INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION WITH UNIVERSAL SIGNS
The UNESCO Associated
Schools from Spain, at the General Assembly that took place in El Ejido,
Almeria, in 2004, July 8,
-The Declaration and Integrated Framework of Action on Education for
Peace, Human Rights and Democracy (UNESCO, 1995), in its Article 29 : “Respect
for the educational rights of persons belonging to ... minorities, as well as
indigenous peoples´ in order to foster understanding between communities and
Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (UNESCO, 2001), in the Article 6 of
the Action Plan: “The role that languages
should play in the field of education includes respect for the mother tongue,
linguistic diversity at all levels of education and the promotion of
multilingualism from an early age”.
Position Paper “Education in a multilingiual world” (UNESCO, 2003) that
proposes three Basic Principles at its Guidelines for Language and Education for
the twenty-first century:
1-Mother Tongue Instruction (even in groups with different mother
tongues, which should receive special help)
2-Multilingual Education at all levels of education (with international
support and assistance to developing countries to facilitate the development of
freely accessible materials on language education in the electronic form and the
enhancement of human capital skills in this area)
3-Languages as an essential component of Inter-cultural Education (in
order to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures),
there are more than 6000 different languages, half of them in serious danger of
there is an increasing need to find answers to the problem of international
communication in a more and more interconnected world, with increasing waves of emigrants that do not know
the languages that are spoken in the countries of destination.
the World Federation of the Deaf published
under auspices of UNESCO a set of 1500 universal signs with the name of
GESTUNO in 1975.
the simultaneous use of these universal signs and the spoken language provides
people from different countries with an additional level for elementary
this “simultaneous communication” technique, with universal signs, allows
minority languages and/or mother tongues to be present in international
the widespread use of universal signs could help to improve the social
integration of immigrants as well as deaf people.
the use of universal signs in school activities adds expressiveness and makes
them more visually attractive , and it also facilitates the integration of deaf
and immigrant students.
there are methods for the foreign language learning that use signs as a teaching
resource for elementary levels.
the use of universal signs as a teaching tool for language learning allows us to
find a common methodology for the introduction to any foreign language at an
the necessary information to know and use the universal signs can be found
freely on the Internet ( )
all the preceding reasons, the Assembly Decides
recommend the Associated Schools the introduction of universal signs into school
propose that the Associated Schools use
universal signs as an additional communication tool for exchanges with schools
in foreign countries, once they have been informed.
support the creation and edition of a World Anthology of Poetry concerning Human
Values and written by all the schools from the different countries both in their
original language and with universal signs.
ask the UNESCO-ASP Net International Co-ordination to spread these proposals to
all the schools belonging to the net.
ask the local, regional, national and international authorities in education for
their support to promote teacher-training activities that include the
application of universal signs at the different teaching levels and subjects.