Class Learns Sign Language for Classmate

When a teacher accepted a child with hearing loss into her class, she didn’t know how to communicate with him, and he didn’t know sign language.

The teacher and parents of children in his class committed to contracting  a sign language teacher at their cost, since the school couldn’t pay for it.

A series of pictures of a woman using sign language
Examples of signs. Using sign language helps people with hearing loss or deafness to learn more about Deaf culture. photo credit: See Hear via photopin (license)

According to a report in Oddity Central, when six-year-old Zejd Coralic’s mother went to enroll him in school in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzogovina, his teacher, Sanela Ljumanovic, accepted.

However, the teacher “noticed Zejd sitting all by himself, unable to communicate with any of his school mates,” according to the report.

“Zejd came to our class. He is a beautiful and smart child. Zejd did not know sign language. We did not know sign language. Neither the children nor me. We had to do something,” Ljumanovic said in a video.

Ljumanovic took the suggestion of a parent and decided to teach the whole class sign language so they could speak with their peer, according to the report. They hired Anisa Setkic-Sendic to teach them sign language.

Two girls use sign language.
Classmates around the ages of these girls studied sign language to communicate with their peer. photo credit: Learning sign language via photopin (license)

The children are responding well to learning sign language and it is becoming more popular at the school. “I like this language and I also think it will be useful when I grow up,” said Anesa Susic, one of his classmates.

“I like to learn Zejd’s language so I can talk to him and to other deaf people,” said Tarik Sijaric, another classmate, in the report.

Integrating children into schools in Bosnia was made law in 2003, according to a video about the student’s story. “But there isn’t enough money for the programs.”

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