St Albans girl nominated for award for sign language teaching

TALENTED youngster, Amber Nixon, has been nominated for a national learning award in recognition of her dedication and hard work in volunteerng and teaching sign language.

Amber, of Burston Drive, St Albans, first began learning sign language when she started at Townsend School in Year 7, a British Sign Language (BSL) centre.

Her enthusiasm and talent set her apart from her peers, impressing her tutor into nominating her for the title of Young Learner of the Year at the 2012 Signature Annual Awards.

16-year-old Amber said: “I was just so shocked and couldn’t believe that I had been nominated when there was so many other people that could have been put forward for the award.

“It’s the best thing to have happened to me!”

She began lessons during her lunch break in order to improve communications with deaf classmates, later becoming one of only 10 in the school to enter the Level 1 and 2 qualifications when she began her GCSEs in Year 10.

“Passing the Level 2 qualification was a big challenge and I was the youngest out of a big group of adults.

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“It’s much easier to get to grips with sign language when you are younger, I was helping the adults and pretty much became the second teacher!”

Jim Edwards, chief executive at Signature, said: “Amber’s nomination showed that she was keen to progress very quickly.

“Her willingness to break down barriers has been reflected in her dedication and aptitude for the language.”

As well as continuing her studies, Amber volunteers at Colchester Zoo as a signer and works with her deaf classmates during history and geography lessons, helping to integrate them fully into the class.

“I am definitely going to keep going with signing and volunteering as I find it very enjoyable.

“It’s changed my life and I’d like to thank my tutor, family and friends for the support, I wouldn’t be where I am now without them!”

The winners of the 2012 Signature Annual Awards will be announced on Friday November 2 at a ceremony in London.