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I've used Makaton a lot so...


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... I've always felt it makes sense for me to learn BSL. I taught my children Makaton when they were babies as a way to communicate before they could speak. In my role as a teacher, I found it was so useful, especially with the youngest children and those learning English as an additional language. BSL seems a natural progression, to learn a whole new language.  In this huge world, we don't know who we'll meet, what they're like - and having languages to communicate, even if not completely perfect and fluent (as with learning foreign languages, for example), it can go a long way.  I remember, when my daughter was just 2 years old at her ballet class, being the only child (and adult, besides me and the teacher) in the room who could communicate with a little girl who was deaf - she signed a few words each time, just things like hello, goodbye, friends, help, shoes, more, drink. Of course it wasn't perfect and her mum helped her little girl understand, but it burst my heart both good and bad to see my daughter trying to befriend her, but yet also that other children couldn't speak to or understand this lovely little girl in the way she found helpful. My children are joining it where they can with the British Sign course (they're now aged 6 and 3) and they're really enjoying it, especially signing negative emotions!

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