Get help from the best in academic writing.

Early Sign Language Education in Schools

Early Sign Language Education in Schools
“Excuse me, ma’am. Excuse me!” Pause and an eye roll followed.“What are you deaf?” Imagine you are this impatient person. Then imagine finding out that the person actually was deaf. Now, try to picture being the deaf person in that situation. He or she is most likely embarrassed or angered because they did not know that you needed something. Deaf people do not look unlike hearing people. Of course it can be hard to always know, but being patient and understanding is key in the process. Deaf people in the world are entitled to the same amounts of communications as hearing people are. The only difference between a hearing and deaf person is how well they can or cannot hear. Hearing loss can be contracted from illnesses, diseases, or genetics. Never is being or becoming deaf someone’s fault. Learning sign language encourages support to the deaf culture. More importantly learning sign language young can help in many ways other than just supporting the deaf culture. Sign language should be taught in the earliest years of a child’s life because it encourages efficient behaviors, it promotes early learning, and it creates and strengthens relationships.
American sign language or also known as ASL, is an entirely different language than English or any other language. The origins of ASL are actually traced to France and the beginning of the French Sign Language. However, the two are no longer similar and are unrecognizable to either culture (“American” par. 3). ASL is equivalent to learning Spanish, French, or German. Once one has picked up sign language, they are considered bilingual. The bases of American sign language is on the gestures and facial expressions portrayed through their conversation. It is hard to come up with an accurate number as to how many people are deaf today because some prefer to not be called deaf when they cannot hear at all. On the other hand, some that can hear almost perfect go along as deaf (“Teach” par. 21). To give a rough estimate, 2 to 4 of every 1000 are “functionally deaf” and 37 to 140 of 1000 people say to have some kind of hearing trouble (Mitchell par. 3, 4, 5). The peak of deafness is about 65 and above. Children that are born or become deaf young are able to learn more signs and fit in with others more quickly. It seems to be easier. They are able to pick up signs at five months and learning to sign phrases and simple sentences at ten months; much quicker than verbal eruption.
Sign Language encourages the use and transition into positive behaviors. Crying is the most known way for an infant to share their needs with their caregiver. Infants, unable to talk, cry a lot because they need to eat, a diaper change, have a tummy ache, and anything else. Parents can have a difficult time picking out the contextual clues around to discover the problem. This can take a wide array of time. In toddlers and young children, rather than constant crying, families recognize that emotional tantrums are more common for the same reason that the child does not express their problems freely. Numerous parents are unaware of how sign language allows their child to share his or her problems easier and faster with less outbreaks. Infants at birth begin learning from gestures and nonverbal communicators. A child can start processing sign language at five months old (Goldstein 6). The processing part allows the child to understand what his parents are saying to him easier. This starts with teaching a child the simple signs to drink, eat, happy, sad, more, and tired. Just adding six signs to the child’s vocabulary will help them to be able to share when they are in need of food or want to go to bed. In one family, the parents said that the amount of crying after the incorporation of sign language was limited (Thompson par. 5). Closer towards ten months, a child is able to create simple sentences and express their feelings to their caregiver (Lazorisak 33). The parents of these children are made aware of the child’s particular issue(s) much faster with sign language than from guessing the issue based on their cry. Each child’s behavior varies, but with the intermix of sign language, children are able to show what they want instead of wait excessive amounts of time for their parent or caregiver to determine the issue.
Crying and tantrums are big in young children and so is frustration and anger. Being frustrated or having an outbreak can offset a child’s day. The ability for a child to express themself and their needs and wants allows them to communicate much easier. Resulting from the use of sign language, a Pennsylvanian family has seen much less frequent emotional tantrums (Goldstein par. 25). This family shared that the amount of times crying and outbreaks happen are frequently much less than the resulted before sign language. Due to less outbreaks seen from children, families are able to enjoy more quality time together and think about more pressing matters. Life is more happy and memory filled.
American Sign Language or ASL is considered to be an entirely different language with a different structure of words and grammar (Lazorisak 21). As many languages can be difficult and frustrating to develop, sign language feels fun and energized. Children are excited to learn new signs and ways to say new things. Children feel achievements and successes from each new sign and way of expressing themself. Often times, those that rely on sign language are more happier in their achievements, and they feel that they are able to conquer more things. They also feel more ready because they are not held back anymore. The feeling of being the last one or the one behind is straggling behind and leaving one’s mind. They are passionately excited because they want to better themselves. Many do not recognize that these children want what is best for them.
As behavioral benefits are very evident, sign language has become a huge impact on promoting early learning. Experts recommend to get the most benefits from sign language, to teach children within their first two years of age. Children also retain much more from learning at a younger age (Thompson par. 2, “Benefits par. 2). The visualness of the language creates a connection between early literacy for hearing and non hearing children (Moses 486). Additionally, sign language is used with those children that are falling back or have the potential to become behind in any aspect of school. Children suffering from autism and mental retardation are able to communicate more freely and expressively with sign language (Thompson par. 1). A study done by two experts from the California State University at Stanislaus took 103 infants and placed them into three different study groups. One group was focused on the parents teaching and encouraging the use of sign language, another was primarily shifted towards verbal communication, and the third group was given no direction as to how to direct their child. This study spanned out from infancy to age 8. Eight year later, the results show that those children that were encouraged to sign and use gestures had outperformed both other groups in all the tested areas. Their average IQs were much higher as well. There were no drastic differences found between the groups that were directed towards verbal language and those given no direction at all (Goldstein par. 22, 23, 24). Deaf children that rely solely on ASL are able to reach and exceed expectations in literacy as any other student would be able (Moses 486). Babies growing into young children that learn easy signs are found to be much better readers later on in life have an expanded vocabulary. The main reason for such gains coming from sign language is due to the stimulation of the synapses in the brain (Lazorisak 33). This giving each child an easier grasp of the learning and promoting a much faster process in doing so.
In addition to behavior and early literacy rates improving, sign language has also created a correlation to strengthening relationships. The ability to communicate with others through expressing forms of sign language allows much engagement. Signing alleviates the pressures of taking to an adult. It also makes the conversation more understandable to the child (Goldstein par 21). Not only have relationships with adults become easier to create, but sign language has initiated stronger positive bonds between older siblings (Goldstein par.28). Children are able to talk to older people quicker with less anxiety. They have the confidence built up and know that they have the full potential to connect to another adult or sibling or teacher. Each child is very much different, but the same is true that relationships are seen to have a strengthening if they are exposed and taught sign language in their earliest years.
As previously mentioned, signing has made interacting with adults much easier. Similarly, children create the strongest relationship with their parent or parents whom they are learning and gaining much support from. Sign language can be difficult, but it also has the capability to be fully taught by one’s parents (Thompson et al par 1). Another reason that parent to child relationships thrive in this situation is due to the closeness in sharing ideas through signing since the child’s first months of life. It is important for a parent to take charge and encourage the children as they go along their. One parent says, “The greatest thing about a child who cannot yet speak, is the unspoken communication.” She continues to say, “A child can tell you ‘I love you’ a million ways without saying even one word” (Smith). This parent was emotional when it came to sharing her journey with her son who was unable to talk until he was three years old due to a submucous cleft palate. She was very thankful to be able to learn and watch her son communicate through a new form she had not realized would benefit her son (Smith). Many parents feel overwhelmed once they first realize that they need to figure out how to communicate with their child. They think first of the worries and things that could go wrong. Many even feel bad for their child when they should feel special that they are able to learn and create such a strong bond that with turn into a life lasting relationship. In the end, this is what each parent will be most thankful for.
As many do often fail to realize about those diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing is how many everyday lifestyles they share with those that can 100% functionally hear. All humans are given the same basic rights while an abounding number of deaf and hearing impaired people often are torn from their basic rights they were granted at birth. In one case, a deaf man was falsely convicted of a crime and was unable to explain his side because the judge, officers, and other observers were unable to communicate with the victim (“Teach” par 12). Although that may seem devastating, other events have occured that have resulted in the loss of one’s life because the barrier of communication was present. Mago, a patient to the doctor was misunderstood when attempting to share her symptoms. The doctor and patient was unable to communicate due to Mago’s deafness and the doctor’s inability to sign to the patient. The miscommunication resulted in a wrong prescription given to Mago and which soon following lead to Mago’s death (“Teach” par 1). Both are tragic and would not have taken place had the barrier of communication not been present. This is such an easy fix even if the doctor had only known a few simple signs.
The main reason that the deaf population struggles with receiving the same treatments as others is because deaf people are seen as a minority. People portray that they have a choice to be deaf when in reality people often forget that they were born or genetically given that trait. Deaf people are not contagious. It is not something one can catch from bumping or encountering a deaf person. Deafness is most commonly from genetics, illnesses, diseases, and ear infections. People often question if deaf people can drive. In which a deaf person would respond to that they cannot hear however they are able to see perfectly fine. Some states such as New Jersey and Illinois have an indicator on their license to let others know that they are deaf (Lazorisak 20). Another common misconception is that deaf people cannot use a telephone. Of course, deaf people can text, send pictures, and play games, but they can also talk on the phone. It is however a little different than a hearing person’s conversation in which a deaf person must use a teletypewriter. The teletypewriter is used to take in typing to create and form sentences that will be translated into verbal communication and said aloud to the receiver (Lazorisak 22, 21). These stereotypes are commonly present because of the non exposure that most have to being around deaf people. Stereotyping deaf people leads them to “condemned to a life with limited interaction” (“Teach” par 4). One strategic way to remove stereotypes placed would be to discuss the deaf culture in schools. Teaching about past and present deaf world known figures such as Beethoven who composed music although he was unable to hear the music. Another figure in the deaf culture is Thomas Edison who was hard of hearing and declared himself deaf, and yet he created the lightbulb that is still affecting the world today (Yuknis 72). As many are not made aware, the telephone was created by Alexander Graham Bell who had a history with the deaf community. Furthermore, Bell created the microphone as a way to help deaf people to listen to their speech more (Lazorisak 21). They may not be able to hear the words, but rather the rhythms and beats of each sound (Lazorisak 33). The incorporation of ASL leaders and important figures that some may not recognize creates an image of unity. It benefits those deaf in boosting their self confidence and ability to communicate to others, and it benefits those that are functionally hearing in that they are able to communicate better with others as well. Sign languages allow the hearing and non-hearing to carry on casual conversations every so often.
Even though all is true, some question the ability of sign language delaying the emergence of one child’s oral language which shares that signing can push back the verbal language because the use of sign language is predominantly focused on and used more often. In one case, the author shares that the use of fluent english and fluent sign language has taken out recollection of either language. The author Anne Moses, tells that a child becomes loses the ability to learn when sign language is directly translated with the english language (Moses 487). The good thing is that sign language should not be taught fluently to young children. Starting with simple words, phrases, and sentences will boost the learning process. Most times, the use of sign language is to promote the child expressing themself because they are unable to speak in the first place. Children are capable of learning their oral language at the same time or relatively close after signing has been picked up (Thompson par 2,3). In a different study done by the same people from the California State University, the findings are clear that vocal language is breaking the surface much quicker with sign language than without (Thompson par. 3). This proving that signing will help children to verbalize and express themselves. In the end, the child will learn their verbal language and in the process will still be able to communicate to others.
Arguments are also found from the possible confusion of learning two languages at the same time. This is found arguable because of the difference in structures between sign language and the english language. The syntax or the structure format of where words are placed to make a grammatically correct statement are viewed much different among the two (Moses 488). Not all words in english have meanings in sign language (Moses 488). For instance, the sentence in english ‘I am driving a small blue car today’ would be translated to sign language as ‘Today car small, blue me drive’ (Lazorisak 33). This can be a difficult concept for some to grasp at first, but learning American sign language serves as learning a second language which also creates the billiguage environment. Those that have ASL and english in their homes are considered to have strong rich language environments at home (Goldstein par 17). The confusion is found directly when signing in fluently observed rather than fluently taught. Limiting signing to be mixed into simple conversations and instructions creates a much better understanding of the language. Children do not need a fluent sign language understanding, but rather they need a understanding of simple concepts and ways to express themselves to benefit in numerous ways.
In life today, deaf culture is more predominant than people often seem to realize. While the deaf population enjoys the support and encouragement from hearing, sign language used for many other reasons has many amazing benefits. Behaviors are shifted from crying immensely to expressing needs, wants, and phrases. Relationships are strengthened between child and parent, child and sibling, and child with another child. This is correlated from the shared language and ability to share their ideas much more freely. Early learning promotion is very important. Sign language helps lead to emerging vocabulary, literacy, writing, and verbal language. To end here would be insufficient, so to conclude, Lou Ferrigno, the hulk in the movie Incredible Hulk, once said, “ If I hadn’t lost my hearing, I wouldn’t be where I am now. It forced me to maximize my own potential. I have to be better than the average person to succeed.”
Works Cited
“American Sign Language.”National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 5 June 2017.https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/american-sign-language.
“Benefits of Sign Language are Numerous; It it Cold in Here, or is it Just Me? Nov. 2.” Toronto Star, 8 Nov. 2010, p. A18. Global Issues in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A241502483/GIC?u=wsalemhs

Education and the Gender Wage Gap

Education and the Gender Wage Gap
Introduction
Better opportunities, higher income, a larger wealth of knowledge… These are just a few of the many reasons that 19 million Americans enroll in college annually. Women make up about 56 percent of that nineteen million, and that number is rising. So why is it that the number of women enrolling in college is increasing? It could be the fact that women are now more able to pursue careers that historically have been male dominated, such as science, engineering, and law. It could also be that simply men are more likely to work in jobs that do not require a college diploma, such as manual labor jobs like manufacturing and construction. With more women pursuing higher education, the question remains: does obtaining higher education in fact close the gender wage gap?
Literary Review
In 2016, the wage gap disparity between men and women as a whole narrowed to 81 cents on the dollar earned by a man, up from 57 cents on the dollar in 1975 (“Women Can’t Win). As the age gap has become smaller and smaller, the number of women completing Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Doctoral Degrees has risen. From 1970, the number of bachelor’s degrees obtained by women has increased from 43 percent to 57 percent in 2015 (“Women Can’t Win”). Education has served as the main way for women to catch up to the earnings of men. Interestingly enough, the largest wage gaps exist in the highest paying fields. Over a lifetime, out of men and women who earn graduate degrees in business, women earn $1.6 million less over the course of their careers (“Women Can’t Win”). One reason for this may be that women still take on the majority of caretaking for their children. Studies show that most widening in the wage gap occurs to college graduates in the first seven years after leaving college because that is when families are being formed and mothers must take time away from work (Goldin). As women’s family responsibility increases, women’s advances and wages fall farther behind.
There are many factors to consider beyond just level of education, but according to the article, “The Gender Income Gap and the Role of Education,” there are four major factors that impact the gender income gap: choice of college major, skills measured by standardized tests, amount of education, and selectivity of the college attended. When considering these factors, it is important to remember that many college majors still show segregation (Bobbitt-Zeher). Women are often much more likely than men to major in fields that are less rewarded with higher incomes like childhood education and the humanities. In 2000-2001, women earned 20 percent of engineering degrees and 77 percent of education degrees (Bobbitt-Zeher).
When looking at skills measured by standardized tests, research has suggested that since the 1970’s, higher abilities and scores in STEM related majors have been predictive of higher future salaries. Male students have been dominant on these standardized tests, but the disparities between men and women are shrinking. One study found that the wage gap disappears between men and women with the highest math skills (Bobbitt-Zeher).
College selection can also play an important role in job opportunities, often the more prestigious the institution, the higher salaries expected in the future. Studies show that more prestigious and selective universities are less likely to offer degrees that are typically female dominated like childhood education, so depending on a female’s major choice, she may attend a less selective institution.
The differences in the college majors chosen by males and females is critical to understanding the wage gap. More and more research suggest that women are more sensitive to negative feedback than men (Kugler). This research examines the likelihood that a woman would change majors in response to bad grades. In the article, “Choice of Majors: Are Women Really Different from Men?” their data shows twelve percent of students change majors, and of those that switch, sixty percent are female. The study finds that it does in fact take more than just negative feedback for a female to switch majors, but also low grades, gender composition of class, and external stereotyping signals (Kugler). When considering STEM majors that are more challenging, males may be more likely to persist and graduate than that of female peers.
After considering median lifetime earnings based on eight different education levels, it is evident women earn about a quarter less than men over a lifetime (Carnevale). As earning levels for men increase, women have to obtain more college to keep up. According to the data provided in the article, “The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings,” men with some college but no degree earn about the same as a woman with a Bachelor’s Degree. Interestingly, Claudia Goldin, a Harvard economist, suggests that men and women with identical degrees and experience are still paid unequally (“Women Can’t Win”).
Data
My dependent variable, wage, comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics article, “More Education Still Means More Pay in 2014.” The study spans 35 years and compares median weekly earnings for men and women with varying levels of education. My first independent variable is gender, taken from the same article, one representing male and two representing females. My second independent variable is education from the same article. The levels of education represented are .25 representing less than a high school diploma, .5 representing a high school diploma, .75 representing some college but no degree, and 1.0 representing a bachelor’s degree. In my study, I included a total of 72 observations of weekly wages by education and gender from years 1979-2014.
Variables
Observations
Mean
Standard Deviation
Minimum
Maximum
Wages
72
773.2777778
260.0615432
404
1465
Gender
72
1.5
0.503508815
1
2
Education
72
0.614583333
0.278127225
.25
1
Dependent Variable: Wages

(OLS) Unrestricted
(OLS) Restricted
Constant
638.618***
533.154***

(35.2748)
(57.5992)
Gender
-240.428***
-204.792***

(18.7826)
(31.2670)
Education
805.913***
913.578***

(34.0031)
(58.3530)
Nobs
72
30
R2
0.909113
0.911608
Note: Standard errors are in parentheses
Regression Specification:
Wages = 638.618 – 240.428 Gender 805.913 Education u
Wages = 533.154 – 204.792 Gender 913.578 Education u
Interpretation
I performed two separate regressions, one unrestricted, and one restricted to the years 2000-2014. In the unrestricted model, the coefficient gender shows that a one-unit change in gender (male to female), if education remains the same, causes a 240.428 decrease in wages. The coefficient education shows that a one-unit change in education, if gender remains the same, causes an increase in median weekly wages by 805.913. In the restricted model, the coefficient gender shows that a one-unit change in gender (male to female), if education remains the same, causes a 204.792 decrease in wages. The coefficient education shows that a one-unit change in education, if gender remains the same, causes an increase in median weekly wages by 913.578
When comparing the results of these two regressions, it is interesting to see that the margin for median weekly wages for females vs. males actually became smaller when looking at years 2000-2014 compared to 1979-2014 (approximately $35.636 less per week). It is also interesting to see that completing more education raises median weekly wages substantially in 2000-2014 compared to 1979-2014 (approximately $107.665 more per week).
A t-test of the OLS unrestricted regression was conducted to test if gender has an effect on wages. The null hypothesis is: Gender does not have an effect on wages. The alternate hypothesis is: Gender does have an effect on wages. The Tcrit = /-1.9935 at a 95% confidence level. The Tstat = -240.428/18.7826 = -12.8005707 and therefore, since the Tstat of gender is larger than the Tcrit, gender has a statistically significant effect on wages. The null hypothesis is rejected. Another t-test was conducted to see if education has an effect on wages. The null hypothesis is that education does not have an effect on wages. The alternate hypothesis is that education does have an effect on wages. The Tcrit remains the same. The Tstat = 805.913/34.0031 = 23.7011625. Since the Tstat is greater than the Tcrit, education also has a statistically significant effect on wages. The null hypothesis is rejected.
A White’s test was conducted on the unrestricted specification of the OLS regression to determine if heteroskedasticity is present in the regression model. The null hypothesis is: Heteroskedasticity in not present. The alternate hypothesis is: Heteroskedasticity is present. Because the p-value of 0.050049602 is greater than the p-value of 0.05, we fail to reject the null hypothesis and heteroskedasticity is not present at a 95% confidence interval.
Conclusion
After completing this study, it is clear there are many factors that affect the gender wage gap. That being said, there are many ways that this research can be expanded upon. One way would be recording more data on the wages of men and women with similar experience, test scores, family, and education levels. This data could provide more information on where the wage differences exist for men and women, and how big that gap is, if any, for men and women with similar factors. More research can also be done to study college major choices of men and women to see if the number of women choosing STEM majors has shifted. As more women continue to pursue degrees that will result in higher paying careers, research should be done to see if the wage gap decreases. The amount of information that already exists on this topic is huge. The important thing will be to continue to collect this information as society advances. Understanding more of why and where the gender wage gap exists will bring us closer to equality.
Works Cited
Bobbitt-Zeher, Donna. “The gender income gap and the role of education.” Sociology of education 80.1 (2007): 1-22.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, More education still means more pay in 2014 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/more-education-still-means-more-pay-in-2014.htm (visited November 27, 2018).
Carnevale, Anthony P., Nicole Smith, and Artem Gulish. “Women Can’t Win: Despite Making Educational Gains and Pursuing High-Wage Majors, Women Still Earn Less than Men.” (2018).
Carnevale, Anthony P., Stephen J. Rose, and Ban Cheah. “The college payoff: Education, occupations, lifetime earnings.” (2013).
Goldin, Claudia, et al. “The expanding gender earnings gap: evidence from the LEHD-2000 census.” American Economic Review 107.5 (2017): 110-14.
Kugler, Adriana D., Catherine H. Tinsley, and Olga Ukhaneva. “Choice of Majors: Are Women Really Different from Men? No.” w23735. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2017.
Year
Wages
Gender
Education
1979
1204
1
1
1979
562
2
0.5
1980
732
1
0.25
1980
795
2
1
1981
890
1
0.5
1981
638
2
0.75
1982
969
1
0.75
1982
434
2
0.25
1983
1172
1
1
1983
557
2
0.5
1984
668
1
0.25
1984
662
2
0.75
1985
1239
1
1
1985
666
2
0.75
1986
662
1
0.25
1986
899
2
1
1987
992
1
0.75
1987
427
2
0.25
1988
1306
1
1
1988
573
2
0.5
1989
954
1
0.75
1989
426
2
0.25
1990
953
1
0.75
1990
940
2
1
1991
592
1
0.25
1991
693
2
0.75
1992
782
1
0.5
1992
673
2
0.75
1993
574
1
0.25
1993
985
2
1
1994
927
1
0.75
1994
555
2
0.5
1995
782
1
0.5
1995
659
2
0.75
1996
537
1
0.25
1996
549
2
0.5
1997
1318
1
1
1997
404
2
0.25
1998
933
1
0.75
1998
1026
2
1
1999
824
1
0.5
1999
575
2
0.5
2000
950
1
0.75
2000
418
2
0.25
2001
1426
1
1
2001
695
2
0.75
2002
812
1
0.5
2002
428
2
0.25
2003
552
1
0.25
2003
1071
2
1
2004
954
1
0.75
2004
612
2
0.5
2005
790
1
0.5
2005
712
2
0.75
2006
550
1
0.25
2006
1062
2
1
2007
925
1
0.75
2007
421
2
0.25
2008
780
1
0.5
2008
691
2
0.75
2009
1465
1
1
2009
422
2
0.25
2010
917
1
0.75
2010
1071
2
1
2011
514
1
0.25
2011
679
2
0.75
2012
758
1
0.5
2012
578
2
0.5
2013
508
1
0.25
2013
407
2
0.25
2014
751
1
0.5
2014
1049
2
1
NOBS
72
72
72
Mean
773.2777778
1.5
0.614583333
St. Dev.
260.0615432
0.503508815
0.278127225
Minimum
404
1
0.25
Maximum
1465
2
1

[casanovaaggrev]