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EAL and sign language in preschool

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by emma_rowlands, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. emma_rowlands

    emma_rowlands New commenter

    Apologies if this is in the wrong place, it's my first post.

    I'm new to being a TA. I'm only doing a few days a week and I started a month ago so I'm still learning EVERYTHING!

    We have quite a few EAL children in the preschool, I'm unsure of how much they understand and how much they selectively hear. It's frustrating for me that I can't understand them when they want help, and it must be frustrating for them, as 3 and 4 year olds still trying to get to grips with the world, that they can't communicate effectively with us - I sometimes feel like I'm talking AT them rather than TO them. I've seen the preschool assistants signing a few things but there doesn't seem to be consistency in its use.

    Does anyone have experience of using sign language with EAL children and could recommend some resources to help me out? How much success have you had with this type of communication? I'm thinking of using very basic signs - sit down, stand up, wash hands, toilet etc. The preschool lead is very experienced (I am very inexperienced) and I don't want any suggestions I make to come across as criticism, it's absolutely not my intention.

    Many thanks :)
  2. jomaimai

    jomaimai Established commenter

    Why don't you ask your lead what you should do?

    I am ESL trained but apart from daily EAL small group teaching what works is common sense.
    If you think they may want a bike, smile, say something short, one or two words (ride a bike) and take them to the bikes.
    If you think they are hungry, touch your belly and with a sad voice say, "hungry". Then, take them immediately to the snack table and say, "apple" and give them one...
    It's exhausting but they will trust and understand you.
  3. deepinder

    deepinder New commenter

  4. deepinder

    deepinder New commenter

    Hi you could use sign language and makaton is really useful for EAL .There are videos about signing and also on Instagram and Facebook.Also you could laminate some small cards which have pictures of activities like toilet,sit down and carry them with you to show them whenever needed .

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