We know how a deaf person or a hard of hearing person benefits from learning sign language. And we tend to believe that sign language is a way of communication for only those who cannot use oral languages. But, there are numerous benefits of learning a sign language for those who can use oral languages as well. Here we are listing the top 7 benefits of learning a sign language by a hearing person.
1. Learning a Sign Language Boosts Your Brain Power
Have you heard about numerous benefits of learning a foreign language? No? Well, just Google it! When we learn a foreign language we boost our memory and brainpower. Sign Languages, just like any other foreign language, develop your brainpower. Learning sign language requires a slightly different approach from oral languages and this helps to stimulate your brain and give it a good workout. Learning sign language helps improve your creative thinking, cognition, brain functionality and spatial awareness.
2. Sign Language Improves Your Body Language Skills
If you think sign language is all about fingerspelling or making hand gestures, you are wrong. Sign language includes the use of the whole body – eye contact, movement of the eyebrows, facial expression, gestures and body movements. So, learning sign language improves your body language skills. It is needless to say, a good body language helps you communicate in a much better way. By improving your body language skills you start expressing yourself in a much better way even while using verbal communication.
3. You Get Better at Receiving Non-Verbal Communication
Non-verbal communication forms an important part of our life. As explained above, sign language helps us become more expressive through our body language. Additionally, it also makes us more capable of reading other person’s body language. We become a better receptor of non-verbal communication. This skill can help us in much more ways than we can imagine.
4. You Get Introduced to Deaf Culture and Community
Language, including sign language, is not something that is developed by someone in an isolated laboratory. Language develops between people. And so every language is closely knitted with the culture and community in which it got developed. Learning a sign language will hence introduce you to the deaf culture and community in which it was developed. For example, a gesture for ‘eat’ in Chinese sign language is like using chopsticks while in American sign language it is like pretending to eat with your hand… the difference is rooted in the different cultures for both sign languages.
5. Your Peripheral Vision and Reaction Time is Improved
This is proven! The University of Sheffield conducted a study and reported that the use of sign language improves a person’s peripheral vision and their reaction time is also improved. Sign languages require a person to be so visually-focused that they become more alert. This improved visual alertness helps in many sports or even in driving. So, if you want to improve your visual abilities, learning sign language can be a good option.
6. Opens Up Unconventional Career Opportunities
Yup! When you learn and become proficient in sign language, doors of unconventional career opportunities open up for you. Of course, you’ll need a professional certification if you want to use sign language for developing a career. The most obvious job opportunity using sign language is to be an interpreter and it is a lucrative career option. But, it is not the only option. If you are someone focused on developing your own business, then you can attract more customers by branding yourself as an inclusive businessperson who can communicate in sign language.
7. You Become More Empathetic Person
When you learn a language developed specifically for those who cannot hear or speak, you’ll naturally connect to them. This will be a great experience as a human being as you’ll become more empathetic about a fellow human being. When you pay attention to the difficulties and challenges faced by deaf people in this noisy world, you’ll become more aware and sensitive. And, if life gives you a chance you might be of help to someone who really needs support.
If you are interested in learning sign language, you can start with some useful resources available online for free. To learn to fingerspell you do not need to go anywhere because at WeCapable we have a tool to translate English into American Sign Language. For learning sign language in more detail, you can take the available online or offline courses.
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