Sign Language a 'foreign' language?

Twenty students are holding several animated small-group discussions, but no one in thisANorthern Illinois Universityclassroom utters a word.

Their fingers weave in complex patterns as they converse in American Sign Language, which the university has declared an official foreign language.

To the students, the new label is fitting: They say that American Sign Language is distinct from spoken English and that its coursework provides a new perspective akin to the cultural immersion they’d experience in French, Spanish or other traditional language classes.

"It shapes how you view the world around you," said Christine Theobold, a sophomore fromAStreamwood who is taking the most advanced sign class at NIU. "I guess it’s how you view the word 'foreign.'"

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Posted: April 19th, 2010
at 8:04pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: myninjaplease,mnp is for the children,fo' real?,science,"ninja",et cetera,language

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