American Sign Language in Arkansas High Schools
American Sign Language is the primary communication method for hundreds of thousands of people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Use of the language is largely limited to English-speaking areas of North America with other signing systems existing in other parts of the world.
Distinct from English, ASL has its own sophisticated syntax and system of symbols. The visual language relies upon the comprehension of signs formed by hand movements, facial expressions and body positioning. ASL is nearly universally recognized as a foreign language, making it attractive to students looking to fulfill postsecondary credit requirements.
Many find the study of this language so rewarding that they choose to pursue careers in special education, translation and other fields in which they can put it to use. Not every child is necessarily good with linguistic foreign language, but may have additional skills that allow them to learn signing language and still be successful in higher education,”
American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, complex language that employs signs made with the hands and other movements, including facial expressions and postures of the body. It is the first language of many deaf North Americans, and one of several communication options available to deaf people. ASL is said to be the fourth most commonly used language in the United States.
The change could also make ASL courses more accessible, opening doors for not only the deaf and hearing-impaired, but also friends and family looking to better learn how to communicate with them. My dad and brother are both deaf, and I learned ASL before I could even speak!
American Sign Language has become federally recognized as a foreign language. As of July 1997, 28 states and several community colleges and universities have passed such legislation allowing it to fulfill a foreign language requirement, for hearing as well as deaf students.
Please help bring me with my GS Gold Project and send this to the Arkansas Department of Education's attention so that Arkansas can join the growing list of states who offer ASL as a foreign language credit course in Arkansas High Schools.
Morgan Asbill - Junior@Springdale, AR
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