Fall Feature: American Sign Language (ASL) Classes at Compass

Studies show that there are great advantages for hearing students to learn American Sign Language (ASL), the language of the Deaf community. This fall, Compass has 3 levels of ASL, and there is still time to register:

  • ASL for Little Fingers (K-2nd) on Wednesdays at 2:00 pm starting Sept. 12
  • ASL for Tweens (6th-8th grade) on Fridays at 2:00 pm starting Sept. 7
  • ASL I (9th-12th grade) on Fridays at 1:00 pm starting Sept. 7 (a full high school course)
  • ASL is a fun, interactive language for kids to learn. ASL can be a good choice for students who have challenges reading, writing, or pronouncing their primary language. Other interesting reasons to learn ASL include:

    1. Penn State researcher Dr. Marilyn Daniels’s found that “sign language can improve hearing children’s English vocabulary, reading ability, spelling proficiency, and self-esteem” in her book, “Dancing With Words: Signing for Hearing Children’s Literacy.”

    2. Brain development and connections are strengthened with the combination of movement, vision, meaning, memory, and the hand itself when sign language is used.

    3. The Handspeak Organization suggests that the bilingualism and biomodalism of ASL enhance cognitive processes like abstract thinking, creative thinking, problem-solving skills, greater cognitive flexibility, improved listening skills, greater academic achievement, visual-spatial abilities, visual-perceptual skills, spatial awareness, and more!

    4. A University of Georgia publication noted that since colleges and universities started to accept and offer ASL as a foreign language over the last two decades, enrollment and interest in ASL courses increased by more than 16%.

    5. Legislation in Virginia in 2011 and 2018 have solidified ASL being recognized as a foreign language in public schools and state colleges.

    6. American Sign Language (ASL) is the 4th most studied modern/foreign language at colleges and universities in the U.S., according to the Modern Language Association’s statistics.