Fourth grade was introduced to American Sign Language (ASL) today thanks to Mr. Alan Raci, a certified sign language interpreter (and coincidentally Mrs. Raci’s husband.) Mr. Raci enjoys visiting fourth grade every year to show how the language works and give the students an insight into deaf culture.
Mr. Raci demonstrated the manual alphabet (fingerspelling) and was delighted at the number of students that actually knew the manual alphabet. He then started the students out on some basic signs like the names of animals, sports, how to spell their own names, and more.
Some interesting facts about American Sign Language:
ASL will improve your understanding of English and will facilitate the learning of other languages as well.
American Sign Language is the fastest-growing language offered at colleges nationwide. It has gained popularity and is now being taught for foreign language credit in American schools and colleges across the country. My daughter took ASL for her foreign language credits at Indiana University.
Careers in deaf-related fields have expanded nationwide, sign language interpreting, sign language instructors, counselors, government specialist, audiologists, speech pathologists, program administrators, community service personnel and many other vocations.*
Learning about sign language is fun for our students. But I also hope that these sessions spark an interest in learning foreign languages and that maybe it spurs a student to consider a future career that encompasses languages.
* Interesting facts taken from the Onodaga Community College website.