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How To Learn Sign Language

Rikki Poynter – Should Sign Language Be Taught In All Schools?


Hello, so in this video I’m going to answer this question that is do I think ASL or
whatever sign language you use in your country
be taught in schools, or at the very least be an option in the school curriculum. I think that was the question. Long story short, yes. But this video is now 40 seconds, so to make this longer,
I’m gonna give you some reasons why. One, I was diagnosed with
hearing loss at the age of 12, I could have been,
at the very least, hard of hearing before that, but I wasn’t diagnosed
until I was 12. So, okay. But as my hearing loss
became more and more and as I became more flat-out deaf, I have residual hearing now, but I’m still deaf enough, right? So, it would have been beneficial, I’m sorry if anybody can
hear my stomach growling, so it would have been
beneficial for me to have learned ASL,
I live in the U.S. But I didn’t get that
option, because I was in, at the time a 50% deaf household… and a 100% oral household, so even after my diagnosis,
I still wasn’t put in anything deaf culture related, I didn’t have access to language. I still went to a
mainstream public school, which I’m now feeling
the consequences of that… At the age of 25. And I remember deaf
people that used ASL coming to our front door,
to our home and offering sign language,
just going door to door, and my dad, my hearing
dad said no to them, and closed the door without
confronting me about it at all. So that was a bummer. And so now at the age
of 25 I started this, I started the journey around
two or three years ago, and then finally learning
the language seriously just like a year and
a half, two years ago. So English is still
my main language, which is why I still
talk in a lot of videos, because I still don’t know
enough for me to express myself
very well in videos, because nobody wants a 20
minute fingerspelling video, let’s be honest. So people who are like me,
deaf people who are like me, who have been, who had to
grow up in an oral world, who are now trying to make
a transition to deaf culture and learn the language, it’s harder to learn a language
as you get older. It’s not impossible, but it’s harder. Also let’s think about this, there’s up to 50 million
people in the U.S. alone, who are deaf or hard of hearing. Granted, not all
of them use ASL. 95% of deaf kids are
born to hearing parents who don’t sign or
who don’t get, who don’t let them get involved
in deaf culture while they’re kids. So, but for those that
do, y’know we go out, we shop, we wanna go out and
have dinner and whatever else. It’s beneficial for employees,
especially if you’re a… If you work in
a food industry, right? Or if you are working
at a clothing store and you help people find
sizes for their clothes in a fitting room, right? It would make it easier
if you ran in to somebody, and then you were
like trying to type on your phone “Hi, I’m deaf,” you type in a question,
but then they go, “No wait I can help you,
I know ASL,” or y’know whatever sign language, that’s just kind of awesome,
and that makes it easier. Because as I go out in
public more and more I’m voice-off because
it’s just easier. On the internet I can
do whatever I want because everything is
going to be text based, mostly text based, so I
don’t feel as confused. But when I’m in public
I have started to strictly type on my
phone because it’s a lot easier,
because I am so tired of going “What? Can you repeat that?” to you hearing folks, it’s
just, it takes too long. So, there’s that. Also, let’s put it this way, along with, to go with the, y’know stats of how many
deaf people there are, I live in an area where… One – besides English, Spanish is the second most spoken
language in all of the U.S. Here, where I live,
we are mostly learning either French or Spanish in schools. Spanish makes sense,
because like I said that is the most second,
the second most spoken language in the U.S. French, however. If this is Quebec,
Canada I would get it, but in the U.S.,
from what I’ve seen, there’s a lot of
French-speaking people, but I don’t, I haven’t
seen it be used a lot. So I feel like ASL or
whatever sign language makes more sense. I don’t know. I would to look up the
stats some more on that. But yeah, I don’t see why it shouldn’t at least be an option in schools, like there’s a billion people
that want to learn ASL but it’s been difficult
for them to find classes. When you’re outside of high school, y’know you have to
start paying for things, and language classes
can be expensive and not everybody can afford it. Of course you have stuff like Lifeprint that will help you out for as long as you have an internet connection, but it would be nice
to have the option, it would help out
so many people. My stomach is growling. I felt that, yeah. So, in government,
instead of closing down deaf schools, instead
of trying to shut down ASL programs and deaf programs and taking ASL classes
away from the curriculum, could you put them back in? Stop taking away the option
to learn sign language. It doesn’t make any sense. So, I will see you later. See you later. Yeah, OK, bye.

10 Replies to “Rikki Poynter – Should Sign Language Be Taught In All Schools?”

  • yes i believe it should. If it was than it would close the gape between hearing people and deaf or hard of hearing people. There is talk of diversity in class room learning about different cultures but not about the deaf culture and I think that is wrong.

  • I wish my school offered Asl, it would help a lot because in trying to learn on my own. Sadly my school only offers French

  • it should be used in all schools. BTW, French is used in business internationally primarily so that's one reason its offered, so students know some before going to college

  • The most common sign language in the particular country/area should be taught to kids from kindergarden throughout all mandatory school years. That would help so many people with various reasons why they would benefit. Add teaching Deaf culture etc along with the language too.

  • It should be offered, but not made compulsory. Where I live and go to school, we cannot choose most of our subjects and especially in the later years, our curriculum is already packed, teachers are stressing out to prepare us for the final exam adequately and ro put it simply, I just wouldn't wanna invest more time into school by adding another, possibly very challenging subject. We already fifteen subjects per year each, in about 10 of those we have regular tests and exams, ESPECIALLY in languages, and adding another language would be way too stressful for all students

  • Believe it or not, when I was in Primary school, one of my instructors actually did teach us basic ASL. Mostly just the finger spelling, but it was helpful as a few of the students were deaf/HoH.

  • I really wish Sign Language would be taught in school. I'm hearing, but I'm autistic and there are several non-verbal autistic people who use Sign Language, which kinda really sold me on the idea. It's a shame that a part of our population gets cut off from communication because they can't talk or can't hear. I would have taken sign language in school if it had been an option.

  • My school has a sign language club and when the school year starts I'm going to join it. I didn't join yet because I didn't have a ride but my brother is going to my school when school starts. I'm learning asl online my sister is deaf so I can communicate with her better

  • Should check with churches in your area. My church offers "FREE" Sign Language Class on Sunday afternoons. The wife of the Pastor for the Deaf is Hard-of-Hearing herself.

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