American Sign Language - Short Essay

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American Sign Language is a language made up of hand shapes and movements with its own structure and grammar. Although different countries use different forms of sign language, it is continuously used all around the world. ASL (American Sign Language) is its own language unique to itself. You communicate through movements of your hands and arms while also using facial expression. Each word/sign has its own movement and facial expression to distinguish one word from another.

ASL is specifically used for those that may have bad hearing or are not able to hear at all. The reason why this language is used through sign and not through spoken words is for the purpose of those that are deaf and are unable to communicate any other way. Words are use by the mouth and voice in any spoken language, but in American Sign Language you communicate visually. There are a couple differences between American Sign Language and English Sign Language. One difference between the two is the sentence structure. Also, ESL is a translated precisely from the spoken language following all the same rules and structure that English follows. Lastly, American Sign Language is based off of French Sign Language. Like I said before, ASL is its own language and has its own unique structure and grammar.

There has been much discussion on how many people in the United States use American Sign Language and it is still not clear as to what the exact amount is. After researching, I found there is between 500,000 – 2,000,000 deaf people in the United States that use American Sign Language as their primary language. 1817 in Connecticut is when the nation’s first deaf school was founded. Students from all around the United States joined together and attended this school. 22 deaf schools in the United Stated had been recognized by 1863. Ever Since, Sign Language has been used in many countries around the world and deaf schools are still being built to this day.
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