Speaking without Words

Essay Writing Competition 2019
Category: 8 - 11 years
- Merit Award -

Speaking without Words - Merit Award 2019: 

A merit award has been granted to Kahlen Milstead for the essay "Speaking without words"

Kahlen lives in Mississippi/USA and attends Brookhaven Academy. 

Theme 2019:
'The Gift of Languages'

American Sign Language - image by Jazz Davis wikicommonsAmerican Sign Language

Speaking without Words

I think an important language is sign language. It is used to communicate to the deaf which are people who cannot hear.

It is not like Spanish or French which are words, it is different motions you make with your hands. You cannot write in sign language like you could in other languages but it is still just as powerful.

I started learning sign language as a second language at my church. There are a few deaf people that come so one person that knew sign language started a sign language class. My mom and I tried it out and ended up going for a few years and we learned a lot. We wanted to make the deaf people feel comfortable by having others to talk to. We all sit together and sign the songs during the service. I have a church camp that I go to every year and they also teach sign language there. We learn a song in sign language and perform for all the campers.

I have been able to use sign language outside of church too. One time me and my mom were at the library and there was a deaf lady having problems with a computer. The librarian did not understand what she was saying so we were able to go over and help with what she needed. I think it would be great if more people learned sign language.

There are several ways you could try and learn. See if you can find a sign language class at your church or community center. If you cannot find a class, you can learn on the internet. There are websites and apps where you can type in a word and it will show you a sign for the word.

Imagine how it would be if you could see but not hear. It would make it better for the deaf if more people could understand them at the grocery store, restaurants, and other places. Sign language is their way of communicating. This is why I think sign language is so important and more people should learn it.


Congratulations, Kahlen! Thanks so much for your amazing insights and your appeal to learn sign language! Passionate people like you make this world a better place to live in! Thank You!

Further Useful Reading

  • "American Manual Alphabet." Wikipedia. Accessed 18.12.2019
  • Jolanta Lapiak. "ASL Dictionary." Handspeak.com. Accessed 18.12.2019

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