Sign Language in Classrooms Essays

Sign Language in Classrooms Essays

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On a cold winter evening, the sound of a siren comes blaring from a distance that is only a couple of feet away. Sixteen year-old Daniel is bent over working on fixing something under the hood of his car. All of a sudden, he feels a rough grab on his side. He looks up confused, but is met by a raging police office trying to communicate something while yelling. When the police officer doesn’t get the reaction he expects, he then begins to forcefully handcuff Daniel. Unbeknownst to the police office, Daniel couldn’t respond because he couldn’t hear the police officer because he was Deaf. When Daniel tried to make some hand gestures to signify to the police officer that he was Deaf, his gestures were mistaken as resisting arrest. He was then arrested and spent 12 hours in jail until it was finally realized that the police officer arrested the wrong person. This could have been avoided if the police officer understood Sign Language. But, the police officer isn’t the only person who doesn’t understand Sign Language. A lot of people in the United States claim that they know what Sign Language is, but very few of them actually know how to use it effectively.
Most Americans confuse Sign Language as a set of hand gestures that serve to express English words with signs but fail to realize that Sign Language is much more than just hand gestures. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Sign Language is “a formal language employing a system of hand gestures for communication (as by the Deaf)”. In the United States, the primary form of Sign Language is the American Sign Language. American Sign Language is a linguistically complex visual language. It consists of making hand gestures combined with facial expressions and body postures. It is in...


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...Special Education: A Reference for the Education of the Handicapped and other Exceptional Children and Adults (2006).
Cripps J, Smalls A. "To Mainstream or Not to Mainstream Your Deaf Child." Deaf Culture Centre (n.d.).
Denham, Lobeck. Integrating Linguistic Knowledge into K–12 Teaching. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 2005.
History of ASL. Manchester.edu, 2012.
Johnson, Liddel, Erting. "Unlocking the Curriculum: Principles for Acheiving Access in Deaf Education." Department of Linguistics and Interpreting and the Gallaudet Research Institute (1989): 1.
Lieberman, Lauren J, et al. "Infusing Sign Language and Spanish into Physical Education." Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (2010): 45-49.
National Institute of Health. American Sign Language. Maryland: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 2011-2012.

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