Why You Should Learn Sign Language
Language is the essence of culture, a way to connect with others through written, spoken, and visual forms. It allows expression of thoughts, ideas, stories and passions in all aspects of life. All over the world, people speak different languages, and it propels all communication, be it face-to-face, on the phone, email, text, on paper, or social media. The one language that many are captivated by in today’s world, is sign language.
Imagine a scenario at a grocery store where there are two D/deaf customers having a conversation in American Sign Language. Passersby are entranced by this visual mode of communication which sparks a desire in them to participate in the discourse. But where are they supposed to learn the language? Fret not! The digital world allows easier access to sign language education. World In Sign advocates for sign language due to the following reasons:
- A huge component of sign language is facial expressions. Sign language education helps participants to gain this essential piece in communication. Without facial expressions, the world would be bland.
- Like any language used, sign language is a window into the origins and culture of the Deaf community. From the protests of Deaf President Now (DPN) to the latest accessibility advancements in technology, there is so much to learn about the realms of sign language and communication.
- Memorization skills improve vastly. Not only does the brain process the word and the syntax of the sentence, but the hands translate that thought thereby making the memory more psychosomatic. The next time that you take a test and ace it, you can thank sign language.
- Leave the yelling at home. With sign language, you can communicate without being loud and help the environment by reducing noise pollution. If you want to be loud, you can show it in your facial expression as you sign. Work those eyebrows!
- Communicate with babies. Babies can pick up on cues, make facial expressions, scream, and point to what they want. Sign language alleviates that by nurturing and developing smooth communication skills at a faster rate. Rather than get frustrated with a baby or child’s temper tantrum, sign language can help you find out what’s going on in their mind. Research shows that children who are exposed to sign language at an early age will have improved cognitive skills, a larger vocabulary, and acquire crucial emotional benefits.
- With sign language, reading levels are elevated in a child’s educational environment. This means that when your little one is reading, they are connecting a variety of words to what they learned in sign language – making it easier to attain.
- Fingerspelling has its perks. If a student is in a class setting where spelling words is necessary, an option to help them practice the words is fingerspelling. This improves their spelling and memorization skills vastly.
- Create with your hands. We are not talking about pottery but rather language arts such as storytelling, poetry, and plays. When one of these arts is expressed through sign language, it gives the creativity piece some zest while maintaining accessibility.
- Sign in the watery abyss. Swimming is a fun and relaxing activity that many people take part in – especially when the temperatures are at an all-time high. Some swim to relieve anxiety, get fit, or to just splash around. Others can communicate underwater whether snorkeling, scuba diving or playing a word guessing game. Using sign language simplifies that, making communication underwater a current of accessibility (get it…? …current.).
- Sign in quiet places. We love a good book – especially when searching for one in a quiet place like the library. Sometimes, people get too excited about the book and just have the urge to be vocal about it, or students may want to chatter about an assignment they are working on. That’s where sign language comes in. With facial expression and sign language, the message is easily spread without creating a cacophony that may get someone kicked out (yikes).
- There is an entire world full of deaf and hard of hearing people. Many want to communicate and often that does not come easy. Learning sign language opens a portal of accessibility and makes communication clear, builds new bridges of belonging and fellowship, and opens portals into each other’s cultures.
All the reasons to learn sign language are valid but the one to top the list is communication. People have the right to be seen and not overlooked. They want to tell their story. Interact. Be included. Feel validated. Have access.
With many resources available – books, programs, and online training – there is an entire universe of sign language ready to be discovered. Don’t wait to communicate, learn how to sign today.