What is the difference between Auslan, Makaton and Signed English?
Auslan is a true language, recognised by the Australian Government in 1987 in the Languages Policy. Auslan has it’s own structure and grammar with five lingusitc aspects of HOLME – Handshape, Orientation, Location, Movement and Expression. Makaton is a method of key-word signing for people with intellectual disabilities, autism and other aspects of limited communciation. Makaton borrows the signs from Auslan, it is not a language because it does not contain structure and grammar. Signed English is a sign system which was established to match word-for-word to the spoken English language. Signed English is entirely different from Auslan, however it borrows many signs from Auslan and this is where some confusion occurs between the two. Signed English is English, it is a manually coded English, therefore it is English delivered in a different format and is mainly used in education settings.