No matter where you are geographically, there are always advantages to learning another language. If you live in the U.S., you can no doubt benefit from picking up Spanish, Chinese, or a number of other languages that are spoken throughout the country. However, if you are already accustomed to communicating orally, why not choose to study a more visual secondary language? Here are some reasons why sign language is the perfect second language to learn.
You get to communicate silently
American Sign Language and other forms allow individuals to have nuanced conversations and make meaningful connections with one another without having to speak or hear. With the ability to interact with others through body movements, facial expressions, and hand gestures, those who sign can have private conversations in public with more secrecy. Sign language also allows you to interact with others in situations where spoken word is just not an option.
Learning to sign can improve your overall communication skills
Since sign language is a visual form of communication, it often involves the use of facial expressions and body language. You might find yourself becoming more animated or expressive as you communicate through signing. This emphasis on facial expressions and body language can help you become more expressive in your primary language as well.
Sign language can enhance language development in children
Even if a child is still learning to speak English, they can benefit from learning ASL as well. In an article for Denver’s Early Childhood Council, Melanie Soneson discusses her experience growing up with deaf parents. She writes that her unique upbringing allowed her to interpret things like body language and facial expressions in a more efficient manner. Soneson suggests that, since a large part of communication is nonverbal already, children who learn to sign might experience some advantages such as feeling more confident in their ability to communicate.
You will be able to interact with the deaf and hard of hearing community
According to Newsweek, around one million people used ASL as their primary method of communication in 2019. When you learn to communicate with these individuals, you open yourself up to a whole new culture and community that can allow you to make new friends and have new experiences.
Sign language is gaining in popularity
In an article for Healthy Hearing, staff writer Debbie Clason notes that ASL is the “fifth most used-language in the U.S.” Since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, ASL has become an increasingly popular language to study at universities. The language is becoming more commonly used in the workforce as well. Today, those who are fluent in ASL have a number of exciting job opportunities in healthcare, hospitality, and a variety of other important industries.
When you learn a new language, you expose yourself to a lot of great benefits. However, with its increasing popularity and the number of additional advantages you can experience, sign language just might be the perfect secondary language to study. If you are interested in getting started with your ASL education, check out our article Top 5 Methods to Easily Learn How to Sign