Language – Auslan

Since 2016 the Education Department has mandated that all students from Years 3-6 in primary schools study a language.  The community of Aspiri Primary School has chosen Auslan as the language to be taught across the school from 2019 onwards.

Auslan is a widely used communication tool that will enable the students of Aspiri Primary School to be immersed in a second language that is becoming more prevalent in our society. It aligns to our school endeavour to support our diversity and inclusivity.  Auslan is a sign language and will be taught in a manner that offers our students basic skills in communicating with Deaf people in the community. In our practical and fun classes they will learn how to fingerspell, develop a vocabulary of basic conversational signs, learn how to structure a sentence and more.

Language learning is life enhancing and provides the opportunity to benefit from the social, cultural, intellectual and emotional development that will result from learning the unique and sophisticated visual-gestural language of the Australian Deaf community.

One of the key reasons for introducing Auslan into our school is 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. Through learning Auslan, learners gain access to additional knowledge and understanding of the nature and purpose of human languages and of the use of a different language modality. In addition, from a vocational perspective, greater participation of deaf people in society in a diverse range of occupations and breadth of community spheres creates possibilities for future career options and personal fulfilment for our students. In general educational terms, learning Auslan as a second language enables students to engage meaningfully with a different language and culture and to enhance understanding of their own language and culture. Such intercultural learning is essential in the increasingly diverse and changing contexts in which they live and will work.

Learning Auslan:

  • broadens students’ understanding that each language is an integrated, evolving system for the framing and communication of meaning; and encourages understanding of the role of language as an expression of cultural and personal identity and a shaper of perspectives
  • contributes to the overall curriculum intent by providing distinctive real-life and intellectual opportunities for students to expand their engagement with the wider world and to reflect on the cultural and social assumptions that underpin their own world view and language use. Such awareness of different perspectives is an integral part of effective communication
  • contributes to the development of critical thinking and the ability to adapt to change and equips students with learning strategies and study habits that are the foundation not only for lifelong learning but also for any subsequent language learning.