Teaching Sign Language

Why sign language should be taught at schools worldwide


UX Collective

Learning sign language can help promote awareness for the deaf and hard of hearing communities.

Unique Hartke, Staff Writer

In high school, students are required to take a foreign language course because most colleges require these classes among their core requirements. However, many high schools don’t offer American Sign Language (ASL) as an option, despite the fact that many people communicate via ASL. 

There are many benefits to teaching ASL in schools, and knowing ASL will be useful when communicating with individuals who are deaf. Using ASL when communicating to others also promotes awareness of the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Knowing sign language can also open job opportunities, such as being an interpreter. There is a great need to increase the number of qualified interpreters in the community for those who need them. Interpreters are constantly in demand in schools and universities, as well as in hospitals, courts, and governmental agencies.

Learning sign language promotes awareness for the deaf and hard of hearing communities, but it also can improve an individual’s school work. Children who know sign language are said to have a better vocabulary than those who don’t, and it improves classroom behaviors as well. 

ASL also improves an individual’s communication skills, and in many cases, makes them a better listener. When communicating with another person via ASL, it can improve these factors because one has to pay close attention to what they are signing and understand their body language. 

Learning ASL also helps you connect better with the deaf community. Many individuals in this community have the ability to read people’s lips when they are talking to them, but it can still be hard for them to fully understand what you mean. This can make it difficult for them to engage in conversations. Expanding the use of ASL allows the deaf community to feel better integrated and more comfortable with people with the ability to hear.

Also, relying on different senses to communicate trains you to become more aware of your surroundings and it can boost your peripheral vision. 

Along with this, knowing sign language will help you create a more diverse business environment at work if you come in contact with someone who communicates via ASL.

Overall, since schools teach other languages such as Spanish and French to help students with career opportunities, then they should also teach ASL to promote awareness for the deaf and hard of hearing communities.