The Importance Of American Sign Language

1342 Words6 Pages
Exposure to language is very important during the first few years of life. For most hearing children, exposure to language starts at birth. Children who are born deaf may not have exposure right away. Because 90 percent of the Deaf children are born into hearing families with little knowledge of the Deaf world, many of these deaf children will not have early access to language. Although these children are unable to process an auditory mode of communication, used by most hearing people, they are able to process a visual mode of communication. American Sign Language offers a visual mode of communication that can benefit the acquisition of language for deaf learners.
Research has found that “Deaf individuals who are exposed to language at earlier
…show more content…
Establishing American Sign Language as a first language for Deaf American children is key. By establishing American Sign Language as their first language you are providing an accessible language that help your Deaf child learn English later on. Many classes use Total Communication which uses Sign language, English, picture, videos, and other tools to teach concepts in class. It has been shown that deaf children who have early access American Sign Language, like those who were born with Deaf parents, are four times more likely to go to college than those who have hearing parents (Wilbur). Other countries have already shown evidence that bilingual-bicultural classes are the way to go. In Sweden, the mandatory primary language for deaf children in school is, Swedish Sign Language. The Deaf students who are in these bilingual-bicultural programs graduate on par with their hearing counterparts (Allen). Not only do these bilingual-bicultural programs assist in teaching English, they also focus in teaching your child about Deaf and hearing culture, self identity, and high academic standards. America has still not established American Sign Language as the mandatory language of instruction which may explain why “30% of Deaf students leave school functionally illiterate, as compared to less than 1% of their hearing peers”
Open Document