In the second half of this century, sign language became the subject of scientific research in many countries. An interesting experiment was an attempt to establish interspecies communication using sign language, undertaken in the 1960s in Nevada (USA), where a pair of psychologists
Allen and Beatrice Gardner set out to teach American sign language to a chimpanzee. named Washoe. After four years of study, the monkey learned the 132 signs of the American Sign Language and not only understood them, but was also able to actively use them.
Further experiments with other monkeys showed that monkeys who were taught sign language in infancy use it in daily communication with each other and pass on knowledge of these signs to their offspring (Prałat-Pyrzewicz I., Bajewska J, 1994).
Numerous studies on Polish Sign Language have also been conducted in recent years. A feature common to all considerations and research is the confirmation of the role and importance of sign language for the cognitive and social development of deaf children, including the development of the child’s mother tongue as a second language.
This is a fairly common question that is usually asked by people who want to collaborate with the deaf. Undoubtedly, it is much easier to learn sign language, which consists in illustrating statements in Polish with signs.
It is enough to learn the signs of the signs here, using them according to the grammar taken from the Polish language. Courses of this language for teachers, parents of deaf children and other people professionally related to the deaf are organized by the Polish Association of the Deaf.
Two or three two-week courses allow you to master the basics of communication and independent exercises in frequent contact with deaf people improve and develop these skills.
The finger alphabet can be mastered in hours, but it’s an elementary skill that doesn’t allow for communication on a larger scale. However, it cannot be assumed that anyone who wishes to learn to sign can do so.
To learn this language, like any other language, it is necessary to have certain predispositions, such as:
- good visual rendering
- good dexterity,
- good hand-eye coordination,
- clear articulation, which makes it easier for deaf people to read gestures and words from the mouth at the same time.
- good visual memory,