Level 1 Training

Level 1 training is the starting point for learning Makaton. It is recommended for:

  • parents, family members, carers and workers who need to use Makaton at home and in their work
  • participants who need a more detailed knowledge about using and applying Makaton to develop the communication skills of others
"Sceptical at first, but it has truly been a turning point in gaining language and confidence for my son. And now my other children use it to talk with my son too."


Level 1 training provides a practical introduction to the Makaton Language Programme.

Sessions include discussing commonly asked questions, hints and tips for effective signing and symbol use and how to start using Makaton in everyday situations at home or work.

You will also learn the signs and symbols from Stages 1 and 2, and some of the Additional stage, of the Core Vocabulary.


Level 1 training is made up of two modules which can be delivered in a number of different ways.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the majority of our training is currently being done online over virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom, Webex or Teams.

Online training for Level 1 takes a minimum of seven hours and can be delivered in two to four sessions on one or more days, for example:

  • 2 x 4-hour sessions (same day, one session in the morning, one in the afternoon)
  • 2 x 4-hour sessions (different days)
  • 3 x 2.5-hour sessions (different days)
  • 4 x 2-hour sessions (different days)

Entry criteria

Participants must have an interest in early communication skills.


For Level 1 training you need to attend one of the following workshops:

  • Level 1 workshop
  • Beginners' Workshop (Day 1)
  • Foundation Workshop (Day 1)

It does not matter which workshop you attend as they cover the same content.

Study materials

If you attend a Level 1 workshop or Day 1 of a Beginners' Workshop, you will receive a Participant's Manual, which includes the Makaton symbols and signs that you learn in the workshop.

If you attend a Foundation Workshop, you will receive four workshop manuals, Pocket Book of Signs 1 and Pocket Book of Symbols 1.

You will also be given a certificate of attendance.  Please remember to keep your Level 1 training certificate in case you want to attend further Makaton training.

Next step

After completing Level 1 training you can attend Level 2 training .