What is Makaton?
Makaton is a unique language programme which uses signs, speech and symbols together to support communication and spoken language. As language develops, new signs and symbols are added. Makaton's use has evolved over the years to support people of all ages in a variety of ways to improve their communication, education and everyday life. Over 100,000 children and adults use Makaton daily as it can be tailored to the individual’s needs by using a mix of speech, signs and symbols.
Makaton is increasingly being used in Early Years education to encourage any child to develop communication skills and comprehension, speech and understanding of phonics, meaning it is not exclusive for those with communication problems or learning difficulties. It allows very young children to use gestures to communicate, reducing their frustrations before they go on to develop language skills, as well as children with English as an Additional Language (EAL).
Many children watch Mr Tumble in Something Special on CBeebies, as well as Singing Hands, which are fun ways to learn Makaton. There are many resources available both on the Makaton website and in books, apps, and free downloadable resources. Makaton is not just for children, as many adults use signs and symbols throughout their lives.
Makaton Symbols in the Special iApps Membership
The Makaton Symbols are black and white drawings associated with a sign and word or words. To access them you must have a membership to both Special iApps and Makaton.
There are three Makaton Membership levels:
Makaton Symbol add-ons are currently provided Special Words Plus, Special Stories Plus and Special Spelling Plus. These resources are grouped according to your Makaton Membership level and the ones that you can access therefore depend on your current membership level. Makaton is a living language as it always evolving, so you may notice that some word lists change over time.
To download and use Makaton resources in any of our apps you will need to know your Makaton username and Makaton Membership ID (six digits). For more details, including how to find these, please refer to our FAQs.
Take a look at our Makaton Videos and our blog for help on downloading and using our Makaton Symbol add-ons.