ASL Club at Conifer

Opportunity to learn sign language for CHS students


Maya Dawson

Sophomores Danica Wehr and Alyson Meyers sign the letters ASL, the acronym for American Sign Language

Everybody wants to feel heard. However, for people with speaking and hearing disabilities, that can be hard. For many Americans with speaking and hearing disabilities, American Sign Language is their main way to communicate. Yet, barely anyone outside of that community knows the language. Conifer High School has its own ASL club, sponsored by economics teacher Chris Ferguson and run by seniors Ellie Nesline and Sam Ferguson. The club is a great opportunity to learn the language. 

“My preschool teacher taught us baby sign language and simple phrases and stuff, and it just stuck with me. Then I would see people using sign language and I thought it looked cool, so my friend and I are learning sign language for fun,” Nesline said. 

Nesline has been practicing sign language for the past year. 

“I learned sign language when I was really young, too, and it always stuck with me. I am interested in learning more,” club member Harley Morrow said.

CHS offers Spanish and French language courses. Students need at least one year of a foreign language to graduate. Still, many students at Conifer struggle to learn a new language. The nature of ASL makes it easier to learn than spoken language. If you don’t feel confident learning spoken language, you should try ASL.

“I took Spanish for two years and it was just such a big stressor for me. None of it stuck. I still wanted to learn a language, though, so I thought sign language would be easier,” Ferguson said. 

This is the club’s first year at Conifer. Currently, they have seven members. Nesline and Ferguson have put together different activities and lessons based on their own knowledge of the language. 

“It’s going good. We have been very productive over the last few weeks,” Nesline said. 

The club is currently accepting new members. If you are interested reach out to Ferguson or Nesline or join the google classroom using the code iliqcb3.