Level 1 Training

Level 1 training is the starting point for learning Makaton. It is recommended for anyone with an interest in Makaton, including:

  • 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.


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

A Face-to-Face or in-person workshop is typically covered in one full day of around 7 hours.

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:

  • 1 full day (one session in the morning, one in the afternoon.  8 hours is recommended to allow plenty of time for lunch, and other breaks from the screen)
  • 2 x 3.5-4-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. 

No previous Makaton experience is required.


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

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

* The Beginners and Foundation workshops have now been superceded; Levels 1 & 2 combined cover the same content.  A Welsh Language version of the Beginners Workshop is available from some Tutors.

Study materials

You will receive a Participant's Manual which includes the Makaton symbols and line drawings of the signs that you learn in the workshop.

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 .