2 Jul 2007

First Tongan sign language book produced

10:12 am on 2 July 2007

Students at Tonga's hearing and speech impaired school are benefitting from the country's first ever sign language book.

The book by sign language teacher Rachel Brindal, who was an Australian volunteer with Tonga Red Cross, was made to help the students sign in their own language, and also help their families to learn and use sign language.

She says the book consists of 392 signs with 700 photos of the students showing the signs, and were adapted by the students from English signs taken from Australian sign language books and translated into Tongan.

Rachel Brindal says she received a lot of help from the local community and also from the students.

"One of the students actually designed the cover of the book and really tried to get the students involved in the whole process, it was ownership of their own sign language book because it's their language."

Rachel Brindal says she has received a lot of positive feed back about the book.