should all students be required to take at least one class of ASL?
Debate Rounds (4)
I will argue that students should not be required of taking at least one year of American Sign Language (ASL).
I ask my opponent, and voters, what is sign language? Sign language, according to Webster's dictionary, is "A system of communication using visual gestures and signs, as used by deaf people". As it is seen in the quote, sign language is used commonly for those who are deaf. So what is wrong about teaching others how to communicate with deaf peope? Well according to the National Institute of Health and Deafness (1), there are only 4.3% of individuals in the United States who are deaf. Both young and adult, that is a very low number compared to other things.
I stand upon the position that students should not be required to learn ASL because of the fact that there isn't a high population of deaf people in society. If there was, I would heavily support it but unnecessary. How common do jobs look for someone who has ASL? Very minimally, and if we compare that to lets say a foreign language; a foreign language is a far superior skill. According to "The Hottest Job Skill is Foreign Language" (2), the common thing looked upon by employers is knowledge of a forein language; not ASL.
The idea sounds thoughtful, but is not useful what so ever. If it was given as an option for students, I would support it; but requiring students to learn it is actually a waste of time and money.
My opponent states, in this round, "Many school today require student to learn a foreign like french or German or even Spanish not that there is any wrong with that at all but all i'm saying is instead of offer them languages that they will probably never use why not offer them a language that can teach a new perspective on communication". My opponent says we should offer this language, which I agree as a choice; however, the topic says "Should all students be required to take at least one class of ASL". The topic does not say, "Should be offered", it clearly states "Be required". Because of this, this counters my opponents claim on it being offered.
Also, my opponent claims that a foreign language will not be used in the future, however the same can be said about ASL. In the previous round, I provided evidence on how a foreign language is beneficial. What has my opponent provide? Nothing so his claim about ASL being "better" cannot work without any evidence to support it.
The Manitoba School District in Canada believes the importance of learning ASL is enormous. Apart from the common advantages related to learning of a second language, it permits and insight into the Deaf culture and bestows more opportunities to communicate with those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. The learning of American Sign Language develops awareness and sensitivity to cultural and linguistic diversity in addition to preserving the cultural identity of one. It also provides cultural enrichment and is the best means of fostering understanding between people who are hard of hearing and those who are not. Furthermore it gives the opportunity to identify question and challenge one"s own cultural assumptions, values and perspectives to contribute positively to society." ASL is just great over all it is beautiful to see someone be able to communicate with there hands and it as well has health benefits. ASL challenges you and your mind with hand and eye correlation Many studies have show that ASL " builds overall communication skills ; When you think of "language" you might just think of your spoken native language, such as English. However, language involves many other aspects including body language, emotional language, and more. An interesting study shows that people who can sign have improved abilities to read general body language " an integral part of communication. Think of the other ways you communicate beyond spoken words, such as sending someone red roses because as a message that says love, because you have learned that different flowers have different emotional messages. Sign language also helps communicate emotions and sometimes allows people who can"t express their emotions in words easily to still give voice to their feelings."(Speech Buddies)
Now imagine how much a student can benefit from one class of ASL , many people see it as it just be a language for the deaf but maybe if they would just give a try and be opened minded they would see that ASL is just another alternative form of communication. There are many studies like the ones above that prove that students can truly benefit for learning a bit of ASL.
In this round for the debate, I will take quotes stated by my opponent and rebuttal of why ASL should not be a requirement in schools.
According to Signing Time "Most children are not developmentally ready to speak until approximately 2 years of age. Babies are developmentally able to communicate with signs much earlier than that. Some studies indicate children as young as 5 to 6 months of age can communicate with limited signs. The inability to communicate can cause frustration and tantrums for both the parent and the child! Sign language is a wonderful tool that allows even very small children to express themselves. Most parents that sign with their babies talk about an unexplainable bond that is felt when their child communicates so early!"
Congratulations, you can communicate with a baby through ASL. But we must consider what ASL consists of. It consists of gestures, which any one can do without learning ASL. Examples include pointing, waving, and clapping which indicates a positive feed towards the baby's emotion. According to the article "It's No Charade: Baby Gestures Could Help Speaking" (1), it states: "Simple gestures are the fundamentals of communication -- shaking your head, pointing at something you want or a baby raising his or her arms to be picked up. The University of Chicago study found that the more gestures a baby used at 14 months, the more words he had in his vocabulary at 3½ years old". As it is seen, it says "simple gestures" not ASL, meaning that a class isn't required to gestures to help your baby learn to speak.
Some teachers who have incorporated sign language into their hearing classrooms are finding that they have better classroom management. Using signs for things such as toilet and question can reduce interruptions and help keep students on track during lectures.
And there is another way of keeping a class more maintained, than being forced to learn ASL; letting them learn upon their passions. According to the article "Seven Sins of our System of Forced Education" (2), it states that the seven sins for being forced to learn something is: Denial of liberty on the basis of age, Fostering of shame, on the one hand, and hubris, on the other, Interference with the development of cooperation and nurturance, Interference with the development of personal responsibility and self-direction, Linking of learning with fear, loathing, and drudgery, Inhibition of critical thinking, Reduction in diversity of skills, knowledge, and ways of thinking. For something being "required", it actually has worse consequences than positive effects. If we forced this on schools, it would not recieve the benefits that my opponent stated.
Apart from the common advantages related to learning of a second language, it permits and insight into the Deaf culture and bestows more opportunities to communicate with those who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
In the second round of this debate, I brought up the fact that only 4% of the U.S. population are deaf. A very low number, and being required to learn ASL is not as beneficial compared to a foreign language, where the population of that foreign language is far greater than those who are deaf.
To conclude this debate, my opponent only shows the positive aspects of ASL, but neglects the negative aspects that I brought up throughout the debate. My opponent has failed to rebuttal any of my points, while I rebuttaled and added new arguments to my points. Also, my opponent failed to provide any evidence until the final round, while I brought up more consecutibve evidence throughout the debate. And when my opponent did bring up evidence, he failed to povide a list of sources so we wouldn't know whether or not the evidence is legit. Overall, the debate was more one sided towards the Con because I brought up arguments, more evidence, and definately more rebuttals. Vote Con!
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