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Kayla Dean

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Teacher discusses world of sign language

ASL+students+in+Taylor+Cabra%27s+class+spell+out+%22ASL.%22+
ASL students in Taylor Cabra's class spell out

ASL students in Taylor Cabra's class spell out "ASL."

Trinity Norwood

Trinity Norwood

ASL students in Taylor Cabra's class spell out "ASL."

New to the campus, foreign language teacher Taylor Cabra recently brought American Sign Language (ASL) to the high school. This is the first time ASL has been offered at LCM but having studied the language for eight years, Cabra is ready to take on the challenge of teaching ASL to high school students.

“When I was in college a friend of mine, who was on the same dance team as me, was completely Deaf,” Cabra said. “She introduced me to this language and I fell in love with it. I thought it was such a visually beautiful language. That moment, I knew I wanted to at least learn more about it, but the more classes I took the more I knew I wanted to teach this to others as well. Sign language is not well known around this area so I wanted to spread the knowledge to others.”

Since ASL is new to the high school, Cabra said she does her best to keep the students entertained and involved with the language on a daily basis.

“I try to have the students participate in the class in different ways,” Cabra said. “There are days we work in groups for different lessons and I always try to have open discussions so they feel they are being a part of the lessons instead of them just sitting there listening to me talk or watching me sign. The students are using their hands almost every day in class.”

Cabra has only been teaching ASL for two years and is already having success with the class. Not only is she doing something she has a great passion for, but the students are having a great time with it. She said she plans on incorporating games to keep the students interested and involved in the class.

“My students have been great!” Cabra said. “We try to have fun and the last thing I want is for my students to be stressed about my class. Last semester we ended with telling stories in Sign Language. This semester we are focusing more on the history and culture of the language and also we will be doing many fun activities relating to topics we discuss. We are going to actually be playing a handful of games this semester such as Simon Says, Hide and Seek and Charades. It focuses on how to give demands in Sign, give directions in Sign and uses lots of vocabulary. We put the lessons to use in a fun way so the students stay focused.”

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A whole new world