What do Sharks have to do with ASL?

The oceans have always been mysterious, full of life, but difficult to explore! Among the intriguing inhabitants of the deep blue sea are sharks, often depicted as fierce predators. However, sharks possess their own unique methods of communication, which can be likened to the complexities of human elocution and the beauty of learning American Sign Language (ASL). Let’s delve into the fascinating world of sharks, explore the art of elocution, and discover how learning ASL connects us to both shark life and human expression.

The Language of Shark

Sharks are fascinating creatures! These apex predators have developed various methods of communication, enabling them to convey crucial information within their complex social structures. One of the primary means of shark communication is body language. By using specific postures, tail movements, and fin positions, they can signal dominance, submission, and even aggression. Who knew?

For instance, when two sharks meet, they often perform a “parallel swim,” wherein they mirror each other's movements. This behavior is believed to establish a form of rapport between the individuals. Furthermore, certain species of sharks are known to use chemical signals, emitted through their skin, to communicate and locate potential mates.

The Art of Elocution

In the realm of human communication, elocution is an essential skill that embodies the art of clear and expressive speech. Elocution goes beyond mere articulation and pronunciation; it involves the modulation of tone, pitch, and volume to convey emotions and ideas effectively. Historically, elocution has played a pivotal role in public speaking, acting, and rhetoric, enhancing the impact of one's words.

Just as sharks rely on body language to communicate, humans use elocution to convey not only the content of their message but also the depth of their emotions. From motivational speeches to poetic recitations, elocution adds a captivating layer to the human experience.

Self Paced ASL – Learn ASL Today!

ASL Self-Paced provides activities that encourage multi-modal repetition and keep students engaged. This comes in a flexible, user-friendly interface that can be accessed on any device. Videos of ASL signers can be viewed with each lesson so students can see a person signing. This is an excellent tool to learn the signs quickly.

The Bridge to Understanding: Learning ASL

American Sign Language, or ASL, is a visual and expressive language used primarily by the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community. It utilizes hand movements, facial expressions, and body postures to convey meaning, making it a powerful means of communication, not unlike the body language of sharks. Learning ASL offers numerous benefits, including fostering a more inclusive society and expanding one's understanding of diverse cultures.

The process of learning ASL also shares similarities with the art of elocution. Both require dedication, practice, and a keen eye for detail. As elocution refines the spoken word, ASL refines the language of motion and expression, allowing for a deeper connection with others and a heightened appreciation for non-verbal communication.

Learn ASL

 ASL is the 6th most common Foreign Language in the United States. Furthermore, ASL helps people communicate expressively and is a great way to teach babies to communicate at an earlier age. ASL students have higher reading scores, have increased spatial reasoning abilities, and have been shown to have long-term cognitive reasoning and IQ benefits! Learning ASL increases students over interpersonal (soft) skills!

Communication Without Boundaries

Despite inhabiting entirely different worlds, sharks and humans demonstrate a shared desire for connection and understanding. Through the lens of elocution and ASL, we uncover the unifying thread that links these seemingly disparate beings.

In a world where communication is evolving rapidly with computers and AI, it is essential to acknowledge the value of understanding and appreciating diverse forms of expression. Just as sharks thrive within the deep sea through their unique communication methods, humans can benefit from expanding their communication skills beyond verbal language. And besides being a fun challenge ASL actually improves English language learning and overall communication skills!

So this week, make like a shark, be smart and learn a little bit of ASL; like how to fingerspell as well as say please, thank-you, Good-bye, hungry, thirsty, shark, swim, ocean, deep, blue, fin! Shark week is a fun way to tie in all sorts of learning, and maybe even embark on a new learning adventure- together!

Lisa Nehring
Let's Connec

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