News & Resources
17 Jun 2019

Sign Language: Boosting your child's speech

A number of Lifelong Learning Centres across Australia have started teaching sign language to babies, toddlers and children. More than just a fun activity, sign language has been proven to boost the development of children’s language comprehension and speech development.

Milestones Early Learning Hamilton Hill recently shared the featured photo of toddlers Kurtis and Darragh, learning basic words like eat and drink to help them communicate with their early childhood educators, and families. Centre Manager Michelle Messom says: “It helps with their non-verbal communication and helps them express themselves.” The centre is offering the classes every Monday as part of their Healthy Children Healthy Minds Monday program.

Sign language has been one of the main ways the deaf communicate since the early 1800s, and is now classified as a world language. Meaning, if your child can sign, they’ll be considered bilingual. In addition to this, children who are taught English and sign language together, are processing language using both the left and right sides of their growing brains, giving your child two places to recall language from instead of just one!

Research has shown that babies as young as six to seven months old can remember a sign and by eight months your child could begin to sign single words and imitate gestures. By two years old children are able to sign compound words and full sentences.

Sign language has proven to be hugely beneficial for growing minds. Teaching sign language to your baby before they can even speak has been shown to speed up speech development. Sign language at a young age can also ease your child’s frustration as it gives them another way to express themselves before they learn to talk. It’s also been proven to increase parent-child or educator-child bonding, and lets your child communicate their essential needs to their carers. Babies who have learned sign language are also believed to have improved self-confidence and self-esteem.

Across Australia, Lifelong Learning Centres offer a wide range of language lessons incorporated in their weekly early education programs for babies, toddlers and pre-school children. To find a centre offering language classes near you, call 1800 CHILD CARE.


 
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Contact Your Local Lifelong Learning Centre

Find your closest Lifelong Learning centre below or call 1800 CHILD CARE or email enrolments@lll.edu.au for more information.
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