Sign language as a second language
by Sofia Truong
photo courtesy of http://www.nidcd.nih.gov
Ever since sign language has been officiated as a foreign language in 2003, there have not been any improvements on it being taught, and that needs to change.
The continuous growth of people who are either deaf or have serious hearing problems has reached peaking numbers of 600,000 only in the United States, as founded through research in the University of Gallaudet. In addition, it was stated that 2 out of 4 in a group of 1,000 people are functionally deaf. This proves that America’s population of deaf people has been growing and will still grow in the future.
The need to know sign language is needed now more than ever, which is why the best environment to learn anything would be at a school. As suggested by the University of Vermont, high schools could hire teachers who are proficient in sign language, like the Center of Deafness. They can also play interactive video courses of sign language for the students to participate in, such as the “Interax Video Sign Language Course.”
While some may believe that the only need for sign language is just to communicate with people who are deaf, sign language should be considered an asset and may open up job opportunities. According to an article created by the “American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages,” sign language interpreters have been in high demand in hospitals, teaching professions, and even the government.
The lives of many who are deaf will always be affected by the necessity of communication. As such, students should look into helping and learning sign language. For more information, go to www.signlanguage101.com to learn sign language online.