The LOTE program at Cranbourne East Primary School provides students from Foundation to Year 6 with the opportunity to learn Auslan (Australian Sign Language). Auslan is the native language used by many Deaf people in Australia. It is a visual-gestured language that uses distinct movements called "signs". These movements include shapes made with the hands and arms, eyes and facial expressions, and head and body postures. The language is supplemented by finger spelling which is the spelling of words with the fingers representing letters in the alphabet. Auslan, just like any other language - oral or written - is a communication tool.
Learning Auslan broadens our students’ understanding that languages are evolving systems and that they contribute to our own cultural and personal identity. Learning Auslan also contributes to the development of critical thinking and the ability to adapt to change. It equips students with learning strategies that are fundamental to not only lifelong learning but also any subsequent language learning.
Benefits of learning Auslan:
- Allows hearing students to see deafness and disability in a positive light
- Strengthens overall literacy skills
- Opens up career possibilities for hearing and deaf students as Auslan interpreters, teachers, notetakers, and carers for young Auslan users
- Increases understanding of notions of Deafhood, inclusivity, diversity, social justice, community membership, and cultural identity
- Reinforces the development of neural pathways and cognitive processes in ways only a visual language can.
With the introduction of an Auslan Curriculum by VCAA, our program at CEPS gives students’ the very best opportunity to learn not only the language but also how it has evolved and what it means to the Deaf community of Australia.