Learning a new language can be a fascinating and valuable activity for many people to undertake. And in today’s increasingly interrelated world, proficiency in more than one language is a critical skill that provides the chance to engage with others in a deeper and more meaningful way. This is true both for interactions in one’s own neighborhood and in places thousands of miles from home. Knowing a second language also helps to prepare a person to compete and flourish in today’s fast-paced global economy, where countless languages are used to conduct business and make deals.
In the case of acquiring fluency in American Sign Language (ASL), the learning process can be greatly enhanced and enriched if you learn ASL online.
Connection With a Wider Range of People Is a Key Benefit When You Learn ASL.
One of the most fulfilling aspects of human existence is the capacity to relate with other people through language. And being able to interact with others in their native tongue is a tremendous gift. In their personal and professional lives, bilingual speakers have the distinct advantage of connecting with a broader range of people than monolingual people.
Knowing the local language makes you a native of any part of the planet, no matter where you’re from. It opens up your world both literally and figuratively and allows you to be impacted by diverse communities and social groups. When speaking in a second language, you may be impressed by the kindness of strangers. You may also build lifelong friendships with people of various ethnic and cultural groups. For these reasons and many others, you will enjoy the benefits of learning and using another language for many years to come.
Some People Fail to See the Benefits of Second-Language Learning.
However, for some people learning a second language is viewed as a burden because of their already busy personal or professional schedules. Or, they may be uninterested in expanding their social network to include people of diverse communities and backgrounds. This is the case for a woman who refuses to learn American Sign language (ASL) to communicate with her Deaf father-in-law, despite the appeals of her husband, who’s fluent in the language. (Story shared by Redditor Pretend_Dragonfly_68 on “Am I the A******? (AITA) subReddit)
Because his father is Deaf, the husband has been able to communicate in ASL since he was young. And although he and his wife visit his dad twice a month, she has never shown an interest in learning ASL. So instead of using ASL with her father-in-law, the wife always has the husband translate for her. After years of this routine, the husband has become increasingly frustrated with his wife’s refusal to learn ASL and has taken decisive action to show his displeasure.
The Husband Makes Friends With Another ASL User.
The husband recently began volunteering at a local community college where fluent ASL speakers converse with advanced ASL students to help them improve their skills. While working at the college, he met another volunteer instructor named Alex, who was non-verbal and around his age. The husband soon became good friends with Alex, who began hanging out at the husband’s house to converse.
When the two communicate in ASL, the husband refuses to translate when his wife is in the room, other than for introductions and small talk. He does so because Alex never asks him for translation.
The Wife Began to Feel Left Out of the Husband’s ASL Conversations With His Friend
After a few weeks of these interactions, the wife began saying that she felt she was being left out and that her husband and Alex were “keeping secrets.” The husband politely apologized to his wife and discussed the situation with Alex.
Alex said it was rude of the wife to never try to learn ASL, especially since her father-in-law is Deaf. For this reason, he had no interest in conversing with her. The husband agreed with Alex’s viewpoint. He said, “It didn’t rub me the wrong way at first, but now that she’s complaining about being left out despite having years to learn this new language it feels silly to me.”
The husband then let his wife know that he would continue translating when they visited his dad, but that things would stay the same when he interacted with Alex.
Lack of Communication Can Lead to More Serious Issues.
The fact that the wife wants regular ASL translation and won’t put in the effort to learn the language has caused unnecessary friction in the marriage. This issue can easily be addressed if she consciously learns ASL online or through in-person lessons.
Regular communication between partners is essential to the success of any marriage, and this extends to interactions with close family members. The adverse effects that may result without continuous interaction are demonstrated in the case of the wife, who refuses to learn ASL.
Lack of communication can occur in any relationship and, if ignored, may lead to more serious issues for a couple. For example, in the case of the husband with a wife who won’t learn ASL, feelings of resentment came about. When the husband interacted with his new friend in ASL the wife felt left out because she couldn’t understand what they were saying. Such a circumstance could increase the chances of a breakup, separation, or divorce.
This Situation Could Easily be Rectified Through ASL Lessons.
To avoid such a scenario, all the wife must adjust her way of thinking and take the initiative to learn ASL. Besides being crucial to the success of any couple, learning to convey one’s thoughts and feelings is also critical for dealing with each other’s relatives who are Deaf or Hard of hearing. Fluency in ASL can be the key to inclusivity within the family, just as it is in the broader society.
As in the example presented above, a language barrier can easily emerge when only one party knows a specific language, in this case, ASL, to communicate with the extended family. This, in turn, can result in arguments or stresses and sometimes a communication breakdown between the partners in a relationship. In addition, such a failure to communicate often leads to unhealthy behavior patterns in which the partners relate to each other in an increasingly unkind and unproductive manner.
The Wife Needs to Learn ASL, Which Can Be Easy, Especially Online.
At its most basic level, communication in a relationship is about connecting and using your verbal, written, and physical skills to fulfill your partner’s needs. This doesn’t mean just making small talk. Instead, it means understanding your partner’s point of view, offering support, and letting your partner know you’re their number one supporter.
To show empathy and support for her husband, the wife who won’t learn ASL can accept reality and see learning ASL as a way to keep her relationship with her husband intact. Doing so will also make her other family members happy since communicating in ASL with her Deaf father-in-law will show newfound love and respect.
Why Do Couples Need to Learn ASL?
Fluency in ASL can help couples communicate with more people in their immediate family. Spending time together using sign language as a family can be an inspirational bonding experience for adults and children, both Deaf and hearing alike. For the relatives of a person who is Deaf or Hard of hearing, learning and using ASL can help to build bridges of communication and trust that will last a lifetime.
In conclusion, a couple that maintains good communication makes for a happy family. And learning ASL today is relatively easy, especially online. In this way, couples can also make learning fun and quick.