Silent Studies

American Sign Language Joins Midlo World Language Department

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Hola! Bonjour! Salve! Hallo! Many students at Midlo have enrolled in a world language classes, such as Spanish, French, Latin, or German. This year, American Sign Language joins the language line-up, and students are very excited to partake in this captivating class here at Midlo.

On the origin of the American Sign Language class, Assistant Principal Mr. Robert Gifford shares, “It is my best understanding that a group of students and parents were very interested in having an American Sign Language class. In this school, we do our best to provide classes that students want…Student interest drove us to provide another language for our students. We at Midlo are very excited because we are the first and only school in Chesterfield to offer American Sign Language.”

An avid user of American Sign Language, Mr. Peter Nalls, the American Sign Language (ASL) teacher, loves to make his class one that students are ecstatic to attend every day. He begins class each day with a vocabulary review, followed by teaching his students a new set of vocabulary words. After learning vocabulary, the American Sign Language classroom continuously buzzes, as Mr. Nalls engages his class in a brain break that consists of iSpy games, ASL commands, and silent storytelling. Although American Sign Language is silent to the ear, the enthusiasm from the classroom can be heard throughout Midlo.

Carrie Rowley, a junior, exclaims, “ASL class is a great opportunity for students to broaden their horizons and learn a new language. It gives me an opportunity for a wonderful experience, as well as [to] add an amazing component to my education.”

As an unwritten language, American Sign Language contributes a fantastic element to the Midlothian High School community. By teaching its students to speak a unique language, Midlo continues to burst with diversity.