Irish Sign Language (ISL)
Swedish scientists discovered that learning a foreign language can actually increase the size of your brain. Scientists also know that people who speak more than one language fluently have better memories and can delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Not only is learning a second language good for your brain, it’s also a great way to expand your communication skills.
Sign Language is the fifth most-used language in the United States behind Spanish, Italian, German and French. While that ranking varies depending on the source, it should definitely be considered as one of your options if you’re looking to learn a second language. Juan Pablo de Bonet, Juan Pablo de Bonet, is credited with publishing the first sign language instructional book for the deaf in 1620. The book was based on the work of Girolamo Cardano, an Italian physician, who believed that it wasn’t necessary to hear words in order to understand ideas. Although , some experts argue that early man likely used signs to communicate long before spoken language was created. And while we’ve all come a long way since then, whether you’ve pressed your index finger against your lips to hush a noisy child, raised your hand to hail a cab, or pointed to an item on the menu, you’ve used sign language in its simplest form.
Those who speak a Sign Language fluently use their eyes, hands, face and body. The vocabulary and grammar of ISL is different from English. As a result, learning to speak ISL as a language will be more challenging than just learning to communicate with signs and fingerspelling. As much as 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents, which can make learning sign language a family affair. Parents who learn ISL along with their child often find it easier to communicate on a deeper level with their deaf child. Studies also indicate when a child who is deaf or hard of hearing learns ISL, their ability to learn their native language improves. Some parents of normal hearing children teach their infants signed English. Advocates believe babies can learn to communicate their needs – such as being hungry or thirsty – through the use of signs before they are able to speak. Scientists believe children who learn a second language when they are very young develop better language skills. Due to its visual nature, sign language is a great tool for early readers and enhances spelling skills
According to the experts hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic health condition facing older adults. As the population ages and the incidence of hearing loss increases, sign language becomes more and more relevant – especially in emergency situations when communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing is critical.
Irish Sign Language (ISL) (Teanga Chomharthaíochta na hÉireann) is the the indigenous language of Irish Deaf people and of the Deaf community of Ireland, used primarily in the Republic of Ireland. It is also used in Northern Ireland, though British Sign Language (BSL) is also used there. Irish Sign Language is more closely related to French Sign Language (LSF) than to British Sign Language, though it has influence from both languages. It has influenced sign languages in Australia and South Africa, and has little relation to either spoken Irish or English. It was developed by deaf people themselves and has been in existence for hundreds of years, having been passed down by many generations of Deaf people. It is a visual, spatial language with its own distinct grammar. Not only is it a language of the hands, but also of the face and body.
Irish Sign Language is now finally an official language of the State. Dáil Éireann approved the ‘Recognition of Irish Sign Language’ bill for the Irish Deaf Community on Thursday, 14th December 2017 and it was subsequently approved by the Seanad the following day. President Michael D. Higgins signed the Irish Sign Language Act 2017 into Law on 24th December 2017, an historic day for the Irish Deaf Community. What this means is that ISL users will have legal rights to access Government Departments & Public Bodies through Irish Sign Language. They will have legal rights to access ALL courts through Irish Sign Language. There will now be a greater need more than ever for more Certified Skilled Irish Sign Language Interpreters and teachers
Conmel Tuition Academy is currently offering Sign Language courses for Adults Beginners level in Irish Sign Language. Click on the links below for more information on these ISL courses: