The Spartan Spin

American Sign Language club is a good sign for the future

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American Sign Language club is a good sign for the future

Junior Ivan Zambori signs “apple” in the Spartan Commons on Oct. 22.

Junior Ivan Zambori signs “apple” in the Spartan Commons on Oct. 22.

Malita Villamayor

Junior Ivan Zambori signs “apple” in the Spartan Commons on Oct. 22.

Malita Villamayor

Malita Villamayor

Junior Ivan Zambori signs “apple” in the Spartan Commons on Oct. 22.

By Malita Villamayor, Reporter

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On Oct. 19, Junior Ivan Zambori reviewed what they’d learned before turning to their partner to say, “Hello, my name is Ivan.” While speaking this in English is one thing, signing it in American Sign Language is a whole different experience.

Another new club at SHS, the American Sign Language (ASL) club in room 1124 was created by Deaf and Hard of Hearing teacher Chad Werner. He’d learned ASL in college when he was 22 and has taught it for 2 years, continuing the streak at Superior High School.

“I heard that the middle school had set up an ASL club the last couple years, and I knew some of the kids were coming up,” Werner said. “This year, I thought, was a good time to give it a shot and see if there was any interest at the high school.”

Zambori joined the club as soon as they found it. Having been taught ASL by their mother for many years, they hope to expand on what they know to better communicate not only with other people, but with family at home.

“Pretty much everyone except for me in my family has hearing problems,” Zambori said. “My mom is almost completely deaf in one ear. And so, it’s been our way of communicating when we don’t feel like yelling.”

American Sign Language is the 3rd most used language in the US behind English and Spanish. Because there are so many people who rely on ASL to communicate, Mr. Werner is hoping to teach students to not only know the language, but to have the confidence to sign with the ASL community.

“I hope they can get a good enough foundation that they could feel confident to use it out in the community when they meet somebody who is deaf,” Werner said. “That happens to me all the time when I go to a restaurant or something… it makes it easier sometimes, especially if they’re comfortable with it.”

While learning a new language can be hard, it also has the potential to break barriers and bridge gaps between different communities. The ASL club in Superior High School is one of many groups to take on that challenge one sign at a time.

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American Sign Language club is a good sign for the future