The first national curriculum for Auslan (Australian Sign Language), will soon be rolled out in schools across Australia, in a move being described as a “huge step for equality”.
Since it was officially recognised as a language by the Federal Government in 1987, the use of Auslan for deaf children in Australian schools has been largely inconsistent, with teachers forced to rely on a general framework for languages such as Japanese and French.
For years parents have been lobbying for a formal curriculum to be implemented in schools and following ministerial endorsement, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) officially published the first curriculum in Auslan on Monday (Dec 19).
Auslan evolved from sign languages brought to Australia during the nineteenth century from Britain and Ireland.
In more recent times Auslan has seen a significant amount of lexical borrowing from American Sign Language (ASL), especially in signs for technical terms.
The term Auslan is an acronym of “Australian Sign Language”, coined by Trevor Johnston in the early 1980s,