Accessible – Signing is quick to pick up and use, once learnt, it requires no additional tools to use.
- Quick danger response – using signs in a dangerous situation is quicker, not only to perform but also to respond to. The simple sign of ‘STOP‘ is a very visually responsive sign, you can perform it quickly, the child see’s it quickly (rather than having to process the word in their head) and can respond quicker. The ‘STOP’ hand is creating a visual barrier with the natural response being to stop. We naturally use the ‘STOP’ sign but if a child is used to responding to signs this makes the processing time even quicker.
- Key word signing is directly applicable to assist you in achieving the outcomes across all domains of the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia – Belonging, Being & Becoming with research supporting positive outcomes in all five areas.