Learning a Silent Language

Learning a Silent Language

On Monday 9 February, Lady Royd pupils welcomed Aftab Hussain, from BSL Hands, to deliver an introductory workshop on the basics of sign language.

Pupils from Years 3 to 6 were presented with various groups of words by Aftab and shown the equivalent ‘sign’ for each selected.

With a range of words comfortably under their belt, including many everyday foods, animals, numbers and colours, pupils were taught how to ask basic questions with phrases incorporating ‘how many’, ‘are you’ ‘why’ and ‘what’.

Aftab was soon able to pose questions directly to the audience and was particularly impressed at how quickly the pupils responded. Even the teachers enthusiastically took part in the question and answer session.

Aftab was pleasantly surprised when he asked Miss Wall if she had any pets and, much to the amusement of her class who already knew her to be a competent signer, received a very detailed answer about her pet turtle.

Although deaf himself, Aftab has been teaching school children in Bradford the basics of sign language for nearly four years, running weekly classes as part of enrichment activities aimed at promoting communication and tolerance of others.

At the end of the session pupils and teachers joined together to give Aftab a silent ‘thank you’ and all signed ‘goodbye’.

Main Pic: Year 5 pupils, Mohammed Eesa and Natasha Hutchinson demonstrating how to sign the words for ‘pizza’ and ‘dog’ with Aftab signing ‘hello’.