American Sign Language Class Offers Language Option

Spencer Hill


Bentley Fife, Reporter

There are about 28 million deaf people in the United States. There are three ways that deaf people communicate with others; Pidgin Signed English (PSE), Signing Exact English (SEE), and American Sign Language (ASL).

PSE is the most widely used communication mode in the U.S. among deaf and the hearing persons working with them. It is not a true language and it lacks rules. It is seen as a way to get rid of the gap of understanding between people that speak language and people that only speak ASL.

ASL is a visual language. Speech-reading or listening skills are not needed to learn ASL fluently. It is not usually a written or spoken language, but it can be translated. It is used in the U.S. and in most parts of Canada. ASL is the third most widely used language in the U.S. Since it is so widely used, it is a great foreign language credit to get in high school.

SEE is based on signs taken from ASL. Unlike ASL, SEE is expanded with prefixes, tenses and endings to give a more complete visual show of English.

In the United States 3 out of 1,000 children are born deaf. They are typically born deaf because of genetic reasons. Being deaf can be passed down through families or can be caused by complications during a pregnancy or illnesses like rubella and herpes.

“Yes…it is interesting to talk to deaf people…I want to be able to sign a real conversation,” junior Tanner Kennard said.