American Sign Language: God's Noblest Gift Essay

American Sign Language: God's Noblest Gift Essay

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“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things” (American). For centuries, people from all walks of life have been using their hands to communicate with one another, and for centuries people from all walks of life have been learning. Today I am following in their footsteps with a passion from God for the deaf language, culture, and souls. For almost a decade, an intense ardor for American Sign Language and a desire to reach its native users for Christ seeded itself in my soul, wove its roots deeper and deeper, and blossomed into one of the greatest loves of my life. American Sign Language is a unique language with a rich history that not only provides a service to people in the deaf culture, but also to hearing people who seek to attain fluency.
In general, sign language—as defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as “any means of communication through bodily movements … used when spoken communication is impossible or not desirable”—has been used by dozens of cultures for ages, but American Sign Language (ASL) is fairly new. The Native Americans hold one of the earliest records of sign language with their ancient system of communication using signs to converse and break “language barriers” between tribes who spoke different dialects (American). Because many of their cultures were so intertwined with various “shared elements,” the Indians were able to devise “common symbols” to communicate with each other without the use of formal interpreters (American). Across the sea, Juan Pablo de Bonet of Spain was conducting his own research of sign language for the deaf and published the first documentation of a manual alphabet in 1620 (Butterworth). Before ...


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Deaf School vs. Mainstream School Pro's and Con's. 2012. Chart. RedeafinedWeb. 30 Nov 2013.
Harrington, Tom. "Ranking and Number of Users." Gallaudet University Library. Gallaudet University, n.d. Web. 2 Dec 2013.
"Manually Coded English vs. "Natural" Sign Languages." Sign Language. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov 2013.
Merriam-Webster, 2013.Web. 2 December 2013.
National Association of the Deaf. National Association of the Deaf, 12 Nov 2013. Web. 30 Nov 2013.
“Sign Language.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2002. Print.
Sign Language Interpretation. Personal Observation. 16 Nov. 2013.
Wells, Kaitlin. Personal interview. 20 Nov. 2013.
"Values and Norms of the Deaf Community." College of the Canyons. College of the Canyons, n.d. Web. 30 Nov 2013.

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