ASL University | Bookstore | Catalog | Dictionary | Lessons | Resources | Syllabi | Library

The Benefits of American Sign Language: 

By Dale Gross

The Benefits of American Sign Language

American Sign Language is a complex language that has been used for centuries throughout North America. Signed Languages are unlike spoken languages in that they are three-dimensional languages in motion. Why is it important for schools to start teaching American Sign Language to students at a young age?

The Manitoba School District in Canada believes the importance of learning ASL is enormous. Apart from the common advantages related to learning of a second language, it permits and insight into the Deaf culture and bestows more opportunities to communicate with those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. The learning of American Sign Language develops awareness and sensitivity to cultural and linguistic diversity in addition to preserving the cultural identity of one. It also provides cultural enrichment and is the best means of fostering understanding between people who are hard of hearing and those who are not. Furthermore it gives the opportunity to identify question and challenge one's own cultural assumptions, values and perspectives to contribute positively to society.

An article written by Laura Berg entitled "The benefits of using American Sign Language with Preschoolers" explains how much help American Sign Language can help a toddler in recognizing words if they are connected to a sign. Every parent knows that young children love movement and actions. When you sing songs and put actions to them, children always want to perform those actions. Berg uses "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" as an example of this. Berg explains that the soon as the toddler starts to sing the song they start to perform hand motions like the spider going "up the spout" and the "rain fall wash the spider out". Laura Berg goes on to say that the children are able to remember better because there is muscle memory involved and the more senses involved the easier it is to learn.

An article from the website titled "The Benefits of ASL Signing in Childcare Centers with Young Children." The article states "Signing in a childcare setting allows caregivers to model effective communication, encourage conflict resolution, and help children to communicate with each other. Teachers who sign can spread more time interacting with and nurturing children than managing the myriad challenges associated with Early Childhood Education". One major thing signing helps in a childcare center is that it allows the children and teachers to communicate quickly and more efficiently. This means that the children will spend less time crying and the teachers will not have to decipher what the children are trying to say. Also being able to sign gives the children a sense of empowerment because they are being able to communicate which then leads to the children being happier. The article goes on to talk about how American Sign Language being taught at a young aged allows the children to learn two languages and communicate in more than one way with their teachers and peers. It has been reported in classrooms that use signing there are less acts of violence. Teachers have reported that there has been less biting, hitting, and screaming because the children are happier and less frustrated because they are able to communicate. Another benefit of learning American Sign Language at a young age is that two children who speak a different language are able to communicate through signing which makes things a lot easier.

Signing at a young age can also benefit children who are special needs children. Children that have special needs are able to use American Sign Language communicate with their caregivers and other people. Children that suffer from Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, aphasia and other language delays and impairments have used the ASL system to communicate with others.

William Dean wrote an article about learning American Sign Language and its benefits. Dean reported that scientific reports have shown that children who have learned American Sign Language at a young average a higher IQ of 8-13 points. In another study William Dean said that researchers discovered that babies are able to learn some of the simple signs of sign language before they have the ability to speak.

There are so many benefits to teach children American Sign Language at a young age. As you have read American Sign Language not only helps children communicate at a young age it also helps special needs children communicate. It also is a bridge between languages where two people that speak different languages are easily able to communicate while using American Sign Language. The benefits are amazing and there is nothing negative about learning how to sign. It has also been proven that children who learn to sign at an early age are smarter than children who don't. Learning American Sign Language gives children a chance to explore and gain an appreciation of the Deaf and hard of hearing culture.


1. Berg, L. (2001). The benefits of using American Sign Language with preschoolers. Retrieved from

2. Benefits of ASL signing with your baby. (n.d.). Retrieved from

3. Benefits of signing with your child. (n.d.). Retrieved from

4. Dean, W. (n.d.). learn american sign language easily. Retrieved from

5. American sign language and Deaf culture. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Also see: "Sign Language and its Benefits for Hearing Children"
Also see: "Benefits of Sign Language"

Want to help support ASL University?  It's easy DONATE (Thanks!)
(You don't need a PayPal account. Just look for the credit card logos and click continue.)

Another way to help is to buy something from the ASLU "Bookstore."

Want even more ASL resources?  Visit the "ASL Training Center!"  (Subscription Extension of ASLU)   CHECK IT OUT >

Bandwidth slow?  Check out "" (a free mirror of less traffic, fast access)   VISIT >


You can learn sign language online at American Sign Language University
hosted by Dr. William Vicars