When learning a new language, it is best to work with a native speaker whenever possible. Learning American Sign Language (ASL) online is no different. However ASL itself is a bit different than learning a spoken language, so you might be wondering how someone can be a “native” signer in ASL. This article will explore what it means to be a native signer and how you can benefit from learning with one.
Who is a Native ASL Signer?
Native ASL signers are typically children born of deaf parents who use sign language as the primary means of communication with their deaf family members. A native ASL signer possesses these two main qualities:
- They live in strictly monolingual places, meaning there is neither standard speech nor other competing languages.
- Old enough to understand the language and not too old to forget it
It is important to note that many languages do have many people who possess native signer qualities.
4 Main Benefits From Learning With a Native ASL Signer
If you are familiar with American Sign Language, you are in a position to communicate with all other ASL signers globally. According to Gallaudet University, ASL takes the sixth position among commonly used languages in the United States. Apart from the validity of communicating with deaf people, ASL is a surprisingly versatile language.
Native ASL enjoy more advantages than speakers of other languages. In this respect, here are fascinating benefits of learning with a native ASL signer:
Communicate Sooner and Better
Learning with a native ASL signer enables you to understand sign language before learning to speak the American language. According to the American Sign Language University, children as early as eight months can imitate sign language from their parents.
Similarly, learning with a native signer makes you understand their use of signs and use them to communicate. You will be able to use the signs to communicate simple concepts such as thirst, pain, frustration, and more. It marks the beginning of developing a more profound knowledge of ASL. Additionally, learning with a native signer creates greater confidence levels in using ASL.
Develops Reading Levels in Students
When you learn with a native ASL signer, you get motivated to read and improve your vocabulary. The reason behind ASL is that it gives you a picture of the new words; hence you strive to learn more about them. Also, you can associate the words with a sign, and thus, it becomes easy to remember.
Native ASL Signers Have Incredible Spatial Reasoning
According to a study carried out by Michelle Cooke at the University of Massachusetts, students who are well versed with ASL grasped structural geology without struggling. The secret behind learning these concepts is the possession of solid visualization skills and the capability to develop complex spatial information. As things stand, native signers possess the above qualities, and thus, learning with them gives you an upper hand to tap knowledge from them.
Native signers are linked to higher IQ scores; thus, learning with them helps you develop intellectually. You also develop faster cognitive development, hence fostering academic success.
How Can LanguageBird Help You Learn With a Native ASL Signer?
LanguageBird online courses provide students with 100% live 1-to-1 instruction. All of our instructors are native speakers of your language of choice. Contact us today to learn more about how we can connect you with a native signer and help you practice signing comfortably, fluidly, and confidently.