ASL At School

ASL At School

Ellie Mitchell, Student Writer

American Sign Language, or ASL, has been a tool for communication since the 17th century. The language has been used by deaf and hard of hearing people for decades. 


There are many different versions of sign language all across the world. Nearly every country has their own unique type of sign language. Some types of sign language are similar to others, but for the most part, they’re all pretty different. 


When growing up in a small town, you don’t get exposed to a lot of different people. So it’s important to learn more about different cultures and other peoples experiences. That’s why schools offer a foreign language class, so students can learn a different language, and therefore, learn a little bit more about another culture. 


I believe that ASL should be taught in schools around the United States because it’s just as useful as any other language. It’s fun to learn, and will help people in the real world to communicate with deaf people.


Quinn Takashima, a counselor at YC, says that she has known quite a few people who use sign language. She said that some people had used it for babies while they were learning to talk or just wouldn’t talk yet. 


Takashima believes that American Sign Language is a useful tool in the real world, because you never know who you’re going to meet. She believes that the language should be offered in schools if enough people want to learn. “You never know who’s gonna come into your life or who you’re gonna form relationships with. And so it’s just like, any other skill, right?” Takashima said. 


(Photo taken by Axel Brattain)

Takashima said that if YC had the room and the budget, and if enough students wanted to learn ASL, then the school would try to make it so Sign Language was an offered class.


Axel Brattain is a student at YC with a passion for learning American Sign Language. They said that ASL is a fun language to learn and that it would be very useful for jobs. “If everybody tries to chip in and learn a little bit, it helps everyone.”


Brattain says that they started learning ASL with their sister Annica. They both wanted a way to talk in class without interrupting, so they found a book that taught fingerspelling. From there, they started to learn Sign Language and love it.


Brattain says they want to take ASL in college and possibly get a job as an ASL teacher. “Yeah, it’s something that I’ve wanted to do because I’ve been learning it since the fourth grade and I don’t just want to never use it…”


ASL is a beautiful language and it deserves to be recognized in schools. Every school should offer at least the basics of Sign Language, so if a student gets into a situation where they need to use it or would like to use it, they can. 


ASL is almost like another version of English when you learn it. It’s really all about muscle memory and learning the grammar. ASL can be exciting to learn once you get the hang of it.