As part of our Languages Other Than English (LOTE) program at Mentone Primary School the students have the opportunity to learn Auslan. Auslan is the native language of the Australian Deaf Community. Auslan is a visual-spatial, natural language with its own grammar and vocabulary and conveys a message through a combination of sign, fingerspelling, physical posture or facial expression. At MPS we believe learning Auslan is a great way to enhance children’s educational and personal development, increase memory retention and motion processing, stimulate brain development and mental flexibility and increase enjoyment in communicating for both hearing and deaf children.
A key reason for the introduction of Auslan in our school was for humanistic purposes: to increase opportunities for interaction between deaf children and their hearing or hard of hearing peers, and to reduce barriers to communication. Our students gain access to additional knowledge and understanding of the nature and purpose of human languages and of the use of a different language modality.
All students from Prep - Grade 6 undertake 1 hour a week of Auslan with a trained specialist teacher. The students begin by learning the alphabet, how to introduce themselves and fingerspell their name. Key signs are taught through whole class instruction, small group activities, games and songs