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Age and Learning ASL:

I frequently receive questions from "older" students regarding whether it is "too late" for them to learn ASL.  Here is an example:

<< My name is Chris B. Prinz.  Due to an acoustic neuroma, I'm 100% deaf on the right side at the age of 45.
Is it to late for me to learn ASL? It seems to be pretty intense.
And, how would be the easiest for an old goat such as myself?"

I posted his question and Anita Shaul of Carson City, Nevada responded:

<<  Please pass to him that I started last year at 54 - an even older goat! and I'm having a great time.  It was very frustrating (as is learning any language) at the beginning, and it's only fairly recently that I feel I can converse fairly well - I can make myself understood at Deaf socials.  I have used your site quite a bit and have a deaf tutor for 1 - 1/12 hours/wk when I can find time around my work schedule.  I learned French (at a younger age) and therefore have the benefit of having experienced the process of learning a language and knowing the steps of the process, including the frustration inherent in the process.  Because of that, I've stuck with it through the frustration (and the "maybe I'm too old to learn this!") and now am starting to have the joy of participation. 

I love the Deaf culture.  If this old goat can do it, so can Chris!  Feel free to forward him my email and give him my email address so we can encourage each other.   One of the handicaps of learning at this age is that I work fulltime, with a 1.5 hour commute each day, so there's not a lot of time to take a class - it was much easier/faster to take a language class three days a week at school!  But Chris should remember, too, that stretching his brain learning will help keep it young and flexible!

--Anita Shaul
Carson City, Nevada  >>


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