Unlike British Sign Language training or that provided by some other organisations, Signalong training focuses on developing communication skills rather than teaching blocks of signs, many of which will be quickly forgotten through lack of use.
The precise Signalong method of presentation enables users to remind themselves of signs which have been forgotten and to learn new signs from the manuals. Training programmes are thus able to stress aspects of the application of sign-supported communication. These include: aspects of total communication, such as facial expression, body language and voice tone; plus simplification of language and keyword selection; reading signs performed by others.
Training Courses in Sign-supported Communication
Workshops: This training can be tailored to the needs of any organisation and is useful to introduce communication skills to new staff and family members. The emphasis is on the practical application of signing. Introductory courses can be full or ½-day in duration.
½ Day Workshop: They are frequently topic based, depending on the needs of the group. We cover a brief history, philosophy and methodology of Signalong before teaching approximately 100 key words, but you will learn the necessary skills to read and produce any sign in our range of over 70 manuals. We will also provide activities to put the vocabulary into context i.e. sentence practice, plays etc.
8 Hour Introductory: This course goes a little deeper and includes generalisation, symbolic understanding and key word activities.
Foundation: The Foundation Course develops skills to a level where practitioners can apply signing in their own environment and includes some elements of communication theory. It is a 15-hour course normally delivered over an extended period, and is the basic building block of Signalong training. This is our most popular course and is, usually delivered over a 10 week period. It covers the whole of the vocabulary in the chosen Signalong manual (frequently Phase 1 approx. 360 words).
Tutor Training: Delivered by Senior Tutors, this is a comprehensive 4 day programme for people who have experience of signing in the context of learning difficulties, autism or the particular field in which they need to use augmentative communication. During the course Signalong methodology is explored, elements of language development are discussed and participants have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of teaching techniques and theory by preparing and delivering several presentations.