The benefits of early visual language development for hearing children

William Woods ASL

Students studying American Sign Language Studies can use their fluency in the language and understanding of Deaf culture virtually in any career, including one working with hearing children.

The use of American Sign Language has proven to help hearing children in a number of ways, including proven benefits to speech and communication development, the numerous benefits of bilingualism, and also an understanding of Deaf culture that builds empathy and an inclusive society.

In an article for the American Society for Deaf Children, Tiara V. Mallow writes, “Given adequate exposure, children begin learning language long before they are physically capable of reproducing the sounds and patterns of speech.”

“Use of sign language with children — hearing or otherwise — is known to promote early communication, since children can communicate with their hands sooner than they can master verbal skills,” Mallow continues.

One study suggests that sign training actually facilitates the development of a verbal language.

Research also shows that those who are bilingual have an easier time understanding math concepts and solving word problems, developing strong thinking skills, using logic, focusing, remembering, and making decisions, thinking about language, and learning other languages.

These benefits occur in bilingualism in any two languages, including ASL and English.

Often, students take American Sign Language at William Woods University to augment a career as a special education teacher, early childhood or elementary teacher, counselor, social worker and more. Consider the various ways knowing and implementing ASL could support a successful career in any of these fields.