Last week we initiated a sign language course for the children of San Isidro. Within just one week, the school of sign language LARA has taught the children how to count, spell and present themselves and their family members in sign language. We were really impressed with how much enthusiasm and especially how fast the kids learned how to speak in sign language! And there are several reasons why our partnership with LARA is good for the children:
1. Social sensibility
There are about 500.000 deaf people in Perú, 30.000 of them living in and around Arequipa. Learning sign language enables the children to communicate with deaf adults and children in their daily lives. It also makes the children more sensitive in a social way, realizing that there are many people around them who cannot communicate the way they do and how rich their language and culture is.
2. Memory stimulation
Learning sign language is like learning any new language. It stimulates the brain synapses and trains the children’s memory and their overall learning abilities.
3. Spelling practice
As sign language includes lots of spelling, the kids practise spelling in a fun way.
During sign language classes, the noise level in the classroom drops drastically. The children are focused and unusually quiet. The silent activity calms the kids down and makes them focus on something that does not include loud noises, screaming or talking.
6. Preparation for the future
You never know what is going to happen. One of their friends, family members or maybe even themselves might become deaf in the future.
7. It’s easy and fun!
Some of the gestures in sign language are commonplace gestures of every-day life. Especially for kids they seem quite logical and are easy to remember. Plus: it’s fun! The kids are learning a secret language that they can speak with their friends in public, so nobody understands them.