How is Makaton different from New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL)?
Makaton is a communication programme using speech, signs and symbols.
Makaton is always used with a spoken language (such as English or Te Reo Māori) to support communication development.
Makaton supports people with speech, language and communication needs.
Only the key words in a sentence are highlighted by signs and/or symbols while we speak.
The signs used in the New Zealand Makaton Communication Programme are from New Zealand Sign Language: each word in the Makaton core vocabulary is matched to one sign and one symbol.
New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is one of three official languages in Aotearoa and is used by the Deaf Community. Te Reo Māori and English are the other two official languages.
NZSL is a rich language without the need for speech.
NZSL, like all languages, has its own unique word order and grammatical rules (NZSL word order differs from both Te Reo Māori and English).
There are regional differences with the signs across New Zealand, so one word may have multiple signs.
So, how is Makaton different from NZSL?
Makaton uses NZSL signs, but they are used in a different way, along with speech and symbols to support the development of spoken communication skills.