ASL as a Language Option

Delani English, Feature Writer

Over one million people worldwide rely on and use sign language as their primary form of communication. Only a fraction of schools teach this “foreign language” to their attending students. Why is this such a low percentage?  

I believe that students should be taught sign language from elementary school through high school. Doing so would drastically boost the students’ communication skills and score them later when interviewing for a job application. Sign language is also a great skill to learn at a young age because it aids their brains’ language centers to develop, helping the young child form and memorize mental symbols. 

Another reason I can get behind this is due to “mainstreamed” deaf children. From primary school and secondary, these kids are placed into classrooms with their hearing peers and teachers. This language barrier causes many children to be put into special education rooms and fall behind on many assignments because of the difficulty to understand all the criteria—essential vocab words needed for social studies and mathematical courses.

I firmly believe that learning sign language is an important skill.  It allows for more communication to pass between hearing and deaf students/peers, strengthens a child’s brain,  and brings awareness to the deaf community, which may help citizens avoid disability shaming in the future.