Sign Language at Derry?

Whether the class be an elective or after-school program, it would be beneficial for the students at Derry if sign language was an option.


Photo: South Texas College

In the United States, between 350 and 430 languages are spoken. The fifth most-used language in the United States behind Spanish, Italian, German, and French is sign language; however, even if you don’t have to use sign language, it is important to know how to interpret it.
Sign language isn’t just about hand gestures, but it also includes facial expressions. It’s said to not be as difficult to learn as it seems to be, according to Western College.
There are also different versions of sign language. In fact, there are more than 300 different versions, varying from nation to nation, and can have some regional accents according to Sign Solutions. Each variation of sign language differs in grammar, vocabulary, and gestures.
Sign language is a beneficial language to learn because many people use it globally, and it can be a useful second language not only in everyday communication but also in the workplace. There are also many jobs as interpreters that are available.
Many people have an interest in learning sign language, just not the available resources for it.
Señora Schweinberg, high school Spanish teacher, knows a little sign language, but wants to expand her knowledge in the language, along with many students at Derry who also have a great interest in learning sign language.
“I only know a few letters of the alphabet,” says Señora. “I’d definitely be interested in learning more.”
Whether the class be an elective or an after-school program, it would be very beneficial to the students at Derry if the teachings were offered.
“I’ve always wanted to learn sign language and at my summer job I noticed a lot of people communicated with it,” sophomore Annabelle Stoner says. “This made taking orders difficult sometimes when there was a family that only used sign language because I couldn’t interpret what they were trying to say because I only know a little sign language that I learned years ago. I would love to learn it and think it would be great if the teachings were offered at Derry.”

What do you think? Should sign language be offered as an elective or after-school program?