Importance of sign language in the classroom

Importance of sign language in the classroom

Learning sign language promotes empathy by encouraging children to understand and appreciate different forms of communication. It breaks down barriers and supports understanding between children with and without hearing impairments. Additionally, sign language lessons can contribute to cognitive development, as it requires the brain to process visual and spatial information in a unique way.

Consider teaching pupils sign language and its importance as well as informing them of International Day of Sign Languages, which occurs on the 28th of September.

To learn more about the importance of sign language in the classroom, read our blog and share with your class to deepen their understanding as well as encourage them to learn sign language.


Improves classroom behaviours

Integrating sign language into the classroom can benefit classroom management and help children with their behaviours during class time. Consider using signs for certain places in the classroom and activities such as for toilets and help. Doing this reduces interruptions and helps to keep pupils on track and focused in lessons.

Helping children focus on work with minimal interruptions by teaching signs that they can use are vital steps to improving their behaviours.


Improves spelling

When children learn basic sign language it can help them with their spelling. Pupils can learn the alphabet in BSL (British Sign Language) to begin with in order to pick up words and develop spelling skills. Signing enhances children’s spelling and aids with their memory when it comes to words. Muscles have their own memory so when pupils add signing to orally spelling words, they remember them easily.


Builds communication skills

Communication and language are often thought of as spoken native languages such as English. Yet communication and language are so much more, including body language and emotional language. If children learn sign language, they can improve their ability to read general body language, which helps to boost their communication skills.

They may also develop their emotional language skills and their spoken language skills. This allows them to communicate with others clearly. To further pupils’ communication skills consider integrating sign language into other subjects. For example, you can use these wooden sign language number tiles during a maths lesson.


Helps to express themselves

Occasionally, it can be frustrating for children to communicate what they want or need with peers and teachers. It can be hard to ask for help or ask questions, especially for pupils who communicate through sign. If they constantly struggle to express their feelings and themselves, it may lead to them bottling up emotions. This can take a toll on their education.

If your class can understand basic sign language it can help to reduce the negatives for children who use sign language as their communication. Plus, if you understand sign language, it helps pupils feel comfortable to communicate with you too.


importance of sign language- pupils communicating with sign language

Improves motor skills

Due to the dexterity required for communicating via sign language, it can aid children in improving small motor skills. Children who struggle with muscle strength and coordination can develop these skills as well as learning to communicate effectively in another language.


Builds vocabulary skills

Sign language can help to reinforce vocabulary and help with finding the meaning to words. A key part of communication is body language which, paired with sign language, can further help build children’s vocabulary skills. Sign language can often be closely related to the meaning of words, which aids pupils with vocabulary and discovering what words mean.


Improves self-esteem

For children who communicate via sign language, it is important to develop their confidence and self-esteem. Teaching sign language to the whole class can make children feel valued within the group. Every pupil can understand that we all communicate in different ways and learn more about each other.


Creates an inclusive environment

Teaching sign language to your class can encourage respect and inclusivity for all pupils. Children can learn why sign language is important to others and how to use it. Giving an opportunity for children to learn sign language creates a safe and welcoming environment where everyone can learn and communicate effectively with one another.



It is vital to know the importance of sign language in the classroom to be able to integrate lessons and teach children how to sign. Consider sharing these benefits with your class to further encourage them to actively participate. If you have any children who communicate through sign language in your class, consider allowing them to teach their peers.

For more inspiration, tips and advice from Hope check out our latest blogs.

<a href="" target="_self">Amber Vaccianna</a>

Amber Vaccianna

Hope blog writer

21 September 2023

Tags - Advice | Classroom

You May Also Like…

Pin It on Pinterest