Auslan was added to ELTHAM College’s long list of wonderful Co-curricular activities last year, to help interested students gain an understanding and ability to communicate more effectively with Year 6 student, Luca, who is hearing impaired.
Auslan (Australian Sign Language) is the official language of the deaf community of Australia. There is no written form of Auslan – it is a visual form of communication that uses hand, arm and body movements and facial expressions to convey meaning.
While advances in technology have supported ELTHAM College student Luca to learn effectively in the classroom, communicating with peers across a busy playground can sometimes be difficult. His family, who are all learning Auslan, linked the College up with Expression Australia who have created a bespoke curriculum and supplied teachers for ELTHAM’s Co-curricular Program. Expression Australia are the same group that translate for government press conferences which has been a fantastic real world link for students learning the language at school.
Junior School students have enjoyed the opportunity to get to know their Senior School peers and learn from their experiences while studying the language together.
Despite learning remotely throughout periods of 2020, Auslan classes have continued virtually with Zoom sessions overseen by ELTHAM College teacher Haining Lu. Students have learned finger spelling (letters of the alphabet) and other important areas of communication, as well as areas of interest.