Sign language classes brings awareness to deaf community


Photo by AMANDA

Students from ASL club sign the National Anthem during a recent pep rally. (Photo by Emlyn Almanza)

Her thumb is out but the other four fingers are down making a lowercase “a” shape, next she moves her hands in to a closed four, what could that mean? “B” someone screamed out in class; oh that’s the letter. The next movement, the person curved their whole hand making a “c” shape, they are signing the alphabet.

ASL also known as American sign language , it’s a unique language that is used by many deaf , hard of hearing, and family members of the deaf or hard of hearing . It is a language that you speak with your hands instead of using your mouth. When most people think of ASL they think of it as a restricted language, a language meant for only deaf or hearing impaired people but it’s not. This language is inviting for everyone and fun to learn.

“ASL is a interesting language and it was a learning experience for me,” senior ASL student, Iridian Lopez said.

The ASL Club have gotten the chance to be more involved in the school. They have been asked to sign the National Anthem at the pep rallies here at the school.

“Previous ASL teachers had signed at past pep rallies and I wanted to bring that back,” ASL teacher Ms. Bertrand, said.

Ann Bertrand, ASL teacher and sponsor for the ASL club, started the club to bring back what the school use to have and what she got to experience when she was in high school herself. Ms. Bertrand believes that the ASL club members being able to sign the national anthem at the pep rallies would bring more exposure to the club and the language itself.

“He doesn’t know a lot of ASL but I do share what I learn from class with him, which helps our brother/ sister relationship.” senior ASL student, Delaney Mosley said.

Not all of the people are taking ASL for fun and because it interesting, some are taking ASL so they can interact with family members. Senior, Delaney Mosley has an younger brother who is deaf. She signs with her younger brother but he does have a cochlear implant, which helps him hear somewhat and go to regular classes like all the other kids.

Everyone loves the language in the ASL club and class they feel like more people should take the time to learn it and they would love the language as well and want to use the techniques learned in the real world and connect with the deaf community.

“American Sign Language is an extremely beautiful Language and I think it’s wonderful to be able to express yourself like that.” Senior ASL student Stachia McGee said.

Future plans for the club and the students graduating this year is great. The ASL club will be hosting a silent dinner and have professional interpreters come and speak to the ASL classes. A silent dinner is an event that is silent with sign language is used to speak. With the silent dinner they hope to have individuals from the deaf community there. Also interpreters are people that translate things from one language to the other, so they would tell the ASL class how it is taking things from ASL to English or any other language they translate in.

“ I want to sign more and learn more so I can be more involved with the deaf community and I’m also wanting to take ASL in college as well.” Senior ASL student Katti Mazariego said.