The American Sign Language

The American Sign Language

The American Sign Language. In the education sector, the stakeholders involved have recently become involved with the welfare of the students,, particularly the deaf students. Due to scientific advancements, incorporating English and American Sign Language would greatly help improve communication both in school and back home. It ought to be the responsibility of the respective stakeholder in the deaf child’s life to play a part in ensuring the deaf person gets a good and conducive learning environment. There are different categories of deaf people, including children born from deaf parents, individuals who began singing at an early stage in life, and those who started to sign during their adolescent period. Each category has different learning methods from the others (Galvan, 1999).

According to research carried out, signing was influenced by the period one was exposed to such languages. However, individuals who began to sign at an early stage in life and those who were born of deaf parents portray a similar use of sign language and display similar learning and comprehending capabilities in terms of the grammatical expressions as per the American Sign Language while comparing to the deaf who learned the sign language at a much later stage in life (Mayberry, Fischer & Hartfield, 1983). This means signing at a very tender age becomes part and parcel of the deaf person’s life.

The difference comes about in terms of relating the different sign features. Children born from deaf parents grow up learning and comprehending the phoneme as the single most communication unit. They have a problem advancing their sign morphology because they are taught to use sign language wholly.  They tend to learn the components of a sign but cannot hold on to each sign (Galvan, 1999).

A child who begins learning how to sign in school, especially at the commencement of their elementary education, get to familiarize themselves fast and relate to the different sign languages because their cognitive abilities are not stuck to only one learning process. Their learning tends to advance from the phoneme stage to a more advanced sign language because they are more likely to learn how to analyze American Sign Language (Galvan, 1999).

The case is diverse for deaf people who began signing later. Looking at the brain development of an older child to a younger child, the elder child portrays good signs of better brain development (Galvan, 1999). In reality, an older deaf child finds it hard to comprehend wholly how to sing like a young person because the signing language tends to impair their cognitive judgment in terms of differentiating certain aspects of the sign language. To them, differentiating the different sign morphologies has not yet been clearly understood as they take longer to differentiate the different signing terms and verbal use (Newport, 1988).

Native signers portray a similar learning skill to the early signers. They tend to gradually conceptualize sign language development intuition using analytical and holistic approaches (Newport, 1988). The only problems come in when the early and native signers incorporate a different approach to signing development, especially verbal pronunciation. It brings about significant problems in planning for the national curriculum if they are in the same school. A deaf person born of deaf parents will use specific sign language to represent a verb. In contrast, the early sign learner will incorporate the same sign language to signify a different meaning (Galvan, 1999).  It applies the same way to hearing people learning to speak English since a native English speaker tends to misuse specific verbs as per the English rules compared to an individual learning English in school.

Signing among the deaf improves with years of experience signing. People who have signed for a long time show more signing expressions, which tend to show how much they conceptualize information, unlike the early sign learners who fall short of understanding the signing process and techniques.
















Galvan, D. (1999). Differences in American Sign Language Morphology use by Deaf Children: Implications for Parents and Teachers. Retrieved December 04, 2012, from

Mayberry, R., Fischer, S. & Hartfield, C. (1983). Sentence Repetition in American Sign Language. London: Croom Helm

Newport. F. (1988). Constraints on Learning and their Role in Language Acquisition: Studies of the Acquisition of American Sign Language. Retrieved December 04, 2012, from

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