- To Communicate with Millions of People. The most obvious reason to learn Sign Language and the reason that motivates millions of people worldwide is that it is the best way to communicate with the deaf and hearing impaired. But did you realize, just how many people worldwide are hearing impaired? Over 5% of the world’s population or 466 million people has disabling hearing loss (432 million adults and 34 million children). It is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people – or one in every ten people – will have disabling hearing loss. Currently, in the USA, American Sign Language is the 4th most used language.
2. It Makes You Smarter. Learning Sign Language provides all the same benefits of learning a foreign language. Bilingualism of any languages (whether signed or spoken) is a great brain booster. It strengthens cognitive function and reasoning, increases memory, attention span, creativity and communication skills. Studies show that bilingual students score higher on standardized tests than monolingual students and secondary language immersion contributes to increased IQ in students.
Furthermore, Sign Language can be easier to learn than other spoken languages not only for the hearing impaired but also for people with autism, dyslexia and other learning differences.
3. It Gives You A Superpower: Expanded Vision. Sign language provides all the benefits of bilingualism but also bimodalism as well. Bimodal, that is using visual-spatial medium, expands your visual-perceptual skills: spatial awareness, mental rotation skill, visual sensitivity, and more! Sign language helps to develop small motor skills because of the dexterity required for communicating with hand gestures. Relying on a different sense to communicate exercises your peripheral vision and trains you to become more aware of your environment.
4. It Makes Children Smarter And Better Behaved Sign language is a great way to bond and communicate with pre-verbal children and it benefits impact children of all ages. Recent research confirms that signing boosts babies vocabulary and mental development, and helps to reduce childhood tantrums while deepening the parent-child relationship. Children that learn to sign gain all the benefits of being bilingual and a few extras including being better spellers and readers. Research shows that children who learn basic sign language skills (such as American Sign Language – ASL) have improved spelling skills. Signing helps to give kids another tool for remembering spelling words and leaves a larger imprint on the brain. Our muscles have their own mini-memories, so when we add signing a word to orally spelling the word, it makes it easier to remember.
- Because It’s Beautiful and Fascinating. Sign language is, in fact, not one universal language but many different languages — as many as 300 worldwide. The exact number of sign languages is not known as different countries have different forms of sign language which are still developing and changing over time. Interestingly enough, there are even different dialects and accents within a specific country. In the USA for example, we all know that people in Philadelphia speak with a distinctive Philly accent but did you know Philadelphians converse in their own sign language dialect? Philadelphia is known for having one of the most distinctive regional sign language accents and it resembles French Sign Language roots more closely than American Sign Language (ASL).
Sign Language– and all its variations worldwide are filled with a fascinating and rich history. It is a beautiful language that is unique, graceful and filled with expression. Whatever version or specific sign language you want to learn, Eurekly is here to match you with your perfect tutor.
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