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Communication Without Sound

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The Benefits of Learning Sign Language

Over the past years, sign language has become more popular across the globe. American universities registered a 16% increase in the number of students who signed up for sign language as a course from 2006 until 2009, while Spanish, English and fFench had a 9% increase. Out of the global population, 70 million people have sign language as their mother tongue. Despite being named an official language in 2003, many people consider it to be often overlooked, and encourage more schools to teach sign language courses to their students. Why is that so? Here are a couple reasons why learning sign language could turn out to be beneficial.

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Firstly, knowing sign language (even if it’s at the most basic level) helps students break the boundary between communities. There seems to exist a sort of barrier between the so called “Deaf Community” and “Hearing Community”. There are a lot of cases of hearing people being completely unaware of the deaf community, that is, unless they’d taken sign language classes or met someone with a hearing disability. Learning this way of communicating would erase the barrier between these two groups, leading to them learning and sharing formative experiences alongside each other. Eventually, we could even get rid of the difference between these two ‘worlds’.

Teaching young children and toddlers sign language helps them with their oral skills. It’s been discovered that it’s easier for kids to learn a language (after having learned to sign) because they find it helpful to associate words with their sign, thus, making the entire process easier (and more fun) for them. This could even apply to teenagers and/or adults who wish to learn a new language.

Another advantage of knowing sign language relates to jobs. Knowing how to sign opens countless doors, for more and more spots are incorporating signing into their routine. These include translators, nurses, tour guides, salespeople, educators, and many more! Dennis Cokely, the director of the A.S.L. program at Northeastern University, said: “the demand for nationally certified A.S.L. interpreters is huge, and as a freelance interpreter, you can make $40 to $60 an hour.” Certainly, it’s a useful detail to add to your credential.

Image result for sign language tumblrLast but not least, signing helps you exercise your vision and hands. Your eyes learn to become more aware of your surroundings, while the different gestures contribute to getting the blood in your fingers moving. It’s also helpful for those who wish to broaden their facial gestures and body languages, say, actors.

Sign language and its variations around the world have become very popular, for example, in the United States. Like Tamara Lewis points out in this article, “more than 90,000 students enrolled in sign-language classes last year, compared with only 4,304 in 1995.” More universities are offering the language as a course, and the enrolment keeps growing day to day. Knowing sign language nowadays certainly has its benefits, and there are many resources available for those who wish to learn. It may also turn out to be quite a fun and exciting experience, which you can even carry out with friends. What about you? Do you know sign language, or know someone who does? Do you want to learn? Start a discussion!

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