Learning Australian Sign Language


“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” Frank Smith

Last year myself and my fellow Study Sunshine Coast ambassador and friend, Nadija, enrolled in an 8 week TAFE beginner course in AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language); Taught by the wonderful Gail Smith.

In the first class we managed to learn so much and in the following weeks, learning to sign the alphabet became a time filler. In the class were about 10 (maybe more maybe less!) students, from different backgrounds with different motivations. Personally, I just love learning languages! The first few weeks we worked through a great workbook included in the course fee which was developed by Gail herself! After 2 or 3 classes, members of the Sunshine Coast deaf community stopped by to introduce themselves and help us practice our developing signs. We also watched lots of fun videos with signing in them!

Did you know that AUSLAN is unique to Australia? Each country has a different ‘sign language’. For example, American Sign is completely different, even New Zealand is different!

Overall it was a fantastic opportunity and Nadija, Koen and I are even embarking on the next level with Gail in 2017!

I love sign language because it’s obviously incredibly visual and is much easier to pick up and there are no accents or rolling “g’s” or “r’s”!!!

TAFE is offering AUSLAN Beginners again in 2017, check it out! It’s held at the Maroochydore campus.
>> http://tafeqld.edu.au/course/9320/auslan-sign-language-beginners

Check out the following Youtube video’s to learn a bit of AUSLAN yourself! I also believe that Australian schools are finally picking up AUSLAN into their curriculum, what an awesome step forward!

>> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh8OE4s9xhwHdLvJd5Qle4g

>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oS7-jBYeQI

>> Signing ‘Dear Mr. President’ by PINK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tHk8W-tVeU

>> Signing ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4od8KXchKt0

>> Signing ‘Caught in the crowd’ by Kate Miller-Heidke https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xXJdQAMSHM

>> Learn signs for whatever word you want with Sign Bank http://www.auslan.org.au/

By Elsie Ley – Study Sunshine Coast Student Ambassador


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