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The Canberra Bilingual Auslan-English Playgroup (CBAEP) is up and running! This website has information about the playgroup and details of meetings.
Who is the playgroup for?The playgroup is for:
- children aged 0-5 who are learning or want to learn Auslan (Australian Sign Language); and
- families of those children.
Venue and timesFortnightly meetings are held on Wednesday from 10am to 12pm at the Woden CIT Playroom (Room F10) in F Block (ground floor near the cafeteria). Click on link for campus map.
- Upcoming dates playgroup meeting dates are:
Wed 18 Feb 2015
Wed 4 March 2015
Wed 18 March 2015
Wed 1 April 2015
At each playgroup meeting there will be time for:
- physical activity
- morning tea
- story time - a book will be signed in Auslan and read in English.
What to bring?
- your own morning tea (optional)
- slip, slop, slap - hats, sunscreen and appropriate outdoor clothing
- some weeks members may be asked to bring some basic items from home for craft activities.
What is the cost?For insurance purposes, members must join ACT Playgroups after the first two attendances. $33 per year (concession rate available) covers you and your family to attend this and other playgroups. ACT Playgroups application forms are available through CBAEP or through ACT Playgroups website.
- Adults are responsible for the safety and supervision of the children they bring.
- Every child has a right to safe and fair play.
- Deaf children and Deaf adults have the right to communicate in Auslan.
- Playgroup is a smoke-free environment.
- All members are valued and respected.
- We are a sunsmart playgroup.
- Planning and organising playgroup is shared by members.
CBAEP's beliefs on learning language
- Deaf children and their families have the right to try Auslan to see if it is right for their family.
- Learning Auslan helps a child's English.
- Early (ideally, from birth) exposure to and acquisition of a first language (any language) helps young children's neural pathways become wired for language and thought. This makes it easier to learn other languages (including English) at the same time or later. Deaf children with no access to sign language may miss out on this critical period of language exposure and acquisition, causing unnecessary developmental delays.
- Learning Auslan and English early in life gives children the ability later on to decide for themselves the extent to which they want to be part of both the Deaf and hearing communities and whether they prefer to communicate in English or Auslan – it keeps options open for them.
- Meeting happy, successful Deaf adult role models is crucial for Deaf children and their families– it shows them that being Deaf is not a barrier to success and happiness.
- One size does not fit all when it comes to children: some are more visual, some are more oral/aural. For some children and families, Auslan will be their preferred medium of communication in adulthood. For these families, the earlier they discover Auslan, the better.
Who manages the CBAEP?
In the future, it is hoped that the playgroup will be run by Deaf community members - people who are fluent in Auslan and Deaf culture and are excellent Deaf role models for children - with families/carers of children who attend the playgroup. For now, the playgroup is being managed by a hearing student of Auslan who is using Auslan and English at home with her hearing daughter.
Further readingBelow are a few excellent references about sign bilingualism and sign language.
- Mahshie, SN. 1997. A First Language: Whose Choice Is It? Gallaudet University: Washington DC. URL: http://www.gallaudet.edu/documents/clerc/si-afirstlanguage.pdf
- Sacks, O. 1989. Seeing Voices. Vintage Books. URL: http://www.oliversacks.com/books/seeing-voices/
- Swanwick, R. & Gregory, S. Sign bilingual education: policy and practice. URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/DeafStudiesTeaching/bil/papers/sign_bilingual_statement.pdf
Please contact Rachel Muntz using the details below. We would like to hear from anyone interested in coming to the playgroup, even if you can't make it on playgroup days. email: cbaep[at]hotmail[dot]com tel/SMS: 0435 007 629