You may be wondering, is it worth your time to use the vocabulary of ASL in your classroom? Will it really support MY children? The simple answer is, ABSOLUTELY! It is human nature to want to be understood, using ASL helps them communicate and be understood by the adults in their life, making it easier to build positive and trusting adult-child relationships. This helps the child engage in the learning process with ease. Plus, speaking and signing in tandem increases children's ability to make connections to vocabulary, print awareness, and build narrative skills.
This multi-sensory strategy helps second language learners make connections from their native language to their second language too. For them, ASL is a bridge that connects two languages.
Ultimately, ASL is a fantastic tool to strengthen the learning community and enhance the development and learning of hearing children. All while creating a sense of value and belonging.