LOTE - Auslan

This year, St. Mary’s will be beginning its journey in providing all students the opportunity to learn Auslan through its LOTE program.


Auslan (Australian Sign Language) is the language of the Deaf community and is the main form of communication for people  who are deaf or hearing impaired residing in Australia. It uses visual forms of communication involving a mixture of hand, face and other bodily expressions to convey meaning.


Students engaged in this Auslan program will be immersed in a wide range of lessons that reflect the context of their local community and will incorporate students’ interests and enquiries. Throughout the school year, students will be engaging in sign language through exploration, problem-solving and play in another language.


Through the learning of Auslan as a second language, students will be:

  • strengthening their memory retention, brain function, motion processing and educational development,
  • stimulating their brain development and mental flexibility thereby strengthening their overall literacy skills,
  • increasing their understanding and enjoyment in communication learning skills, and learning processes,
  • facilitating their development of interpersonal skills, 
  • increasing their understanding of notions of diversity, inclusivity, community membership, and cultural identity
  • provided with alternative ways of thinking regarding methods of communication
  • supported to see deafness and disability in a positive light as in “different”, and the acquisition of Auslan as a valuable tool for communicating with those with a hearing disability, especially with deaf friends or family members
  • integrating Auslan usage in other areas of learning and education.

Learning Auslan as a second language not only gives students a lifelong skill but increases their ability to communicate with members of the Australian deaf community. The increased sense of belonging and community that may be associated with this holds the potential to increase enjoyment in communicating for both hearing and deaf members of society.