Posted by: learnsignlanguage | December 8, 2010

colleges see 16% increase in study of sign language

While the number of college students studying Spanish, French and German increased only modestly from 2006 to 2009 enrollment in American Sign Language- the fourth most popular language- surged more than 16 percent, according to a new report from the Modern Language Association.

Sign language professors suggested various reasons for the rise. They said it reflected the growing acceptance of American Sign Language to meet college foreign-language requirements and its usefulness as an employment credential.

After a long debate about whether American Sign Language is a real language – and whether it qualifies as a foreign language- a few universities now offer a major or minor in it and many more accept sign language for their foreign language requirement.

More than 90,000 students enrolled in sign language classes last year compared with only 4305 in 1995.

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