"Fun with Sign and Speech (FS2) – Early Sign Bilingual Development Programme" is a pre-school parent-child language development programme targeting families with deaf and hearing children of 0-6 years old. Through the bilingual input of visual and auditory mode of communication, the classes could facilitate the children's overall development, strengthen family bonds and promote social inclusion.
In a society where spoken language is the common mode of communication, the limited hearing ability of deaf children often hinders them to develop a complete language system. Sign language as a visual language will enable deaf children to build a complete language system in their early years, avoiding problems in their social, emotional, academic and cognitive development due to language delay.
The aim of FS2 Programme is to help children with hearing impairment to build a concrete language foundation through sign bilingual language activities. This programme is established as a pre-school service as part of the "Sign Bilingualism and Co-enrolment in Deaf Education Programme", which began in 2006 to improve language development in deaf children. Classes are led by one hearing instructor and one deaf instructor co-teaching using spoken language and signed language respectively. Through natural sign language, spoken language and written language, deaf children can acquire a concrete language foundation to improve their language and literacy development, whereas parents can acquire skills to support and communicate with their children.
Based on front-line experience and recent linguistics studies, hearing children and children with special educational needs can also benefit from learning sign language, which facilitates their language and cognitive development. The programmes are suitable for all children, to let more children benefit from sign bilingualism.
The FS2 Programme consists of 3 classes:
This programme was funded by The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund) from 2017 to 2019, and was supported by Impact Incubator of HKCSS. It is now running in a self-sustaining model.