Effective use of ‘Non Manual Features’ to deepen your child’s understanding when using sign language.
What are Non Manual Features?
“The eyes are the windows to the soul.”
In simple terms, non-manual features refer to the facial expressions we use during sign language communication. It is a well-known fact that we use a multitude of methods when communicating with others, we mostly do this subconsciously, using visual, gestural, auditory, spoken and written modes of communication. We also use our sixth senses to perceive understanding, this can often be felt in our gut or solar plexus when we become very calm and still. Remember, when you animate your facial expressions with children, especially young pre-verbal babies, you are deepening their understanding tenfold, giving them greater assurance that they “get what you’re saying,” simultaneously boosting their self-confidence.
Tip number 1: Practice speaking with your eyes in the mirror or when you are with your friends. Using the subject of thoughts and feelings, ask them what your eyes are telling them without speaking, if they get it right, then feel good about the fact that you have brilliantly singing, speaking and dancing eyes!
Tip number 2, practice separating your eye brow gestures with your actual eyes and lids. Once you have tried that, next do the same with your mouth shape when trying to convey meaning.
Remember to have fun with it!
April 27, 2019