American Sign Language


Madilyn S.

ASL can be helpful to learn for communicating with deaf/ HOH people.

Abby S. and Emily H.

Imagine this. A young girl is driving and gets pulled over by the police. An officer walks over and taps on the window. When she responds, she signs that she is deaf and can’t hear what he is saying, in hopes he will understand. But, the sad truth is, only around 2 out of 100 people in America even know sign language. So if you are someday under a similar circumstance as this girl, it’s highly likely that you would not be understood. Understand that if everybody knew A.S.L., this wouldn’t be a problem in society. Not only that, but it’s very convenient to learn sign language, for instance, if you lose your voice. It wouldn’t be a problem to have your teacher understand when asking a question. Or, simply, if you don’t feel like talking, then just sign what you are feeling.

Since most people who are reading this know how to speak English, learning another language with the same tongue already integrated into it. And, since vocabulary is already understood by English speakers, you just have to learn the hand motions. Additionally, the hand motions usually make sense, such as the letters of the alphabet!

Although A.S.L. is the most common sign language, it is integrated into other languages as well. For example, L.S.E. ( Lengua de Signos Espanola, or Spanish Sign Language) is adapted for Spanish signers.

As stated before, sign language is not commonly taught in schools, to both deaf and non-deaf people. But, spreading awareness of this language is still very important.

Here are some ways you can learn this interesting form of communication:

  • YouTube Videos! It’s very helpful to have a moving visual when learning how to learn this language! You can also learn from pictures, but it’s much easier to just watch a video because sometimes you can see the sign from many different angles.
  • Download an app! Sometimes they have easy apps for children or babies, as many parents opt to teach young children some easy signs, such as more, thank you, and all done so they can communicate easily. These apps can be very helpful in learning this language, as it can be complex at times.