Whole Class of First Graders Learn Sign Language to Communicate with Deaf Classmate

20:36, Friday, 19 February, 2016
Whole Class of First Graders Learn Sign Language to Communicate with Deaf Classmate

A school in Sarajevo is making headlines for not only accepting a deaf student, but also teaching his entire class sign language to allow them to better communicate with him.

The heartwarming story began in September last year when Mirzana Coralic requested the primary school in her neighborhood to enroll her six-year-old son, Zejd, who has a hearing disability. The teacher, Sanela Ljumanovic, accepted almost immediately, but on the first day of school, she noticed Zejd sitting all by himself, unable to communicate with any of his school mates.

Sanela, determined to find a solution, tried developing a few tricks and signs of her own. But a parent of another child came up with an even better idea – getting the whole class to learn sign language along with Zejd. So they got sign language teacher Anisa Setkic-Sendic on board, and three months later, Zejd was happily able to communicate to all his classmates about regular things like homework and games.

The other kids in Zejd’s class are quite happy as well. “I like this language and I also think it will be useful when I grow up,” said Anesa Susic, one of his classmates. “I like to learn Zejd’s language so I can talk to him and to other deaf people,” added Tarik Sijaric, another classmate. Now, sign language is getting quite popular at Osman Nakas primary school, with kids from other classes trying to learn as well.

“We are all happy as we are learning a new language,” Sanela said, adding that sign language is great because it enables communication and also helps children become more sensitive towards people with disabilities. She now hopes that it can be included as a part of the official curriculum.

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