American Sign Language is the primary sign language in use today in the United States of America. Many other nations together with their indigenous Sign Languages relies on ASL.
American Sign Language (ASL) is also heavily represented in parts of Mexico and Canada. It is considered the 3rd most used language in the United States after spoken Spanish and English. It is estimated that 500,000 to 2,000,000 people use ASL as a means of communication. It is also important to note that ASL employs the use of signs, gestures, hand movement, hand shape, body movement, and facial expressions.
Why it’s Important to Learn American Sign Language:
American sign language is not only valuable to the hearing impaired but also the hearing population. Research shows that learning sign language is beneficial to hearing adults and children as well.
The following are some of these benefits:
1. It improves spelling:
Studies show that children learning basic sign language skills have improved spelling skills. This is because signing helps kids with another tool for mastering spelling-words and leaves a bigger imprint on their brains.
Because of the presence of the mini-memories in our muscles, it is easy to remember when we orally spell the word and sign it. Good spelling skills translate to good writing skills. This is so dear to many of us.
2. Improves classroom management:
Teachers who apply the use of sign language in the hearing classrooms find manage their classrooms better. Using sign reduce interruptions during lecture, therefore, assisting the teacher to keep the students on track. This is because learning always requires some silence for it to be effective.
Teachers and learners with sign language skills thus will achieve this silence by applying the use of signs at some point during the lecture.
3. It enhances small motor skills:
The dexterity needed for communicating with hand-gestures in the sign language helps in developing motor skills. Those people with a problem in small muscle coordination and strength are able to develop their skills and also learn to effectively communicate with other languages.
How American Sign language Helps The Hearing Impaired:
American Sign language is extremely beneficial to the hearing impaired community in the following ways:
Sign language helps people with hearing impairment to effectively communicate with others. With sign language, they are able to communicate with their spouses, parents, children, relatives, employees, employers and other people they may interact with. Through the use of ASL they are able to communicate and do normal things with much ease such as doing business, educating others among many other things.
This consequently raises their self-esteem, reduces frustrations, increases productivity and their overall well being as members of our society. It also promotes a good relationship among people.
Now you know that learning American sign language is of so much help to all of us. Whether you have a hearing impairment or not, child or an adult, this sign language will do you good. With the above benefits associated with it, we surely need to make it our favorite!