Learning a New Language!

I have often spoken about Leo’s hearing loss and where we are within his journey. One thing I have never written about though is the fact that since Christmas, we’ve all been learning BSL (British Sign Language) to help Leo communicate his wants and needs. It will also come in handy when he has his operation for Cochlear Implants and after he operation he will spend around four weeks with little to no hearing at all. 

Following a melt down by Leo just before Christmas when he really wanted something but couldn’t, no matter how hard he tried, to communicate with us what he wanted Keighley and I made the decision to start learning and teaching Leo some basis sign language. 

We’ve learnt quite a few words in a relatively short period of time. As is the norm with kids he has picked it up a lot quicker then we have. 

We have been using various resources including a book lent to us by his Play Therapist. The biggest resource we’ve used though is the BSL Website which has images of words with the hand movements shown. We have also used various videos from YouTube as well. 

Between us we have learnt words such as mummy, daddy, please, thank you, eat, drink, dinner, Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, sorry and many more. 

We’ve found that a combination of using the sign whilst saying the word at the same time has helped Leo to start saying certain words, which is fantastic. 

Keighley and myself are attending a taster session for a course this coming Saturday and we are looking forward to it. I will let you know what we learn. 

To learn more about BSL click here

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8 thoughts on “Learning a New Language!

  1. Fascinating just how much Peppa Pig is sought by young children. My son is four soon and we take Holidays, versus vacations. Thank you Peppa! It’s nice to meet you. I wish I had known about the BSL website. When my son was younger he attended full time daycare where he learned basic sign language. It’s useful when children want to communicate their needs, but have difficulty uttering the words. I think he was barely a year and knew milk and more. But the teachers did not pass what they learned all the time, and well… sometimes I missed the boat on my son’s request. Anyways, nice to meet you. I popped over from Carly’s blog. I look forward to your thoughts. My son now attends an inclusive preschool. I’m very curious of your journey. All the best.

    1. Thanks for your kind comments. It is amazing how Peppa Pig infiltrates into your life when you have kids.

      The BSL website is fantastic and has taught us so much in such a short space of time.

      We have a number of guest blogs and other posts coming this week to promote Deaf Awareness Week so please do pop back.

  2. Hi Richard! Oh that’s great you are using some BSL signs! I actually learnt BSL for a year, when I lived in England (way before I ever knew I would have any hearing issues!). I went to a college after work, to learn BSL, because I was really interested in it! I loved the classes! They were so much fun, and I met some wonderful people (one of them became my boyfriend at the time – he was going through a hearing loss journey of his own, and eventually got cochlear implants which completely transformed his life!) Regarding the sign language – this is something i have made use of so much in the classroom. i have worked overseas now for 9 years teaching 3-5 year old children a curriculum in English (when English is not their first language). I use the signs alongside important words just like you’re doing!) that I knew i would be using everyday, to help the children learn routines. i also used to sing and sign everyday in the morning routine – songs about the weather, the day of the week etc. Anyway, i hope you continue to make progress with the BSL, and find it useful. Continue to have fun learning it too! – I remember going to a class and learning about animals – that was lots of fun!
    Take care
    – Carly

    1. Thanks, Leo is really getting on well with it, although our main priority is also to get him speaking, so every time we do a sign we also say the word, the sign is just reinforcing the word for us and it seems to be working. Saying that he does know that he can use the sign if he can’t say the word and that is also ok, we just say the word when he does the sign.

      1. I think this is a great way to use the sign language 🙂 I have seen it prove to be so helpful used alongside the spoken word, in giving young children the confidence to communicate 🙂 Enjoy! – Carly

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