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American Sign Language

American Sign Language

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American Sign Language

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  1. Language Diversity in the Secondary English Classroom American Sign Language

  2. Interview with CelenaThelen: Sign Language Instructor A Few Minutes in the Life of a Sign Language Interpreter

  3. 1. What is your personal/professional background with the practice of Sign Language? • Bachelor’s Degree in Deaf Education from Michigan State University. • ( Deaf Education/Special Education K-12 and General Ed. K-6) • Sign counted as my foreign language requirement in high school, having a deaf classmate with whom I wished to communicate. • In high school, I worked part time at Ovid-Elsie elementary in the kindergarten as a Paraprofessional for a deaf student. • In college, I worked in Williamston as a Paraprofessional for another deaf student and worked with him for two and a half years. • Throughout college, I was in and out of various schools working with different age ranges of General Ed Sign students and then in specialized classrooms for deaf students. • Since then, I occasionally talk with deaf friends and have taught not only my children some Sign, but other children in the community too.

  4. 2. What is your personal belief about the value of teaching/learning Sign Language in middle and/or high school? • I feel that ANY individual who learns Sign finds that it is a great asset in their life. I cannot tell you the many occasions when a situation arose in which I was needed to sign or help someone communicate with a deaf person. • Just being able to say "hi" and to introduce yourself to someone who is deaf helps them to feel more a part of the communicating world, and for me, it makes me feel good that I could help someone out. • For a student to learn Sign is even greater, because if it is something that they can take interest in, they have all the more time to continue on learning about the language and culture and expand on learning another language.

  5. 3. How often do you sign in your personal or professional life? Is the practice of Sign Language common in your community? • I really do not sign near as much as did when I was in high school and college. My circle of deaf friends is much smaller than it used to be and if we do any communicating anymore, it is through the computer or phone. • There are a few people in the community that are deaf that I will see occasionally and when I see them I get a little nervous because I am not as fast signing or understanding what they are saying. It is like riding a bike or doing anything. • I do try and sign with my children and teach them some Sign, especially the babies who aren't talking yet. As for our community there are several deaf people, but in the greater community and world, it is one of the leading languages that would be useful in our area in particular.

  6. 4. Do you believe that Sign Language should be considered a “foreign language” in the public or private school system and be given the same “credit” as other languages? • I do believe that Sign should be credited as a foreign language and I am grateful that most schools see it as such. • If it wasn't, I wouldn't have been able to get credit for the classes that I took and get enjoyment out of something that was "required" of me at school. • I think it is something that students like myself can really excel in and carry with them throughout their whole lives, particularly in the area in which I live.

  7. MSU CoSAGE Health and Wellness Study

  8. “Sign Language: An Effective Strategy to Reduce the Gap Between English Language Learners, Native Language, and English” Signing Exact English (S.E.E.) • one word, one sign • differentiates similar words • a form of communication/instruction in • which signs are used in exact English word order, with some additional signs for conventions • such as the "ing" word ending

  9. Once a sound foundation of signs is established, ELL learners feel more confident and a part of the learning environment. • Research has proven that prelinguallydeaf children and speakers of another language share many of the same problems in learning English. • The student, whether they are deaf or ELL, can use a manual communication for educational functions. • “Red” or “rojo” will be the same sign in either language so the student has a concrete connection between the two languages.

  10. We learn language through language. • Teachers might not know what that child is saying because he or she are unfamiliar with the language but the teacher could recognize the sign and have a grasp of the content that is being spoken. • Displaying the sign language picture beside the English word and the native language word will give the visual connection between the two words. • Use sign language pictures for school rules and policies in order to connect students with a mutual mode of communication.

  11. Training in ESL/ELL/Sign is crucial and more often than not, not required or provided by teaching degree programs. • ESL teachers showed that by using tactile practices to bridge the gap between the two languages the ESL student learned faster and with more confidence. • Another large segment of sign language users is hearing nonverbal children who are nonverbal due to conditions such as Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, trauma, and brain disorders or speech disorders.

  12. Sign can be used as a means of quick communication for students with short attention spans and as a means of expression for students who are easily frustrated. • Picture dictionaries with the student’s native language, the sign language picture and the English word are a great resource to provide to an ELL student. • THE BIG IDEA • Sign language provides a bridge between a student’s native language and English as their spoken language. Meaningful, two-way communication between teachers and students help narrow those linguistic gaps that exist in our diverse classrooms.