5-speed listening (Clapping - Level 6)

University to replace clapping with hand-waving



Medium (British English)

Medium (N. American English)



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A university in the UK has voted to replace hand clapping with 'jazz-hand waving'. The University of Manchester Students' Union voted in favor of replacing clapping with 'jazz hands' to respect people who can be negatively affected by loud noise. The jazz hands action is the British Sign Language's form of clapping. It is simply the practice of waving one's hands in the air. Students' Union spokeswoman Sara Khan said the vote was taken out of respect for many people who are affected by loud noise, which includes clapping and cheering. She said many people with conditions like autism, sensory issues and deafness tend to avoid public events because of loud clapping and cheering.

The vote has sparked a lot of criticism online. British broadcaster Piers Morgan tweeted that, "Britain is losing its mind". The debate even reached as far as the USA, where former Florida governor Jeb Bush tweeted: "Not cool, University of Manchester. Not Cool." Representatives of the Students' Union hit back, saying they represent the majority of students' views at the university. The Union said: "The policy was passed to encourage the use of British Sign Language clapping during our democratic events to make those events more accessible and inclusive for all." It added: "We are not banning audible clapping. We understand that some people may be more comfortable to continue using it."

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Clapping - Level 4  |  Clapping - Level 5

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