Auslan refers to Australian Sign Language. Although signed and spoken languages share many linguistic principles, the visual-gestural modality of Auslan results in some unique features not found in spoken languages.

Auslan provides:

  • opportunities to develop intercultural capabilities, understanding and respect for others,
  • additional knowledge and understanding of the nature and purpose of human languages and of the use of a different language modality
  • opportunities to enrich understanding of their own language and culture, enhancing development of overall literacy capabilities
  • improved capacity for visual-gestural communication
  • access to alternative ways of thinking and expressing ideas
  • awareness of deafness as difference rather than as disability
  • increased understanding of inclusion and diversity
  • acquisition of a portable mode of communication that involves learning strategies for gesture that may have international, cross-cultural application

Learning Auslan broadens students’ understanding that each language is an integrated, evolving system for communication of meaning; and encourages understanding of the role of language as an expression of cultural and personal identity and a shaper of perspectives.