Brief History of American Sign Language
ASL How it all began.
American Sign Language, ASL is the unvoiced language used by members of the Deaf community. ASL is a popular and modern language that is used commonly in the United States. American Sign Language is a visual-gestural language with its own vocabulary and syntax. When signing ASL you do not sign every word, just the main ideas and concepts
During the early 19th century a group of Connecticut benefactors sent Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, a young Yale graduate, to Europe to observe and learn the methods used for teaching in European schools for the Deaf. Gallaudet's goal was to bring this education to the United States.
After first unsuccessfully exploring what the United Kingdom had to offer, Gallaudet was welcomed at the French School for the Deaf. He was impressed with Laurent Clerc at the Paris school where Gallaudet watched Clerc teach and also took classes from him. Gallaudet could see that Clerc had a deep knowledge and understanding about teaching and using sign language including a one-handed manual alphabet. Gallaudet proposed that Clerc come to the United States and serve as a teacher in a new school for the Deaf that he intended to establish. Clerc and Gallaudet landed in the United States on August 9, 1816, and opened their school on August 15, 1817. As it grew, this school would move to three locations in the Hartford, Connecticut, area. Today, it is called the American School for the Deaf and is known as the mother school of 64 similar schools in this country.
During the mid 19th century the United States Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet went to Europe to observe and learn the methods used for teaching in European schools for the Deaf. Gallaudet's goal was to bring this education to the United States. In a Paris school Gallaudet met Laurent Clerc who was using a one-handed manual alphabet and signs for words with Deaf children. Gallaudet was impressed with the breadth of his knowledge he proposed that Clerc come to the United States and serve as a teacher in the school he intended to establish. On August 15, 1817, Gallaudet opened the first school for the Deaf in the nation and Clerc as the head teacher. Early students came to school using “home signs,” signs originating at home and were known to family members. These various forms of signs, combined with French Sign Language, later became American Sign Language commonly known as ASL.
American Sign Language (ASL) for all Children
All 4 Parents and Teachers signing products (We Sign, Sign to Speak, and Play-Along Songs) incorporate American Sign Language, ASL, to enhance fun and learning. We use what is called Contact Signing, that is, ASL, its alphabet, numbers, vocabulary, and concepts, in spoken word order. This allows hearing children to use and ASL at the same time as they speak or sing to facilitate comprehension and use of the English language.
American Sign Language, ASL, has been proven to provide pre-verbal baby communication, increase vocabulary and language skills for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary children, support parent, teacher and child bonding, as well as to be a fun way to sing and sign new and traditional songs. LEARN MORE