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Find out more about communication methods and read inspiring stories about the people that use them.
This page explains how to use Makaton, who it is for and how you can start to learn Makaton.
Makaton, or “key word signing”, is a simple and easy form of signed communication. It is not a formal sign language.
Makaton uses signs and symbols, in spoken word order, along with speech, to develop communication, language and literacy skills.
You can also use Makaton symbols to choose between activities, just how you use objects of reference and picture symbols.
Children and adults with communication or learning support needs use Makaton.
Today, more than 100,000 children and adults use Makaton, either as their main way of communicating or along with speech.
Teachers, health professionals, family, friends, carers and others use Makaton to support adults and children with communication and learning needs.
It is also helpful for people who have English as an additional language.
The Core Vocabulary is the starting point for learning Makaton. It covers everyday life concepts (450) and gets gradually more complex.
The Makaton Charity offers a range of Core Vocabulary resources, including Welsh language versions.
The charity offers training levels 1–4, online, face-to-face and in-house workshops, the Core Vocabulary needed for everyday communication, and much more.
The best way to start learning Makaton is with level 1 training. You’ll learn with other people, share your experiences, receive feedback on your signing and symbol work, and practise with others.
With Level 1 Training, you’ll also meet and build a relationship with a Makaton tutor, who can help and support you in the future. The Makaton Charity has more than 1,000 licensed professional Makaton tutors.
Once you’ve completed Level 1, you can go on to Level 2, and then on to Levels 3 and 4.
To find out more about the Makaton Charity and what it offers, go to makaton.org
If you already know which level of training you’re looking for, the best place to start is the workshop search page.
If you’ve already attended the Makaton Charity’s core training and have plenty of experience using Makaton in many situations, you could train to become a Makaton tutor.
Find out about entry criteria for training, length and cost of courses, study materials, course formats and Makaton taster sessions (if you’re not sure that training is for you)