Should Everyone Learn To Sign? Moving Away From An Interpreter Model with Sarah Billingham

Needing to use sign language can be very isolating for a child and they are often excluded from natural conversation. The use of signing (both BSL and Makaton) has increased in popularity, but are we using this tool to its maximum effect for children with language and communication needs? 

Sarah Billingham joins Dale in this episode ‘Should everyone learn to sign?’ and highlights that a great deal of time and emphasis is spent teaching modern foreign languages, but how much time is spent teaching children how to communicate with peers that have communication needs? Are we equipping them for all of the interactions they may have as adults? 

Some schools and settings are doing a great job of introducing signing to support basic communication but are not embedding this across the setting. This therefore limits some of the communication and social opportunities for the children in their settings. Listen to hear Sarah emphasize the need to change cultures in schools so that signing is seen as a more integral part of learning and how everyone can benefit.

Useful Links






download transcript
sarah billingham

About Sarah Billingham

Sarah Billingham is a specialist teacher, she runs Confident Kids, a unique Early Years service.

She equips parents, carers and practitioners with expert knowledge and the practical tools they need to offer their little people the very best communication support they can.

Sarah has been working with children with speech and language needs for over 16 years in mainstream and specialist settings.


Contact Sarah

Facebook logo

Be the first to hear when new podcasts go live!

The SENDcast is powered by B Squared

We have been involved with Special Educational Needs for over 25 years, helping show the small steps of progress pupils with SEND make. B Squared has worked with thousands of schools, we understand the challenges professionals working in SEND face. We wanted a way to support these hardworking professionals – which is why we launched The SENDcast! Click the button below to find out more about how B Squared can help improve assessment for pupils with SEND in your school.

SENDcast sessions logo

Introducing SENDcast Sessions

SENDcast Sessions are a new way for schools to access high quality CPD from SEND experts brought to you by the SENDcast. It’s the same great guests featured on our weekly podcast, delivering focused 1-hour online training sessions on a wide range of SEND topics.

SENDcast Sessions provide schools with in depth content that can be accessed forever. Build a library of online CPD that your school can continue to use in the future – choose from over 100 training sessions!

Visit the online shop

Leave a Reply

Podcast Feedback

Powered by
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop