POPULARITY OF ASL
ASL is more popular of a language than most people realize. Not only are you seeing more and more of ASL in pop culture tv shows and movies (reference Dancing with the Stars), there has been a steady rise of students enrolling in ASL classes over the years.
Believe it or not, ASL is the fourth most common language in the US according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). It is estimated that between 500,000 to 2,000,000 people use ASL in North America.
Not only is it widely used in North America by Deaf People, but students are showing a big interest in learning the language. According to the Modern Language Association and their latest 3 year report from Fall 2013: in 1990 there were only 1602 students enrolled in ASL in US institutions of higher education. That number of enrolled students in ASL skyrocketed from 1602 in year 1990 to 109,577 in year 2013!
That’s a 6,740% increase in students enrolled in ASL from 1990 to 2013!
ASL enrollment has skyrocketed while some other very popular foreign languages have declined in popularity during this time. ASL is 3rd only behind Spanish and French for total student enrollment in US institutions of higher education.
In other words, IF YOU HAVE INTEREST IN LEARNING AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE, YOU’RE NOT ALONE!
So why has there been such a surge of interest in ASL over the years? There are several reasons for the spike in popularity.
First, it wasn’t always recognized as a true language. Many people were (and still are) unaware there is a whole culture surrounding Deafness and their use of ASL. There’s no written component to ASL either. It’s widely accepted that the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 brought more awareness to Deaf culture and acceptance of ASL as a “real” language. Therefore, you see huge rise in students taking the class starting in 1990.
But if you ask us, the reason ASL has become so popular is because the language is fun, different, and really cool!
Don’t be left out of all the fun, send us an email today to enroll!