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A few words from the history of ARTeria… Cued speech and „gestures” (hand signs)

We invite you to read the review article by Wenantjusz Ochmann “A few words from the history of ARTteria … Cued’s speech and” gestures “(hand signs) written as part of the Cued Speech Europa project. The article is available in English and Polish, and in English also on the ARTeria Foundation fanpage on Facebook (link here).


The project is European within the Erasmus + Union program.

In world today many concepts and phenomena are referred to by the same words but have completely different meanings. Sometimes, this  can lead to interesting and amusing situations. I would like to share a description of one such situation with you.

In June 2018, I conducted a meeting at the Arteria Foundation in Zabrze as part of the IQ Institute. In a slightly holiday mood, the main topic of the discussion with teachers was „Can everyone sing?” The first part of the meeting, a theoretical lecture, was somewhat nostalgic for the times when the subject „Music”, „Musical Education” or „Singing” was compulsory in every educational stage in general schools. Moreover, it even included 2-3 hours a week in some classes. The conclusion was also that we often lose these skills with age. In the second part, we started breathing, emission and vocal workshops.

In showing the simple melody of the song to people who do not read the notes, as usual in such situations, I used hand movements to facilitate the singing of the melody –”gestures”- hand signs. I am a graduate of the Academy of Music in Katowice, the Department of Music Education from the first half of the 1990s and we used solfege hand signs in music pedagogy classes many times (for each note in the scale we have a different gesture). It was inextricably linked with the use of the Zoltan Kodaya method in teaching music, especially in general education. Our lecturer in this field was then Dr. Anna Waluga, who until today educates music educators as a professor at the Academy of Music in Katowice.

But at this meeting of the IQ Institute there was an encounter with a completely different meaning of the term „gestures”. One of the participants, who conducts speech therapy classes on a daily basis, made me realize that she uses the „Cued Speech” articulatory gestures method in working with hearing impaired children. During her classes she talks to these children and at the same time shows what she is saying with her hand near her mouth. She was very convinced of the effectiveness of this method, but then it was not possible to discuss this topic longer.

Since the Arteria Foundation deals with the development and dissemination of innovative teaching methods in various fields of education, the subject of Cued Speech has become of interest to us.

A kind of culmination of these activities is the implementation of the Cued Speech Europa project, in which the ARTeria Foundation together with the Catholic University of Lublin are Polish partners.


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