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Language policy or practice in education of everyday life - Essay Example

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Approximately 500,000 Americans use it in their daily communication. It is used by deaf people, hard of hearing, and hearing people (Wilcox, 1989). This officially makes it the fourth most popular…
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Language policy or practice in education of everyday life
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Language policy or practice in education of everyday life

One side says that it cannot be considered a foreign language because ASL was developed and used only in the U.S. (Conover, 1997). Other countries have their own sign language system. The other side believes that ASL is similar to a language having different dialects. Susan Gass, co-director of the Center for Language Education and Research at Michigan State University said that among linguists, there isn’t any debate on the validity of sign language as an official one.
Regardless of the side anyone ever takes, there is no denying that learning sign language offers a lot of benefits including getting new job opportunities and the opportunity to know more people and learn from their culture. More importantly, learning the language of deaf and hard of hearing may be the key to truly erasing the culture of discrimination that people have against the deaf. However, it is going to take more than just offering sign language as a foreign language course option. Integrating sign language must be done as early as the primary education. It is by allowing the children to become familiar with the language that will usher in its integration to mainstream society. This paper will explore social, personal and psychological benefits of integrating Sign Language as early as the primary year in school.
If sign language is introduced in primary schools, younger generation will be trained to finally start looking at deaf and mute as an equal. Being able to communicate with them will bring a level of familiarity which will, in turn, change the practice of discrimination against the deaf and mute (Crossley, 2000). Learning another language will include an opportunity to learn about the culture of the community where the language originated from. The understanding of culture will allow the students to look beyond the perceived handicap in this case. Given that most of their values are ... Read More
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