Jessica York and her children, as well as friends of her children are taking lessons in American Sign Language (ASL) at Glasgow’s Mary Wood Weldon Memorial Library.
Rather than choose among the world languages, they opted for ASL when they decided to learn a new language. The summer class in ASL is taught by Logan Brooks and it is the first time for her to teach sign language to children. Brooks is a district teacher at Barren County Schools for the deaf and hard of hearing. She did not specify the age of the students when she announced the dates for the summer language classes and she is very happy that a lot of children signed up for this year’s class. In her regular classes, her students are adults, including several teachers who take up lessons in ASL so they can communicate better with their students who have hearing difficulties.
The theme for this year’s summer ASL class is for home use. They are thinking that this is a great way to communicate with friends and siblings. Since there are many children in this year’s class, the dynamics of the lessons are different. They introduced plenty of spelling lessons because children like the idea of having secret codes. They are also being taught how to communicate with their parents in a short and simple language that makes home management easier and less hectic.
Ongoing for years
Although Amy Tollison, the library’s adult services manager does not know when exactly they started offering the sign language class, they have been offering it for quite a number of years. She added that the library has several classes each month, each one different. The offered lessons are part of the library’s mission to give the community opportunities for continuing education. She thinks that there could have been several requests for sign language to be offered that is why it started. The lessons have become popular so they continued to offer it year after year.
In the United States
In a related news, Girard High School in Youngstown, Pennsylvania will be offering American Sign Language for the first time. It will be offered as a four-year program for incoming freshmen starting in school year 2015-2016. For the current juniors and seniors, the ASL classes would be offered as an elective.
Lauren Albaugh has just been hired as a full-time teacher of the new language course. She used to be an assistant ASL professor at Kent State University (KSU) and graduated from Champion High School, the first school district in Trumbull County to offer ASL program in high school.
William Ryser, Girard High School principal hopes that the school could later offer college credits through the state university. He also hopes that the students would be able to act as ASL interpreters at events such as band concerts and commencement exercises.