First off, I would like to say I found Dr. Drager’s presentation on her research in Pidgin very interesting. It’s interesting because most people look down on Pidgin speakers as being uneducated, and she’s doing academic research on it. It is rather peculiar that in the small area of Hawaii, in my opinion, Pidgin varies from island to island. From my conversations with people from the outer islands they sound a little different when they speak Pidgin and they have different slang words. I was thinking about participating in Dr. Drager’s research studies because it seemed interesting and it would be nice to make a contribution to knowledge.
Though both topics are concerning language I put them in the same post, despite their different subjects. I was sent an email from Human Rights Watch containing a link to a video. The video is about sign language in Kenya and how important it is to teach deaf children sign language. According to Jenny Nilsson, Human Rights Watch Disability Rights Specialist, “Today, deaf children and young people worldwide are too often denied their right to education.” Many deaf children don’t learn sign language because their families think they don’t have the right or ability to be able to go to school and that there is a lack of people educated in sign language. Without the education of sign language to deaf children, educators are unable to impart skills and knowledge that is vital to one’s success.
Although there is added education for deaf children in Kenya, there is apparently a lack of support for deaf people in college. A deaf college student majoring in accounting, Alfred Muriki, tells of his struggles in college. Alfred says that in some of his classes he copies the notes of a person sitting next to him and if he has a question, he writes it down and has that person ask the professor, and then that person will write down what the professor said. It’s people like Alfred who work so hard for their education that give us over privileged Americans no excuse not to do well in school.
After hearing Dr. Drager’s presentation on her research and watching this video, I can say I now understand the importance of studying languages.