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How Old is Sign Language?

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Presentation on theme: "How Old is Sign Language?"— Presentation transcript:

1 How Old is Sign Language?

2 How Old is Sign Language?
Prehistoric signs Indians tribal communication 1400s Rome Greece Monks vow of silence

3 1600s America: Martha’s Vineyard
Martha’s Vineyard Massachusetts (island) had a widespread of genetic deafness. 1 out of 25 were deaf. Those islanders used two languages (English and ASL) for 250 years. Without schools or organizations to bring deaf people together, a deaf child and his family might invent (make-up) signs of their own. These signs are called “home signs.” Poor and uneducated used “home signs.”

4 1816 Hartford, Connecticut A rich doctor had a deaf daughter named Alice. Dr. Cogswell wanted to find someone to educate his daughter. Dr. Cogswell raised money to send his neighbor, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, a graduate from Yale, to Europe to study the methods for teaching the deaf. THG went first to England. He wanted to learn information about oral methods. He tried to get into the Braidwoods School but was turned away.

5 While in England, THG met Sicard who was putting an exhibition of his students. Sicard invited THG to France to study French Sign Language. THG returned to the U.S. with Laurent Clerc, one of Sicard’s students. During their 52 day trip, Clerc taught Gallaudet FSL and Gallaudet taught Clerc English.

6 April 1817 Gallaudet and Clerc established the school in Hartford. The school is called The American School for the Deaf. This was the first school in America to be established. The signs that already existed in America together with French signs that Laurent Clerc brought over became AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE! 

7 T.H.G E.M.G. Sophia Fowler Laurent Clerc

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