Are the signs for BSL and Makaton completely different?

(17 Posts)
hidetheelephant Fri 10-Sep-10 13:54:36

Isn't it a bit confusing if they are? What if some people know BSL and some people know Makataon, it would mean they can't communicate with each other?

That aside, is one better than the other? Or is one better for say deafness and the other better for a non-verbal child but who can actually hear?

OP’s posts: |
meltedmarsbars Fri 10-Sep-10 13:57:52

I understand it as thus:

Makaton is aimed at children with learning disabilities. The signs are quite obvious gestures of key words in a sentence.

BSL is a "language" in its own right and not a direct translation of English, and is aimed at those with hearing impairments and not learning difficulties.

Many signs do overlap.

justaboutawinegumoholic Fri 10-Sep-10 14:09:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hidetheelephant Fri 10-Sep-10 14:27:28

Has anyone used any of the following DVDs, are some better than others?

Bee Bright

DS is 4 but obviously behind in his learning. Not sure whether to just get the last ones cos the first 2 are aimed at babies?

Makaton Nursery Rhymes

It's Signing Time

OP’s posts: |
nymphadora Fri 10-Sep-10 14:52:25

Same as Justabout said. Makaton/BSL crosses over. BSL is made up of loads of dialects so it can get confusing at times anyway (dh uses London/SE and I use NW/Scotland so we have a lot of different signs). ]

There is also signalong which is another basic speech support system.Again this seems to be based on BSL SE but has some differnet signs to Makaton.

bigcar Fri 10-Sep-10 14:55:37

bsl is a language and has it's own structure and grammar different from spoken english. SSE, sign supported english is bsl in english grammar and stucture and you would sign every word you spoke. Makaton is used to supplement the key features in speech and you would not sign every word you spoke and also has the symbols to compliment speech and communication. Some of the makaton signs are exactly the same as bsl and some others are similar, there's not a massive difference in the signs, more how they are used iyswim.

justaboutawinegumoholic Fri 10-Sep-10 14:56:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

roundthebend4 Fri 10-Sep-10 15:00:27

Makton is a lot easier to sign not so complicated were thinking if moving ds on from makton depending on how speech goes as needs signs for sone of the little words

slightlycrumpled Fri 10-Sep-10 15:13:41

Ds2 uses makaton and it's true they do seem to cross over, any finger spelling is bsl.
The range of words for makaton is much greater than I thought actually, he is now nearly seven so requiring greater vocabulary and I managed to get hold of a curriculum based makaton dictionary.

justabout the sign for the is all fingers in a fist except for index finger which is out slightly and moving hand to the left.

slightlycrumpled Fri 10-Sep-10 15:15:13

Sorry right not left!!

signandsay Fri 10-Sep-10 15:39:27

Agree with all above, we use SSE with ds, (hearing but LD and ASD) but use BSL with various Deaf friends/family. He gets on really well.

Good place for resources "forest bookshop". signing DVDs, dictionarys, teaching materials, kids books with signs, also lots of general D/deaf/HI/Deafblind stuff, theories and culture etc etc. Makaton and Signalong as well.

I could spend hundreds of pounds!

PS if dc has hearing impairment you may be able to get equipment/ resources on loan from Social Services Sensory Impairment Team, (might be called Deaf Team, Hearing Impairment Team, Sensory Impairment Team, etc)

justaboutawinegumoholic Fri 10-Sep-10 19:55:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mariagoretti Fri 10-Sep-10 23:36:09

Makaton is a pretty restricted gestural vocabulary, meant to be standardised and used without regional variations or synonyms. It's always taught with speech, which it backs up visually. There are symbols for each sign. The signs are from BSL, though where a synonym exists, the easier sign has been chosen.

BSL is a proper, rich, highly gramatically developed language like English or French, with all the subtleties, variations, inconsistencies and potential areas for confusion that make language learning more difficult for some. There are visual equivalents of tone of voice, reported speech, shifts in formality etc.

So for most special needs, using signs to enhance speech in a makaton type system wd be more useful. Profoundly deaf children who can't access verbal language easily would use the much richer BSL to avoid missing out on their underlying linguistic development, and to learn about the world from others.

eidsvold Fri 10-Sep-10 23:45:50

what melted marsbars says - and makaton can change depending on where you are. In Aus a number of makaton signs are different to those we used whilst living in the UK. Toilet, biscuit, more for example. We have Auslan here which is our version of BSL.

mariagoretti Sat 11-Sep-10 09:53:30

Sorry to confuse, eidsvold. I didn't mean no international variation in makaton, just no UK North-South divide

RuthieRoy47 Tue 10-Mar-20 00:53:05

If I was to learn a sign language, which would you recommend for employment purposes? Makaton or BSL?

TheDrsDocMartens Thu 02-Apr-20 06:52:07


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