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      Google inspires children to learn British Sign Language

      To mark back to school week, Google and Action on Hearing Loss have collaborated to create a video showing how to sign the alphabet in British Sign Language (BSL)

      By: Ed Rex | 07 September 2017

      Celebrating the UK's first school for the deaf

      The team at Google have transformed their homepage to celebrate the UK's first school for the deaf, the Braidwood Academy, founded by Thomas Braidwood in Edinburgh 1760.

       The academy was famed for using its own method of teaching children with hearing loss, by combining a system of sign language, lipreading and the study of articulating. Although it longer exists, its teaching method has evolved into British Sign Language (BSL), as currently used by 20,000 children across the UK.

       Inspiring the nation's children

      Today's Google Doodle features schoolchildren using BSL to spell out Google. Action on Hearing Loss hopes that children across the UK will be inspired to spell their name in BSL and share it on Twitter and tag us - @actiononhearing

       How BSL can help everyone

      Many teachers are discovering that using sign language is an effective learning tool for all pupils in the classroom. SignSpell is a fresh approach to developing children's communication, language and literacy skills in KS1 and KS2. It uses aspects of BSL to teach children new physical and practical ways to remember words and spelling, featuring the adventures of the friendly aliens Zip, Pella and Statz.

       The SignSpell system also includes lesson plans, digital activities, printable activities, video clips and flashcards. Teachers do not need any prior sign language knowledge to use it. Parents can join in at home with stories to enhance what has been learned at school.

       Starting to sign at school

      For teachers working with pupils whose main language is BSL, learning some basic signs can help break down barriers and create a friendly and accessible environment. Action on Hearing Loss has developed a Start to Sign training course that introduces more than 150 signs in a day.

       Find out more

      For more information about SignSpell or Start To Sign, contact our Access Solutions team:

      Telephone: 0333 240 5658 
      Email: 
      access.solutions@hearingloss.org.uk

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