Learning sign language for children in kindergarten

Sign language for hearing children - it is not only learning a new way of communication, but also learning empathy, speech development and intellectual development of a child.

Sign language in a kindergarten for hearing children. The boy Szymek tells why he is learning sign language

– Szymek, tell me why we study sign language in kindergarten?

– To communicate with deaf children.

Sign language and hearing children

– Here we are in the Municipal Kindergarten No. 14 in Zgierz, where sign language classes are being held. Today we will talk to one of the mothers, her children participate in classes.

– My name is Monika Kwiatkowska. My three children go to this kindergarten, and each one of them participates in those classes.

– What is your opinion about sign language classes, based on your children’s stories?

– Kids, when they come home often show what they learned in class. They ask: “Mom, do u know how to say the color orange in sign language?” I see that they like To participate in those classes.

– Other than learning the language, Do they say anything about deaf people?

– Yes, they tell me what this language is needed for: to communicate with people who cannot speak and cannot hear.

– Perhaps you had such a situation, that during shopping Or on a walk, you met a deaf person?

– No, not yet.

– I have a question, in addition to sign language classes, Do children show a desire at home to watch cartoons, which are translated to sign language?

– There are programs on TV, with a translator on the bottom, who translates everything into sign language and the girls understand some of the signs shown. I was surprised too but it works.

– You have three children, who attend kindergarten here. Do they use sign language with each other at home? Do they exchange information?

– It happens.

A conversation with a mother whose children are learning sign language in kindergarten
Monika Kwiatkowska and Karolina Kmieciak

Signing children communication

– We are talking to another mother, Mrs. Iza, who has two children in this kindergarten. What is your opinion about sign language classes?

– I believe that sign language lessons are needed and very nice. They are helping kids develop, they teach them tolerance.

– Your daughter, Pola, is Studying sign language since the beginning?

– Yes, Pola is in it from the very beginning, she has been learning sign language for the third year. The second group includes your son, Gustaw. He has been studying for less than a year. Children really are delighted with these lessons. Also, Gustaw went to another kindergarten last year for a half year. We are very happy that he got in here in September. It was one of the conditions for choosing this kindergarten – that they have sign language lessons.

– I’m very pleased. I wanted to ask more about Pola. Pola participates in the classes from the very beginning which means she has been studying for 3 years. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the classes in this kindergarten, Looking at the development of Pola.

– She’s more open for all sorts of things. It is generally easier To communicate for her. Openness also manifests itself in the fact that from the first classes, as soon as she learned to say: “Good morning” and “Thank you”, When she entered a store or a pastry shop, She always said, “Good morning. In sign language. The lady in the pastry shop after some time Started to say “Good morning” back in sign language. Besides, in the family We have 3 people who are also using sign language. They also finished a sign language course. One of the people haven’t had contact with sign language for a long time. When Pola started to use it with my aunt, she started to remember it again. But Pola also corrected her auntie sometimes, saying “that’s not said like that”.

– That she has to show it differently.

A conversation with a mom whose children are learning sign language
Karolina Kmieciak and Izabela Piętka

Contact of a child with a hearing or deaf person

– Have you had such a situation, that you have met a deaf person in the store, shopping, during walk?

– Not really. But we have one deaf person in the extended family – you can say that they’re already family, because it’s a person close to us – a person with a high degree of hearing impairment. This person also uses sign language, although they hear, when you talk to them loud. It was very nice, when Pola could say hello, Or say other basic things To this person.

– What was this person’s reaction?

– Very enthusiastic! They were very happy that such a small person at that age is willing to learn. She looks at it differently, for her it’s Natural, sign language is nothing strange.

– So, you could say that teaching children from an early age about tolerance makes them rather not afraid of such new people in their environment. It seems obvious that for every little child, when they see, for example on a walk or at a bus stop a deaf person who uses sign language, that it’s something new, something different. Children often tease such people or they just stare at them and are flustered. However, Can it be said about Pola That if she met such a person, She would say hello to them?

– There certainly would be no problems with that. I believe that children on their own don’t see a problem with something new. It’s rather us, The parents that see those as problems. I can add even more, I used to need sign language, At work when I had contact with a deaf person. It was a huge reason for stress for me – can I get along with such a person? It would be completely different, if I knew some of the basics and at least I could “break the ice” by saying “Good morning “, And “Thank you” at the end.

– How did you communicate with such a person?

– On a piece of paper.

– There was no problem with writing? It is also known that deaf people don’t use Polish too much, And they have their separate grammar. How did you do?

– There was no problem with that.

– The person knew Polish?

– Yes, of course.

– Now you can learn from your daughter about the basic phrases.

– Yes, she told me how to. Although I forget them sometimes, she has a great memory Unlike us, the adults.

– Yes definitely. Pola has always stood out From her peers, from an early age and I am very happy that I can teach her so far. I hope when kindergarten is over, we will be able to continue learning. It would be a pity not to develop this further.

– I hope, that you and your teachings will end up in schools and other kindergartens, because it is worth it, teaching children to be tolerant. It develops not only sign language, but it also helps with general development, I would say.

First contact with sign language

– When Pola had the first contact with sign language?

– First contact with the sign language was here. She did not go to kindergarten yet, it was either visit days or events about the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, I don’t remember exactly. There were demonstration classes and we as Parents attended as well. We liked sign language so much and our choice was made then. We liked it so much that we were using it with Pola all day. Everything we learned we repeated all day. We went to visit grandparents, Pola signed everything she learned to her grandfather.

– Exactly, if those were these classes from the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, because that’s how I remember it, that this is where these classes were, How other parents were responding to these activities?

– Cool. I didn’t see negative feedback. Everyone left satisfied, It was great fun for parents and kids too.

Sign language classes in kindergarten
Sign language classes in kindergarten
Kaja signs: "I like sign language."
Kaja signs: "I like sign language."

The benefits of teaching children sign language – says teacher Krzysztofa Kantyka

Hello. My name is Krzysztofa Kantyka. I’m a teacher. I Work in the Municipal Kindergarten No. 14. I also graduated from pedagogical therapy school and I wanted to comment here, what an enormous role sign language classes play (led by a Mr. Karolina) in our kindergarten. Children during classes learn the basic signs, sign language phrases. They also learn that there are deaf people among us, people who communicate with gestures. Thanks to this, they learn tolerance and learn to integrate, develop social competencies, classes stimulate thinking especially, stimulate the imagination.

During classes, in addition to such skills that can be seen with the naked eye, Other skills are being developed, which cannot be seen at a first glance, such as children in class improve eye-hand coordination, perceptiveness, attention, memory, They improve fine motor skills Improving their ability to move their fingers. They also learn a body schematic, improve their spatial orientation – right side, left side. They are also so great To make a group quiet and relaxed. It is also valuable information for us, for teachers because thanks to Karolina we learn a lot about the environment and the lives of deaf people, how hearing children become a hyphen between the outside world and their deaf parents how they work out a common ground for communication, what difficulties they face on their way.

To sum up: these are lessons about real empathy. Just like in Denmark, one Of the happiest countries in the world instead of an education hour there are hours of empathy. Perhaps we too will live to see times, where hours of empathy appear at Polish schools. Our kindergarten for sure has already taken the first step in that direction. organizing such activities cyclical, regular sign language classes because we want our children to learn interestingly, creatively, unconventionally and be sensitive to the needs of others. Thank you.

A kindergarten teacher, Krzysztof Kantyka, talks about the benefits of hearing children learning sign language
Krzysztofa Kantyka
Children learning sign language in kindergarten classes
Marcelina signs: "Sign language is great!"

Benefits of learning sign language – says the teacher, speech therapist, Beata Masica

Beata Masica, teacher, speech therapist at Municipal Kindergarten No. 14
Beata Masica

Beata Masica, teacher, speech therapist at the Municipal Kindergarten No. 14. Learning sign language is not only Great fun for children, but it causes a child to get to know a new, alternative way of communicating with people. Learning sign language affects the development of children, improves their thinking, concentration, memory. It affects their brain function for the better Research is being conducted, Also in Poland, That proved that learning at the same time a phonic language and elements of sign language Even in several-month-old children, affects their better development, Improves their motor coordination And communication with parents.

Movement is development. Children learn their own body quickly, feelings of this body, coordinate their movements, learn facial expressions. Two-channel communication works phenomenally for speech development and intellectual development of the child. Learning sign language and phonic language at the same time, synchronizes the work of the right and the left cerebral hemisphere.

Oliwier signs: "I love sign language."
Oliwier signs: "I love sign language."

Sign language in kindergarten – says the director of the kindergarten, Dorota Grodzka

Sign language in the kindergarten - tells the director of the kindergarten, Dorota Grodzka
Dorota Grodzka

Language classes in our kindergarten have been held for 3 years. A child who attended our kindergarten 3 years ago is a hearing child, who has deaf parents. Hence the idea of introducing this type of activity for other children to prepare them to participate in society, to live in a society in which such people also live and function. Mrs. Karolina Kmieciak conducts Classes in our kindergarten. She is the sister of that girl. The classes are very well prepared. We are satisfied with them.

Children willingly participate, They are developing, they learn tolerance, Great Visual-motor coordination it works very well on their overall development. I think everyone is happy with them, we will definitely continue them. We will run them in the following year. Classes are cyclical, are held twice a month and I think it’s a great idea to organize this type of activities and meetings. I think it would be okay if many other kindergartens started working like this and develop such interests. Teaching this tolerance, Make it something normal to live in society with people, different people, with various disabilities.

Filip signs: "Sign language is cool".
Filip signs: "Sign language is cool".
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