Learning sign language is crucial for people who cannot hear properly. It helps if their friends and family members also learn this language. Sign language refers to communicating through bodily or hand movements when spoken communication is impossible. It bridges the communication gap and makes one understand what the other is trying to say. Teachers can make their students learn this language as it enables students to learn about their own body language and facial expressions. Here are a few creative ways that teachers can use to teach sign language to their pupils.
Use sign language as a warm-up
Before starting daily classroom activities, teachers can use sign language as a warm-up activity. Students can participate in these activities in pairs or individually. Teachers can use pre-classroom sessions to teach the top 25 signs to their students. They can also use this time as a practice session.
Write plays or dramas using sign language
Teachers can divide their students into groups and ask them to write a play or drama using sign language. Educators can provide students with a series of signs to use. Students can use the same set in their script. Once the script is ready, they can enact the same.
Teachers can use music videos to teach sign language to students. Hundreds of music videos are available on the internet created by the Hard of Hearing community. Students can select any song of their choice and spend some time learning the language.
Use emojis to demonstrate expression
Facial expressions are crucial when learning sign languages. Teachers can use emojis to teach facial expressions to students. For example, they can use a list of statements and ask students to use an emoji to explain the situation. Once students have selected an emoji, educators can discuss if the selected emoji was appropriate and why.
Find out ways where students already use sign language
Teachers can ask students to explain the incidents where they have used sign language. For example, teachers can ask students about incidents where they have used hand and arm movements like waving, snapping, or a thumb’s up.
Take help of doodles
Students can create the American Sign Language alphabet with doodles. They can choose any alphabet and draw doodles around the selected shape. Once students are done with this activity, teachers can collect the doodles and paste them around the classroom.
Teach math through hand actions
Teaching numbers through sign language is one of the best ways to help students learn math. Teachers can encourage students to create formulas using sign language. This activity can also be used as a quiz session in the classroom. Students can guess the answer to the questions asked by their peers.
Various mobile apps are available on the internet designed for deaf students. Teachers can use these apps in their classrooms to teach sign language. Some apps create a 3D model of each sign and are available for free. Teachers must check these apps to provide the best learning experience to their pupils.
Watch a movie starring a deaf character
Teachers can use the sites made especially for students and children. These sites contain resources that can be used to teach sign language. Teachers must explore the content available on the internet to provide maximum benefits to their students.
Teaching sign languages requires patience and dedication. Without these two qualities, teachers may not be able to provide the best to their students. Moreover, teaching this new form of expression requires research as they need to find reliable resources for this activity.
Why should students learn sign language?
Learning sign languages is crucial because of the benefits it offers. The top three reasons that explain why students should learn this language are:
Closer family bond
Teaching sign language strengthens the bond between parents-children and teacher-students. It eliminates the communication gap and reduces negative feelings.
Stronger literacy skills
Many children face issues when learning new languages. Pre-schoolers may face issues learning alphabets and numbers. During those times, teachers can use facial expressions and sign language to communicate and make students learn new things. When children associate a letter with a sign, they are more likely to understand it better.
Works as a second language
Learning a second language is crucial as it opens doors for opportunities. Moreover, it allows communication with different kinds of people.
The above-mentioned reasons are enough to understand the importance of sign language. Learning this language provides a wholesome experience to students and makes them communicate easily with people with autism, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities.
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