Home > About Sign Language > Academic Advantages of Sign Language

Academic Advantages of Sign Language

By: Joanne Walker BA (hons) - Updated: 9 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
Academic Social Cultural Advantages

The academic advantages of sign language are numerous and plentiful. Learning sign language can bring academic advantages to anyone whether they can hear or are deaf. Just as with any other subject, people who learn sign language are learning a new skill and using their brains to do this, thus expanding their minds in a new arena. There is plenty of scientific work which proves that children, and indeed adults, who learn sign language, reap the benefits not only by being able to communicate with other sign language users, but in the wider academic world.

Academic Advantages for Deaf Children
Some deaf children, for one reason or another, do not have access to sign language, and therefore struggle to communicate with others. But there is plenty of research which as been carried out which proves that deaf children who learn sign language at an early age are more academically inclined to do well. This is partly due to their increased ability to communicate with those around them. However, it is also because sign language is not, as many people mistakenly think, a system of gestures representing words, but a complicated and sophisticated language system, just as the English which is used in this article. Thus, children who learn sign language have already learnt, inherently, about the way language works and is made up, which will help in future studies – most notably if they decide to learn to speak English, or any other spoken language.

There are also advantages which overlap from academic advantages into social and cultural advantages. The main one of these is that a child who speaks a language – be it English, French or sign language, is instilled with a sense of belonging – a sense of identity if you will. This will lead to a happier and more confident child because they know their place in the world is secure.

Academic Advantages for Other Users of Sign Language
Again, for non-deaf children and adults who learn sign language, the academic advantages spill over into social and cultural ones. Firstly, learning sign language allows the speaker to communicate with a whole new community of people – and gain an understanding of how they communicate within their community. But secondly, learning a language gives rise to greater confidence for that person, as they are able to converse with someone who their peers may struggle to do so. And the skills of language learning are easily transferable into learning other languages but also into other academic pursuits.

There can be no doubt that learning sign language is a useful endeavour for anyone – whether they are deaf themselves and live in a house with other deaf people – or whether they are non-deaf and do not know anyone who is. The social, cultural and academic advantages of learning this complex language are manifold and should not be taken lightly. And, especially with children, learning a language which helps people with a disadvantage may encourage them in the future to do more – volunteering and other such work. This means that the non-deaf child can be given a sense of social responsibility at an early age and taught to embrace all people – not in spite of their differences but because of them.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Well and realistic statements that is really securing to improve communication skills that interchangeably and equally conversation among people with hearing loss and those who cannot.
Tkote - 9-Mar-17 @ 9:55 AM
Student studying at Wabag Secondary School
Kore - 25-Feb-17 @ 8:45 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Duck
    Re: Makaton
    Hello We are a small pre-school and we are trying to teach all our children Makaton to help all of them communicate regardless of their own…
    13 September 2019
  • Oracle
    Re: Sign Supported English
    Can anyone help me ? I am trying to find an SSE class or lessons in Kent and have had no luck. Failing that, are there any publications I…
    24 August 2019
  • Basma
    Re: Hands on Signing
    Hi I have a blind child and he has a moderate hearing loss. I wonder if you can help me to teach him sign language and I need to learn as well.…
    30 July 2019
  • Signing with seniors
    Re: Sign Supported English
    Does anyone know of any programmes or resources for using SSE with older people whose hearing has deteriorated in later life?
    16 May 2019
  • umaymah
    Re: Makaton
    what is makaton??????????????????????????
    11 December 2018
  • john smith
    Re: John Smith: UK's Only Deaf Comedian
    Am deaf and dumb of south west africa nigeria,deaf-uk original post in this 2006 bill 2018.thanh you
    3 December 2018
  • john smith
    Re: John Smith: UK's Only Deaf Comedian
    Am deaf and dumb in south west africa nigeria,deaf-uk 2006 bill 2018.thanh you
    3 December 2018
  • john smith
    Re: John Smith: UK's Only Deaf Comedian
    Thank you your message me to addition deaf people uk
    7 August 2018
  • Debb
    Re: Left Hand Signing
    I am right handed. When watching online various teaching do i mirror tbe to do it right handed?
    15 May 2018
  • Sue
    Re: Getting to Know One Another
    I have been searching everywhere for the how to sign "Live" as in, "where do you live?" in makaton, I cant seem to find it…
    24 April 2018