5 Key Benefits of Learning American Sign Language

Mar 14, 2023

Benefits of learning American Sign LanguageLearning American Sign Language, or any other type of sign language for that matter, has often been tied closely with the hearing impaired community. But did you know that even if you aren’t deaf and don’t have hearing loss, you and those around you could benefit from knowing sign language?


Today, we’ll take a closer look at exactly what sign language is. Then, we’ll delve into how learning American Sign Language can be a benefit to you and those you love, regardless of your hearing status.


What is American Sign Language (ASL)?

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), American Sign Language, otherwise known as ASL, is defined as “a complete, natural language that has the same linguistic properties as spoken language, with grammar that differs from English.” Rather than communicating by voice, ASL uses hand gestures, facial features, and body language to convey meaning. For deaf individuals, along with those who have significant hearing loss, sign language is typically the primary means of communication.


How Learning American Sign Language Can Benefit You and Your Family

If you’re not deaf or hard of hearing, though, is there any benefit to learning American Sign Language? Recent research says YES! According to Berlitz, a language education company based in NJ, here are 5 reasons why learning sign language could benefit you and those around you:


1. Learning American Sign Language can strengthen bonds between parents and children.

Before they learn how to speak, young children often have difficulty expressing their wants, needs, and feelings. And, if you’ve ever cared for a child that’s crying non-stop, you’ve likely experienced the frustration of not being able to understand what the problem is.


When children are taught sign language at an early age, communication through hand gestures often develops more rapidly than the spoken word. This enables parents and children to better understand each other and can foster a more positive environment.

2. Sign language learners may experience improved spatial reasoning.

While it’s not a term we talk about often, spatial reasoning is something we use on a regular basis to perceive visual cues around us and envision objects in three dimensions. Math, science, drawing, and painting are all places where spatial reasoning comes into play.


According to recent research at the University of Massachusetts, people who learn American Sign Language are more likely to have well-tuned spatial reasoning skills when compared to those who don’t know sign language. This can equate to more intuitive observations in many areas of daily life.


3. Sign language users may be better at reading body language.

Since ASL is based on hand gestures and facial expressions, it’s not surprising that people who know sign language are often able to ‘read’ other people better. Some research studies have shown that sign language users are quicker to recognize and understand non-verbal cues. This can be an extremely useful skill whether it’s used in personal relationships, in public, or at work.


4. Learning American Sign Language may be connected to faster reaction times and better peripheral vision.

Reaction time is the amount of time between when we perceive something in our environment and when we respond to it. Peripheral vision is what we can see to the left or right of our forward gaze without moving our head (i.e. what we see out of the ‘corner of our eye’). Surprisingly, faster reaction times and better peripheral vision have been found to be present in individuals who use sign language.


5. Learning sign language can have long-term positive effects on cognition.

Proponents of learning another language have often touted the many cognitive benefits for doing so: enhanced problem solving skills, improved memory, focused concentration, better listening skills, and more. But that language doesn’t have to be a foreign language like Spanish or French – ASL counts, too! Who knew that learning American Sign Language could potentially sharpen your cognitive skills and protect against cognitive decline?


Professional Help for the Hearing Impaired in Mesa and Scottsdale, AZ

As you can see, learning American Sign Language doesn’t only apply to deaf and hard of hearing individuals. But if you or a loved one DO experience any type of hearing loss, we’d love to help! We have expert audiologists in Mesa and Scottsdale, AZ who are committed to helping people hear better so they can enjoy life to its fullest.


Schedule an appointment with us today and see how we can help YOU prevent, manage, or treat hearing loss so you can hear well and live well.

5 Key Benefits of Learning American Sign Language was last modified: March 14th, 2023 by Adam DiPuccio

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