Why I Learned ASL and You Should Too | Communication Benefits [Updated!] (2023)

I think it's very important that other people (especially communicators and marketers) understand how learning and using other languages ​​like American Sign Language (ASL) can benefitAsYou communicate with others and improve your life in general.

(Video) Why Students Should Learn American Sign Language | Breese Tierney | TEDxYouth@MBJH

At the age of four I started learning ASL as my second language because my brother is deaf or hard of hearing. Over time, I got out of practice and wanted to make sure that I would be able to communicate with him and others in the deaf community in our adult lives. A few years ago I started taking classes again and the importance of understanding and using ASL came back to me.

Deaf Culture and American Sign Language

First recognized in 1965, deaf culture is perhaps the most important reason to learn American Sign Language. One of the key pieces in establishing this culture was the first written record of this community in the United States.american sign language dictionaryby William Stokoe, Carl Croneberg and Dorothy Casterline. Language and culture naturally have a symbiotic relationship, asWithout language, culture cannot be learned, and without culture, language has no relationship.. And it wasn't untilamerican sign language dictionaryit was published that ASL was considered a real language.

Why I Learned ASL and You Should Too | Communication Benefits [Updated!] (2)

The value of ASL

ASL is the most valuable asset related to the deaf community.NoTalking (like not using your voice) is highly valued in this culture. Spoken English is technically useless for the deaf. Even if they are lip-reading, understanding English isn't really related to ASL.If your ears don't work, why would you force them to listen?Although some deaf and hard of hearing people choose other ways to communicate with the hearing person, ASL is considered the only cultural norm for the deaf.

(Video) The Benefits of Learning Sign Language for Communication

In a recent post by Maranda from The Maranda Show, he explained this value with:

While that quote says a lot, I found the bold line above particularly interesting. Reminds me of how my dad used to say, "If he ain't broke, don't fix him." Now, while he says this out of sheer stubbornness and bigotry, I've put it in a more philosophical context. Why do we look down on deaf or disabled people in general? Just because someone is different doesn't mean they're broken. As a type 1 diabetic I realized this. While they are two completely different types of disabilities, I can relate to being looked down on as a person who was simply born without a functioning organ...WHO CARES. We must accept our differences and help those who have them.

Well said Maranda - YOU ROCK! You can also check out Maranda's new journey with ASL on his blog,Maranda's show.

(Video) Why Sign Language is Important ❤ Jessica Marie Flores ❤

Why I Learned ASL and You Should Too | Communication Benefits [Updated!] (3)

some rules of conduct

So, in each culture, certain things differ in regards to rudeness or appropriateness. Most of us understand other cultures based on the basic morals and ethics of respecting the differences of others. To "fit in" a little better when using ASL, consider a few cultural rules:

  1. Unlike the culture of listening that youhe muststare. It is considered rude to lose eye contact with someone signing for you. It would be like covering my ears while you talk to me.
  2. Unlike listening culture, ASL requires descriptive facial expressions and body movements. In fact, it is part of the grammar. Often the expressions and movements are used to describe emotions or add additional meaning to the conversation.
  3. When introducing yourself, it's common for you to describe yourself in more than one way. Where you live, your full name, where you are from, or the school you attend are common job interviews. Since the deaf community is a smaller group of people, it's good to have common ground. "Hi, I'm from Pittsburgh," and things like that aren't uncommon in conversation, either.
  4. There are ways of expressing tags that may be better than others. This may never come up in conversation, but it's good to know. Terms like "hearing impaired," "deaf," or "hearing impaired" are sometimes common in hearing culture. However, in deaf culture there is only one label, which is "deaf." This term actually has nothing to do with hearing loss, but with the culture itself.
  5. Keep in mind that there are many other sign languages ​​in different countries!

Benefits of learning ASL

So back to the story. Having learned another language and been exposed to another culture, I truly believe that these experiences stem from the way I communicate and my compassion for others. However,Understanding the other can be a challenge.Fortunately, learning another language comes in handy when you're dealing with common communication challenges, taking your problem-solving and critical thinking skills to a new level. I know this is true. Let's delve a little deeper into some of the many reasons why we should all learn this language.

  1. There are approximately 36 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. Not all of these people use ASL, but many of them do. By learning this languageNow you can communicate with 17% more residents than before.
  2. Learning ASL will literally open your eyes. Relying on multiple senses to communicate improves your peripheral vision and trains you to be hyper-aware of your surroundings. The things you missed before will now be at your fingertips.
  3. Many companies say they are diverse, but are they? When you learn ASL, your communication skills often extend beyond those of the deaf community and prepare you to deal with other language barriers. Thus, a more diversified business environment is created and it is no longer a cliché.
  4. You will truly become a better listener, communicator, and multitasker.Learning the structure of ASL teaches you to constantly review ideas to understand and rephrase them. Communicating ideas is more situational and specific: these are very valuable skills that non-signers often fail to develop.
  5. Are you super bad with spelling? Learn ASL! there really isLook forThis shows that children who learn basic signing skills have improved their spelling skills. Think of it this way: your muscles have memory. So when you associate a movement with a word or letter, the benefits to your spelling and language skills are enormous. In addition to spelling, ASL also improves other things in people's listening comprehension, such as: B. small motor skills, behavior, and expands vocabulary.

accessibility notice

If you have a website, it might be worth doing a few updates to show that you care about all the people you keep in business. Just showing that you're trying and taking the right steps to make yourself more approachable is everything.Accessibilityis something that the majority of our populationwillingbeneficiary of

(Video) Why Sign Language Was Banned in America | Otherwords

Full sidebar... I met Nyle DiMarco atWPSD 150th Anniversary Gala. Since then, I have seen him absolutely stunning while he was beautiful.smilingheadlined America's Next Top Model a few years ago, I've watched her career grow ever since. As a deaf activist, she has given many speeches on what it means to be deaf today.

Benefits of learning a second language

A study from NEA Research explains that there are MANY benefits to learning a second language in general. (ASL account!) I really suggest looking into this study, it is very interesting and plays a big part in why I am teaching ASL to my son. Here's a summary:

  1. Promotes academic progress
  2. Closing achievement gaps
  3. Promotes the development of basic skills.
  4. Promotes higher order, abstract and creative thinking.
  5. Enriches and enhances cognitive development
  6. Increases the student's sense of achievement.
  7. Helps students score better on standardized tests
  8. Promotes cultural awareness and competence.
  9. Improves chances of college acceptance, achievement and success.
  10. Improve career opportunities
  11. Promotes understanding and safety in the community and society.
  12. breaking barriers

Even more benefits...

  1. Compared to those who speak one language, adults who speak multiple languages ​​are more likely to have:
    1. be better listeners
    2. if more creative
    3. Switch between tasks faster
    4. Better memorization and working memory.
    5. Being able to pursue long-term goals and delay immediate gratification.
    6. Increased alertness, focus and concentration.
    7. Better understand the opinions of others.
    8. Avoid falling for marketing schemes and hype
    9. Be more aware of your surroundings
    10. do better on tests
    11. Better decision making, prioritization and planning
    12. They tend to have superior intelligence.
  2. Your English is really improving!When learning a new language, you will be more aware of grammar, conjugations, and sentence structures. This gives you a better understanding of how each language is structured or handled.
  3. Another very interesting reason to learn another language is that some studies even show it.Learning another language can fight Alzheimer's and dementia.

The benefits are truly endless. Here are some final thoughts...

Learning another language (more precisely ASL) has improved my life. Just knowing that I can talk to my brother with or without him.sayingone word and using ASL is amazing to me. I can also see beyond words, figure out new ways to solve challenges on the go, and just enjoy talking to someone I couldn't otherwise talk to.

(Video) 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn Sign Language

Communication is so important in everything., especially in business. This overall learning process can open the door for new and better ideas on how to reach people and add more value to the table. Just to be able to overcome challenges in a unique and creative way is worth investing your time in ASL. And being able to communicate with more than 36 million people, absolutely priceless!

Why I Learned ASL and You Should Too | Communication Benefits [Updated!] (4)

obs. This post is 100% dedicated and inspired by my brother.He is not only an older brother, but also a great-uncle to my son.Without him, I never would have known something like this was possible. he taught me thatThere are no limits and the possibilities are endless.I love you brother. I would also like to thankWestern Pennsylvania School for the Deaffor helping me continue my studies in ASL.

Start learning ASL

  1. ASL courses near you
  2. Learn American Sign Language
  3. american sign language dictionary(Videos!)


  1. HomeASL
  2. Speechbuddy.com
  3. The benefits of studying a second language
  4. bebrainfit.com

Editor's note:I am very happy that this post has been one of the most read in recent years. Today I am updating this post due to National ASL Day. Since I first wrote this in 2017, we have had so many shares and people reach out to us for one reason or another. It's a special feeling to be able to connect with other people who have similar passions, hopes and dreams, especially today. Have fun learning them all. <3

(Video) Sign Language Changed Romel - How does sign language benefit communication?


What are the benefits of learning ASL? ›

So let's take a look at some of the other benefits of learning sign language.
  • Stronger bond between parents and infants. ...
  • Improved spatial reasoning. ...
  • Enhanced ability to interpret body language. ...
  • Better reaction times and peripheral vision. ...
  • Long-term cognitive benefits of learning sign language.
Jan 19, 2022

What is the importance and benefits of sign language? ›

Sign language builds on these hand movements and acts as a tool to communicate and interact with people. Whether you're deaf, hard of hearing, struggle with the English language, or communicate perfectly well, sign language creates an open line of communication between all groups of people.

What are the benefits of learning about Deaf culture? ›

Improved self-esteem. Sense of pride in one's history. Respect and use of sign language. Emphasis on one's strengths.

What is the main purpose of sign language? ›

Sign language is manual communication commonly used by people who are deaf. Sign language is not universal; people who are deaf from different countries speak different sign languages.

Why is sign communication important? ›

Signs provide people with unclear or limited speech a way to communicate messages that can be clearly and successfully understood. Signing as we speak causes us to slow our speech down and use less words which helps people understand the message more easily.

What is the important thing to learn about sign language? ›

Sign language is a natural and visual form of language that uses movements and expression to convey meaning between people. Sign language is a non-verbal language that Deaf persons exclusively count on to connect with their social environment. It is based on visual cues through the hands, eyes, face, mouth, and body.

What are the 5 important things in ASL? ›

In American Sign Language (ASL), we use the 5 Parameters of ASL to describe how a sign behaves within the signer's space. The parameters are handshape, palm orientation, movement, location, and expression/non-manual signals.

How does ASL improve communication? ›

Introducing sign language to young children provides them with a visual way to take in information and a kinesthetic way to express information. This gives children access to an alternative communication tool that they can use when they do not yet have the ability to communicate verbally.

What are 5 facts about ASL? ›

Five Interesting Facts Most People Don't Know About Sign Language
  • It's the fourth most used language in the UK. ...
  • Different countries have their own versions of sign language. ...
  • Sign language uses more than just hand gestures. ...
  • Many deaf people have 'name signs' ...
  • Sign language isn't as difficult to learn as it looks.
Sep 23, 2021

Why is deaf awareness important? ›

Incorporating deaf awareness into your day to day communication can help to significantly reduce barriers to education and employment, by improving quality of life and increasing inclusion, participation and opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing people.

Why is it important for hearing people to learn ASL? ›

When someone you love can't hear, ASL is a great way to communicate in a rich, meaningful way. It's also the best way to develop awareness and sensitivity to the Deaf culture, a community of non-hearing individuals which number more than one million in the United States alone.

Why is it important to learn ASL from a deaf person? ›

Sign languages are one of the most important, natural and accessible means of communication for the vast majority of Deaf and hard of hearing people. It allows them to participate in conversations on an equal footing with others.

What does sign language teach you? ›

The truth is that learning sign language enriches your cognitive processes and helps you develop higher abstract and creative thinking, improve your body language skills, increase problem-solving capacities, and strengthen your overall communication skills. Simply put, it's a great workout for your brain.

How effective is sign language? ›

This means that Sign is 15% more efficient than English at conveying information. Why is this? Put simply, Sign is a four dimensional language while Speech is one dimensional. When we speak, the only dimension we use is time.

Is it worth it to learn ASL? ›

The Value of ASL

ASL is the most valuable asset in regards to the Deaf Community. Not speaking (as in using no voice) is highly valued in this culture. Spoken English is technically useless to the Deaf. Even if they read lips, the understanding of English doesn't really relate to ASL.

How long does it take to be fluent in ASL? ›

Learning ASL is not easier than learning spoken French or any other spoken language. It takes at least six 3-credit ASL courses over the span of 2-3 years to attain a beginning-intermediate skill. To attain an intermediate-fluent skill, it takes another 2 years in the ASL/English interpretation training.

Why is it important for children to learn ASL? ›

Research shows that children who learn to sign early do better across a range of measures, including academic achievement, than children who don't. It also suggests that children who begin to learn sign language at birth have more success learning to use cochlear implants to access speech.

Why is it important to learn the ASL alphabet? ›

It primarily uses hand gestures and facial movements to replicate the alphabet and words. The sign language alphabet comes to the rescue for deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals and is often their primary mode of communication.

Why learning ASL is good for the brain? ›

Learning ASL boosts cognition

It enhances cognition, and creative and abstract thinking. It even has the added benefit of improving hand and eye coordination. It exercises the peripheral vision, training you to become more aware of the environment.

What is interesting about ASL? ›

ASL has its own vocabulary, grammar, word order and style and does not necessarily reflect English words. ASL originates from France, that's why French Sign Language is very similar to ASL. Sign Language users often use facial expression to change the meaning of signs.

Why should I join ASL? ›

Just like other forms of bilingualism, adding ASL to your skill set is linked with many cognitive benefits, including enhanced abstract and creative thinking, better thinking skills, improved cognitive agility and flexibility, and sharper problem-solving capabilities, according to the website Handspeak.

What is the hardest part of ASL? ›

One of the challenges people face when learning American sign language (ASL) is that it requires them to stop "thinking straight English" and rely on abstraction and other skills to communicate both dynamically and accurately.

Does ASL make you bilingual? ›

The users of sign language are often bilingual - one language is sign language (e.g. American Sign Language) and the other is the language of the hearing majority (e.g. English), often in its written form. This is termed bimodal bilingualism.

What is the average age for ASL? ›

Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average age of 55 at the time of diagnosis. However, cases of the disease do occur in people in their twenties and thirties.

Why is ASL special? ›

Important for Deaf people

Sign languages are an extremely important communication tool for many deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Sign languages are the native languages of the Deaf community and provide full access to communication.

Why is learning ASL with no voice important? ›

A student's learning ability is greatly enhanced by this no voice environment. Full immersion helps develop better receptive, comprehension, expressive, and meaning negotiation skills. Using voice may distract or interfere other students' learning process.

What is the importance of communication for ASL? ›

An array of gestures made using hands, fingers, arms, head and also facial expressions; which also helps the deaf and dump to communicate with the people around them and vice versa. It allows them to understand the world around them through visual descriptions and, as a result, contribute to society.


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