Sign Language Club to Sign National Anthem at Girls Basketball Game

Delaney Butterfield, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

The Sign Language Club averages eight to twelve members who show up to their biweekly meetings.

There the members learn the fundamentals of signing a language, including the alphabet, verbs and common nouns. Currently they are learning how to sign the National Anthem for the girls basketball game on February 18.

“I got involved with Sign Language Club because I was approached by a student, Nick Haske, who wanted to start a club, a sign language club.  It has always been on my bucket list to learn sign language, so I decided to get involved. It has been a win/win situation for all involved,” said Mr. Cassidy McGowan, club moderator and NDA’s learning resource specialist.

Many people believe that learning American Sign Language is simple because some of the basic signs (such as eat, drink and more) are learned at a young age. However, learning ASL is no easy task.

Like any foreign language, it is hard to master beyond a basic level. It is the fifth most commonly studied foreign language on college campuses but, contrary to common belief, it is not universal. In addition to American Sign Language, there is British Sign Language, Dutch Sign Language, French Sign Language, and more.

ASL is a very complex language with its own grammar, punctuation and sentence order. This makes it very challenging to learn, but definitely useful in the long run.

ASL is important because it gives a form of communication to those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Many people often take for granted their ability to hear, an ability that has not been granted to all people.  All this makes sign language even more important.

“For the deaf community, sign language has become not only their language but also a symbol of their culture and heritage,” Mr. McGowan explained.

This new and unique club is open to all students at Notre Dame Academy and is a great opportunity to learn a valuable skill.