Auslan, which is short for Australian Sign Language is the language primarily used by deaf or hard of hearing people in Australia.

Auslan is known as a visual-gestural language. This means movements of the hands and body are made in the space in front of a signer and seen by the person they are communicating with.

The grammar of sign language perfectly meets the needs of deaf people who rely on vision for communication.  Auslan uses a different structure to spoken languages. Spoken languages are known as auditory/verbal languages. In these languages, one word follows the next and the meaning is conveyed through the word order. With Auslan, the grammar and the meaning can be expressed at the same time, for example, signs are combined with facial expressions to show the different emotions and meaning.


In term 4 our Grade 3-6 students travelled by train and tram to the Victorian College for the Deaf Tradeblock Café where they were required to order their recess using only Auslan.

They greeted the café staff and ordered their meals with little assistance, some even having brief conversations with café staff.

Staff from the Tradeblock Café commented on the students exceptional manners and signing skills and have welcomed us back anytime!

All students were respectful of their environment and they should all be congratulated on their efforts!

Jess Gidman

(Super proud) Auslan Instructor

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