Learning Sign Language as a Foreign Language

By John Miller
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Learning signing language as a foreign language is a very good option for hearing students. It greatly enhances their understanding of languages. It increases their ability to communicate in a variety of situations when a spoken language is not an option. And American Sign Language is the fourth most used language in the United States. We love the idea of a world where more and more people are able to more effectively communicate with our vibrant Deaf and Hard of Hearing population. That has been a goal of our web site from day one!

Across the United States, many high schools are having to rethink the way they are currently running their foreign language programs. Many states are now requiring students in their 2014 graduating classes to have two years experience in a foreign language and many more are looking at requiring three! This has left school districts scratching their heads on how to meet these new requirements. Many smaller schools have just one foreign language they currently offer (generally Spanish), but are now struggling to figure out how to expand their offerings.

At Signing Savvy, we see this as a perfect opportunity for those who are interested in sign language to go to their school boards and ask for them to consider introducing sign language as a foreign language option to their school's curriculum. The school's administration will have to look into their own state's requirements for foreign languages. Many states do already accept sign language as a foreign language option. The administration will also have to work with the state to establish the credentials of the people who can teach the classes. In many states, teaching of sign language courses at the high school level can be done by a certified interpreter that also has a bachelor's degree or a teaching certificate.

There is no better time than now to get involved in your local school's education. We will do what we can to help you along the way, including continuing to provide a complete sign language resource that can help both students and educators in learning and teaching sign language.

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