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Sign Language for Kids in Kenya

Article by Maureen Kasuku
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Posted: January 10, 2022  

A new school year is upon us and you may be thinking of ways to enhance your child’s learning experience. Joining a sports club or learning to play an instrument is well and good but learning a non-verbal language is an out of the box idea.

Your child can benefit from learning sign language, even If they’re not deaf or hard-of-hearing. Any child, who can communicate in both sign and spoken language has a bilingual advantage as sign language is classified as a world language, the same as Spanish, French, or any other foreign language. Therefore, if a child speaks sign language, the child is considered bilingual. 

Studies show long-term cognitive benefits, including:

  • +12 IQ point advantage
  • Accelerated speech and emotional development
  • Effective communication
  • Lower frustration levels
  • Improved child-parent/care-giver bonding
  • Reinforcement of learning of educational concepts such as ABC’s, animals, etc.
  • Improved word recollection in children because there is muscle memory involved, and the more senses involved in learning, the greater memory retention the child will have
  • Improved attentiveness to social gestures of others as well as of themselves
  • Larger speaking vocabulary and ability to form longer sentences
  • Earlier reading and larger reading vocabulary
  • Better grades in school.

*Source

A decade  ago the Kenyan government embarked on a wholesale review of its basic education curriculum. The education ministry worked with civil society groups and NGOs – including Deaf Child Worldwide and VSO – to make sure the review would include a special focus on adapting the new curriculum to meet the needs of students with disabilities.

Modest progress has been made thus far and a few public primary schools in the country have incorporated Kenya Sign Language in their curriculum.

Learning resources are scarce but here’s where your child can learn Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) to compliment their curriculum

Kodomo Kids

A Youtube Channel dedicated to teaching Kenyan Kids life hacks MORE

Akili TV

Akili TV is known for it’s wholesome child content and they have shows for deaf children or kids interested in learning KSL  MORE

About the author

Maureen Kasuku

Maureen is our resident cat lady and Beyoncé stan. She writes about spas, brunch and ballet recitals but has never been to any. Moonlights as a social justice activist in her spare time. She knows things and is obnoxiously opinionated on the internet but not in real life

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