Thursday, 16 March 2017

Should British Sign Language be a Compulsory Subject at School?

Sign language is a very important form of communication that benefits people who are hard of hearing. Partitions are being signed so sign language is included in the schools curriculum. History tells us that the hearing impaired were once thought as inferior to those who could hear but several deaf people have done great things to help society’s  In the UK alone 11 million people are deaf or hard of hearing and 48,000 of those are children. 90% of deaf children have hearing parents.

Children should learn this great form of communication because all children should feel involved and not lonely. It helps people to interact and form communities no matter what and help to bring people together. It also help people to have a voice a feel like they are not so alone. However, saying this 40% of deaf children experience mental health problems, compared to 25% of hearing children.

Another factor to why this would benefit children is when you’re older, your children might be deaf and instead of learning from scratch halfway through your life you would already know how to do it. Also learning basic signs like directions would be very much appreciated by deaf people.

 Mrs Clarke, year 7 pastoral support, ran a sign language club last year. We interviewed her on her thoughts and opinions on it. “I think that learning sign language as a subject should be an option. I think that it would help younger children especially when they can’t speak because then they can sign. There are lots of classes available for younger children but not for children about 13/14. There’s a 16+ class but you have to pay for it. I know that people who are hard of hearing would appreciate if more people knew sign language because they love their language and will talk to anyone who knows it! I don’t think that learning sign is hard because there’s no writing involved as it is a visual thing. I think that BSL should be more recognised. It’s quite limited on T.V but children’s television there’s a lot.”

We also asked some pupils about what they thought.

“I think that it should be a subject but you should get a choice to do” – Blythe

“It definitly should be a subject, or at least be a choice.” – Holly

“Maybe it should just be like a few lessons in PSHE”- Amelia

“I think you should be able to choose.” Bradley

There a lot of benefits to sign language however, the general sectary of the school leaders’ union believes that to make sign language a subject they would have to cut something else out.

Do you believe that sign language should be a subject on its own?

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