Brochure Review: American Sign Language
American Sign Language Brochure ReviewAmerican Sign Language: A Look at History, Structure, and Community by Charlotte Baker and Carol Padden serves as a beginners guide for new ASL learners. Topics including the history of American Sign Language, the Deaf community, and the basic building blocks of ASL including grammar, movement, and expression are discussed in a way that a person with no prior knowledge on the subject can easily understand and appreciate. American Sign Language is one of the many different types of sign languages used throughout the world. It is a language that is composed of gestures using the hands, arms, face, and body to depict a certain word or idea, and was created as a way of communication between hard of hearing and deaf individuals. While there is not much information known about sign language in America before 1817, it is assumed that deaf people in America have been using
Where Did American Sign Language Originate
The exact beginnings of ASL are not clear. Many people believe that ASL came mostly from French Sign Language . Others claim that the foundation for ASL existed before FSL was introduced in America in 1817. It was in that year that a French teacher named Laurent Clerc, brought to the United States by Thomas Gallaudet, founded the first school for the deaf in Hartford, Connecticut. Clerc began teaching FSL to Americans, though many of his students were already fluent in their own forms of local, natural sign language. Today’s ASL likely contains some of this early American signing. Which language had more to do with the formation of modern ASL is difficult to prove. Modern ASL and FSL share some elements, including a substantial amount of vocabulary. However, they are not mutually comprehensible.
Six Elements Of Language
There are six elements of language:
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Becomes Easier To Learn Another Sign Language
I have always been told that I pick up languages very quickly.
Im not sure if I buy the logic of having the knack for it, being talented or being a natural polyglot.
What I can definitely say from experience is that if you learn one new language, it is easier to learn another.
And if you already know know an extra language on top of your native language, then you may also have a headstart in adding more languages to your portfolio.
So why not sign language?
Benefits Of Sign Language
Sign language for babies and toddlers is a new concept in South Africa. Signing has been in practise in the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand for a number of years and is, for obvious reasons, incredibly popular.
There are crèches and pre-schools who have included it in their curriculum with overwhelming success.
Two American doctors, Drs Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn, conducted a long-term research study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and Human Development. Their eight-year study examined 103 infants, randomly selected to use signing or not. They drew many positive conclusions from their work, some of which are discussed below.
1. It reduces frustration:Once babies begin to sign, they can begin to tell you what it is that they want or need. Their grunts and points no longer have to be interpreted and a process of elimination followed, the sign will show an exact item or feeling.
2. It increases self esteem:Signing infants can become a part of the conversation, they can tell you something and you will actively listen. They get constant recognition and immediate feedback.
3. It enhances language and listening skills:Babies who were exposed to signing tended to talk earlier and to build a vocabulary quicker than their non-signing counterparts. Words which were a combination of sounds before, now take on a more tangible meaning. Once they can say the word they tend to drop the sign .
R75 per month
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Improves Your Body Language Skills
As mentioned earlier, speaking in sign language is not just about using your hands and thats it.
There are other factors, like making eye contacts, facial expressions, gestures and other aspects of body languages that are important in communicating.
Because the alternative is a negative body language, like looking at your phone or looking around you whilst talking to someone.
Conceptualization Of American Sign Language
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders , American Sign Language is a complete, complex language that employs signs made by moving the hands combined with facial expressions and postures of the body. While American Sign Language is the primary language of most deaf North Americans, it is also used by people who are hard-of-hearing. Just like the spoken language, sign language is not universal. In fact, American Sign Language is based on the methods of the French. Also, the immigrants in Massachusetts had their own sign language known as Marthas Vineyard Sign Language, which is very likely to have been absorbed into ASL . Although the first formalization
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Its Around Us All The Time
It is very difficult, perhaps impossible, to get an understanding of how many people communicates in their regional sign language.
But just because you dont see it, it doesnt mean that its not happening. Conversations conducted in sign languages are happening around us all the time.
According to Modern Language Association, American Sign Language is the 3rd most studied modern/foreign language at colleges and universities in the U.S. It is also the 3rd or 4th most popular language in the U.S. after English and Spanish.
I bet youve never thought about that sign language as being a competition to spoken languages.
The Deaf community sometimes goes about their business unnoticed, but its present throughtout the world and around you.
Language And Deaf Culture
Sign languages are naturally-occurring manual languages that arise in communities of deaf individuals. These manual communication systems are fully expressive, systematic human languages and are not merely conventionalized systems of pantomime nor manual codifications of a spoken language. Many types of deafness are inheritable and it is not unusual to find isolated communities of deaf individuals who have developed complex manual languages . The term Deaf Community has been used to describe a sociolinguistic entity that plays a crucial role in a deaf person’s exposure to and acceptance of sign language . American Sign Language , used by members of the Deaf community in the USA and Canada, is only one of many sign languages of the world, but it is the one that has been studied most extensively.
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The Rewards Are Immeasurable
When someone you love cant hear, ASL is a great way to communicate in a rich, meaningful way. Its also the best way to develop awareness and sensitivity to the Deaf culture, a community of non-hearing individuals which number more than one million in the United States alone. Whether you teach your baby to sign or learn ASL to communicate with a deaf friend or family member, you are using a full-bodied form of communication that will enhance your relationship as it improves your mind and spirit.
Ready to get started? Check out some of our favorite smartphone ASL apps.
Asl Leads To Higher Reading Levels In Kids
Researcher Marilyn Daniels from Pennsylvania University has conducted some fascinating research on pre-school aged kids and kindergarteners learning ASL. Over the course of 10 years of research, Daniels has compared the learning levels of classes who were taught ASL and classes that werent.
Every time, the ASL-learning kids always had higher reading levels and a 1520% improvement in vocabulary. They even had higher test scores than the non-ASL kids. All of these findings matched up with Danielss previous findings at Central Connecticut State University where she learned that hearing children of deaf parents consistently excel at reading and English.
In Danielss words, helps children in terms of giving a picture for the words. Most of the signs are iconic, so since the signs look like what the words are, it helps the child remember what the word is. Since the child can associate the letters in a word with a sign, they are more easily able to remember it.
Danielss studies with the school children were so impressive that often her results would sabotage her own experiments. Teachers were so blown away by the improvement of their ASL classes that they inevitably started teaching ASL to the non-ASL class, which meant Daniels could no longer collect her comparison data. Oh well.
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Scientific Reasons Why Everyone Should Learn Asl
For people who are deaf, the benefits of learning sign are undeniable. But what about all the benefits for the people who can hear?
For one, anyone who knows American Sign Language has a way to communicate with all ASL signers in the world. According to Gallaudet University, ASL is the sixth most common language in the United States. Knowing ASL gives you a way to build relationships with countless deaf people and a way to enjoy the richness of the Deaf community nationwide. Beyond communicating with deaf friends, ASL is also a surprisingly versatile language. You can use it to talk underwater, at great distances, at a loud concert, or even in total silence.
But would you believe me if I told you that the benefits of ASL go way beyond connection and convenience? In fact, sign language usersand particularly native signers who have used ASL their entire livesactually have scientific advantages over other language speakers.
So if youre fluent in ASL, here are four fascinating benefits that you just might have:
What Is The Best Online Sign Language Course
The 8 Best Online Sign Language Classes of 2021
- Best Overall: Gallaudet University.
- Best Budget: American Sign Language University.
- Best for Beginners: ASL Meredith.
- Best for Families: Sign It ASL.
- Best for School Credit: Start ASL.
- Best for One-on-One Lessons: SignOn Connect.
- Best for Vocabulary: ASLDeafined.
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Importance Of Standardization Of English Language
After the Norman invasion, English was not the first language of the ruling classes. For several countries, French and Latin were spoken in England as well as English which in its many regional forms was the language of everyday life and of the lower classes. In the fourteenth century, the official government documents were first written in English, a sense of a national
Appreciation For The Literary Arts
You might think the Deaf people miss out on music. But hearing is a two-way street. Hearing non-signers can miss out on the literary arts within sign language to appreciate its creative language play, poetry, and storytelling qualities.
Sign language, with its inherent rich capabilities of cinematic devices, rhymes, rhythms, calligraphic movements, and many other facets, adds a dynamic spice to the totality of the language arts.
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You Become More Diverse
Many businesses say that they are inclusive and diverse. But are they really?
If you have knowledge of sign language, you will reach and connection will extend to the Deaf community and it prepares you for handling the language and communication barriers.
Its cliché, but sign language can help you and your workplace to become more diverse.
Benefits Of Learning Sign Language
1. Improves spelling Research is showing that children who learn the basic sign language skills of signing the alphabet can have improved spelling skills. Signing helps to give kids another tool for remembering spelling words and leaves a larger imprint on the brain. Our muscles have their own mini-memories, so when we add signing a word to orally spelling the word is it easier to remember.
2. Improves classroom behaviors Some teachers who have incorporated sign language into their hearing classrooms are finding that they have better classroom management. Using signs for things such as toilet and question can reduce interruptions and help keep students on track during lectures.
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3. Improves small motor skills Sign language helps to develop small motor skills because of the dexterity required for communicating with hand gestures. Those who struggle with small muscle strength and coordination can build these skills as well as learn to communicate more efficiently with another language.
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The benefits of learning sign language for the hearing population go beyond these 5 reasons. In 1989 the U.S. Supreme Court officially recognized ASL as a true language, and many schools and colleges are allowing credits for this as a study in foreign language. Those with disabilities such as autism can also find it easier to communicate when given the tools of an alternative language such as ASL.
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Deaf Culture & American Sign Language
First recognized in 1965, Deaf Culture is perhaps the most important reason to learn American Sign Language. One of the key pieces in founding this culture was this communitys first written account in the Dictionary of American Sign Language by William Stokoe, Carl Croneberg, and Dorothy Casterline. Language and culture very naturally have a symbiotic relationship, as without language you cannot learn the culture and without culture, language has no reference. And, it was not until the Dictionary of American Sign Language was published that ASL was regarded as a real language.
Benefits Of Learning A Second Language
One NEA Research study explains that there are SO many benefits to learning a second language in general. I really suggest digging into this study, its very interesting and plays a huge role in why I teach my son ASL. Heres a summary:
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Advantages Over Spoken Languages
Sign languages can be used when the spoken word is physically impossible, such as talking underwater, talking through glass, from a distance, at a loud music concert, and talking with your mouth full. Sign languages can also let you talk to someone without interrupting others with noise. You can tell your friend how much you hate the movie while in the cinema without disturbing anyone.
Spatial Grammar And Simultaneity
Sign languages exploit the unique features of the visual medium , but may also exploit tactile features . Spoken language is by and large linear only one sound can be made or received at a time. Sign language, on the other hand, is visual and, hence, can use a simultaneous expression, although this is limited articulatorily and linguistically. Visual perception allows processing of simultaneous information.
One way in which many sign languages take advantage of the spatial nature of the language is through the use of classifiers. Classifiers allow a signer to spatially show a referent’s type, size, shape, movement, or extent.
The large focus on the possibility of simultaneity in sign languages in contrast to spoken languages is sometimes exaggerated, though. The use of two manual articulators is subject to motor constraints, resulting in a large extent of symmetry or signing with one articulator only. Further, sign languages, just like spoken languages, depend on linear sequencing of signs to form sentences the greater use of simultaneity is mostly seen in the morphology .
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Important For Deaf People
Of course we cant ignore the most obvious reason why sign languages are awesome. Sign languages are an extremely important communication tool for many deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Sign languages are the native languages of the Deaf community and provide full access to communication. Although sign languages are used primarily by people who are deaf, they are also used by others, such as people who can hear but cant speak.
Language Is Changing Along With The Culture
When discussing topics like inclusive language, its easy to recognize that language, today, is changing alongside culture. With technology comes trends or different ways of speaking, like how many teenagers or young people use slang when they speak. When societies become more open-minded and progressive, we start accepting that there are many other ways of speaking language.
Many of us know the answer to why is language important, but we often take language for granted or actually dont think about it. Language is an important life skill, particularly in school and in the workplace.
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