The Makaton charity describes Makaton as a ‘...language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order’ (Makaton, n.d.). It is used in educational and health care settings to support  understanding in those with and without physical or learning impairments.


To read more about Makaton:



For research into the benefits of Makaton try:

Using Makaton with babies:

Makaton and inclusion:


Makaton and EAL see:

Mistry, M. and Barnes, D. (2013) ‘The use of Makaton for supporting talk, through play, for pupils who have English as an Additional Language (EAL) in the Foundation Stage’, Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education, 41:6, 603-616


The links below lead to some examples of Makaton in use: signing?current_search=makaton


For some free resources try:


You may wish to direct parents with questions about Makaton to the BBC website: