Learn Sign Language: why is this useful to learn it ?

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Langage Des Signes, Américain, Langue, Signer, Sourd

Are you interested in sign language ? And you want to know why is this useful to learn sign language ?Do you want to learn and express yourself with deaf and hard of hearing people? This article gives you the reasons to start learning Sign Language and why is it useful to learn it.

1/ What is Sign Language?

Sign Language uses non-verbal communication methods by making use of various hand movements and gestures to convey a message. This language has grammar, vocabulary and dialects. It is mainly used to help communicate with deaf and hard of hearing people. During communication, we commonly use the hands, body, facial expression and lip movement.

2/ Benefits of learning sign languages

  • Learning Sign Language stimulates the brain and improves its activity, skills, listening skills, memory, functionality and creative thinking.
  • It allows communication with deaf animals or pets, which leads to bonding
  • This language allows you to discover new cultures, deaf communities in order to understand their thoughts and to build relationships with different people.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics now estimates that sign language translators and interpreters will represent more than 20% in 2029. This will also provide many job opportunities in several industries.

3/ The different types of sign language

Be aware that there is not just one Sign Language as it varies by region. Many countries cannot have the same types of sign language such as: 

  • British Sign Language: BSL
  • American Sign Language: ASL
  • Australian Sign Language: Auslan
  • New Zealand Sign Language: NZSL

In American Sign Language they use one hand for gestures and movements while in British, Australian and New Zealand Sign Language they use both hands.

The other types of Sign languages are:

  • Japenese Sign Language: JSL
  •  Chinese Sign Language: CSL
  • Spanish Sign Language: SSE

And many more.

Learning methods:

1 / Take lessons

One of the best ways to learn Sign Language is to take a class. Academies, training centers and community colleges offer day and evening classes. Thanks to highly qualified tutors you will be able to obtain qualifications in sign languages. Taking classes is also a great way to meet new people. By taking lessons you have the possibility to practice with several people.

2 / Learn online

You can learn Sign Language online! There are many resources, such as YouTube, for viewing Sign Language videos. Several forms of videos are made available to you, and you have the option to replay it as many times as you want.

3 / Hire a private tutor

A private tutor can also be a good option for you, especially if there is a qualified local sign language tutor in your area. Classes can be organized in individual sessions or in small groups of your choice.

4 / Use apps

There are also many apps available for learning Sign Language. I offer you one of the best: “Elix”. An input field is made available to the user who only has to write the word to search for. Then, they will be able to consult the definition of the word and will have access to a demonstration video.

5/ Seek advice from deaf friends or family

If you have a deaf and hard of hearing friend around you, ask them for advice and this will also be an opportunity to make other friends. If you also have a few family members who practice sign language, check with them.

Just make sure your friends and family are actually using Sign Language because not all people with hearing loss know Sign Language.

These will be some learning methods that will help you.

Advices:

Once you have chosen your method, know that:

  • people who are deaf and hard of hearing use facial expressions to determine the mood of a conversation so don’t be afraid to be expressive.
  • Do not hesitate to join groups to practice and learn more easily
  • Practice sign language continuously, every day for a few minutes

Now you have the methods for learning Sign Language. Remember, learning a new language is always fun and helps communicate with other Sign Language users. You will be able to communicate with others and develop your linguistic understanding. For your first lesson, how about learning the alphabet in Sign Language?

karolann