Makaton: 10 things to know

Makaton is a hugely valuable method of communication that uses symbols and signs to support speech. In the Early Years at Rugby School Thailand, our teachers use Makaton as part of everyday learning, which gives the children tools to communicate easily with those around them, regardless of their language and literacy levels.

Here are 10 things you should know about Makaton… including some basic signs to get you started!


Over 100,000 children and adults use Makaton! It is an intuitive signing language that is increasingly being adopted by the general public.


We are an international school with children from all over the world; Makaton supports integration, as children with and without language difficulties can communicate with each other, learn and play together more easily.


Makaton can be used as a main method of communication, or simply to support speech. In the early days of starting in our Pre-Nursery, this is a primary communication tool. By Reception language and literacy is much more developed, but children may still have big feelings they need help communicating.


In Makaton, signs are used with speech in spoken word order.


Difficulty understanding and speaking can lead to frustration and young children may communicate this through behaviours such as screaming and kicking. By using Makaton, we are helping children and adults to communicate in a more constructive way.


How to sign ‘Hello’ & ‘Good Morning’ in Makaton


How to sign ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’ & ‘No’ in Makaton:


How to sign ‘How are you?’, ‘Happy’ & ‘Sad’ in Makaton:


How to sign ‘Think’, ‘Calm’, ‘Sorry’ in Makaton


How to sign ‘Apple’, ‘Banana’ & ‘Orange’ in Makaton:

Rugby School Thailand is a leading co-educational British international school for 2-18 year-olds. They hold regular workshops for parents in the Pre-Prep, so families can support their children with tools such as Makaton.

To find out more about day and boarding opportunities at Rugby School Thailand, click here.

Written by

Find a school