The United Nations has set September 23 as the International Day of Sign Languages. It’s meant to be a day to celebrate and support all sign language users, and this year’s theme is unity. The idea is to unite our world by recognizing national sign languages as part of their countries’ linguistic identities. In other words, we’re hoping that sign languages will be accepted as mainstream languages. This would open doors for so many more people in our world. So let’s look at how we can celebrate the International Day of Sign Languages.
There are more than 300 different sign languages around the world, each of them a distinct form of communication completely distinct from spoken languages and yet specific to their region of the world. At My Signing Time, we use and teach American Sign Language (ASL). There is also an international sign language that is simpler than most other sign languages and has a more limited vocabulary.
What does the International Day of Sign Language mean for us?
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you care about sign language. Perhaps you are interested in learning it for yourself. Or maybe you would like to use it to help your children communicate. No matter the reason, your interest goes right along with the intent of the International Day of Sign Languages.
As more of us learn and use sign language, it will become more accepted as a standard form of communication in our world. When our kids learn to sign so that they can express themselves, they also gain tools for understanding others in the future.
So to celebrate the International Day of Sign Languages, our part is to learn a new sign. If you’re experienced or extra ambitious, you could learn a few new signs.
Where can we learn new signs?
You know what’s coming next, right? Look through our Signing Time Dictionary! We have detailed instructions and demonstration videos for so many signs and phrases. There are entire sections for things in your home, at school, and in nature. You can learn signs for toys or animals or clothing. Manners and mealtime signs are really easy to learn since we get a chance to practice them a lot. So check out the free Signing Time Dictionary for a new sign or phrase to learn.
At My Signing Time, we take it further and make it even easier to learn new signs. Our fun, musical, educational shows teach even the littlest children to sign. We begin with Baby Signing Time, which uses clever songs, animation, and real signing babies under the age of two. Baby Signing Time makes it easy and fun for children under two years old to learn signs to go along with their daily activities.
Then we have tons of Classic Signing Time shows to help your children continue to learn signing for their everyday lives. These aren’t just time-killing entertainment. Our shows are fun, but the fun is for the purpose of learning. Kids who watch Signing Time learn to communicate earlier with both signing and speaking. Special needs kids who have difficulty speaking often pick up on signing much easier, and they find confidence in being able to express themselves.
Learning takes repetition
This learning requires repetition, just like any other learning. But you can feel comfortable knowing that your children are watching positive, confidence building, educational programs. These shows will teach them American Sign Language so that they can both communicate their needs and understand the needs of others who use ASL.
When we learn Sign Language, we take part in the mission of the International Day of Sign Languages. Let’s take part in promoting unity by including Sign Language in our everyday lives.