Communication for All

CHS ASL Club offers students opportunity to learn universal communcation

Reese Czarniecki, Sandscript Author

      Around the world, there are roughly 6,500 different languages spoken among humankind.  One language, however, has a striking contrast to the other languages we communicate with.  That difference is that the particular language is American Sign Language, or ASL.  ASL has opened the gate to a means of communication that everyone can use.  As the third-most studied language in the entire world, ASL has become a major part of many communities across the world.  Chesterton High School ASL instructor Teagin Powers has seen more and more students and staff become interested in the language, and has decided to run this year’s CHS American Sign Language Club. 

     “ASL club is a place where students, and even staff members, can come together to learn more about American Sign Language,” said Teagin Powers, director of the club. 

     Anyone is open to joining the club, and you do not have to be enrolled in ASL Class to join. In a typical day of ASL club, students learn a lot about the history, culture, and sign language itself. 

     “We start with an opener talking, in English, about a Deaf culture, a famous Deaf person, or something interesting happening in the news,” Powers explained. “After that we go voices-off! This creates a total immersion environment that supports the use of signs and gestures. We learn the basics first, such as the alphabet, colors and questions.” 

     The club will also play games that revolve around signing, and host monthly movie nights focusing on movies starring famous Deaf people, and utilize sign language. Furthermore, Powers has a goal for the club: to spread awareness about the Deaf community within the halls of CHS, and hopefully beyond. 

     “I hope that the spread of signing will help bridge the language barrier, one sign at a time! There are Deaf people in this school, both staff and students, and I think they deserve to have people to communicate with,”  Powers started, “there are also Deaf people out in the wild! One day you are likely to stumble upon one and I can assure they are appreciative of someone that reaches into their world to communicate with them, instead of them reaching into our world.”

     The ASL club meets every other Monday in room A523 from 3-4. These meetings start on Monday, October 12. This pattern continues until Monday, December 14. Virtual options are also available for remote students. For more information, or If you are interested in joining the American Sign Language club, contact Ms. Teagin Powers, at [email protected]