Poplar Bluff students use sign language beyond the classroom

Students learning American sign language in Poplar Bluff use their skills outside of the classroom.
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 6:03 PM CST
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POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - What used to be a school club is now a class at poplar bluff high school and it shows signs of growing even more.

Students learning American sign language are using their skills outside of the classroom.

“They’re loving it, it’s gone really well,” ASL teacher Audrey Harris said.

The American sign language class is in its first year and teacher, Audrey Harris said it’s a rewarding class to teach.

She’s hard of hearing herself.

“I also have several friends that are also deaf and hard of hearing and those experiences give me that passion to just being able to give them a way to communicate,” Harris said.

Now, her students use what they learned in their jobs outside of school.

“Ones that have had experiences... there’s a couple in here, they feel like they’ve seen the joy in the deaf culture in their lives and somebody can actually communicate with them and help them,” she said.

Christian Redden experiences it at his movie theater job.

“Its very basic, its not all the time, its every now and then but a lot of the time I can get through the conversation and get them to their movie that they want to be at,” Redden said.

Some students like Lynn Thurner want to make it a career.

“Now that I’m in this class, I’m doing it so I have a goal for the future. I want to be an interpreter, I want to be able to communicate with others , I want to be working with others all the time,” Thurner said.

“It never occurred to me that it would become as big as it has and that it would make the impact that it has,” Harris said.

Harris said administrators may create a second level ASL class because of how popular it is.

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