St. John’s recently started a sign language course in 10th grade within the new Language and Culture section of the High School curriculum.
According to High School principal Debbie Brook, “This year, for the first time in High School, we developed a ‘Language and Cultures’ course. This program of study offers students the opportunity to examine language and culture through a range of activities aimed at preparing them for IB Diploma Language and Literature work and for Advanced Placement language courses.”
Mrs. Brook continues: “Students will gain an understanding of the communication process in language and how culture is shaped by language. The taught course includes studies of globalization and a study of students’ native languages, European knowledge and current events especially related to the European Union. There will be an examination of subcultures, leadership, power and gender issues. The most exciting element of the course, however, is the personal research students will be required to undertake.”
Bianca Winston, the student who initiated the sign language initiative within the Language and Culture course, says “This year, some friends and I were really interested in learning sign language, so we met with Mrs. Brook. She asked us to research resources available to set up a course which has been a great learning experience. We are grateful that the school is giving us the opportunity to branch out on our learning and trusting us with this project. We hope we can show other students that they too can learn things they are passionate about.”