New American Sign Language class is ‘completely silent’


D'Niya Little-Segers

Hannah Beucher, Central’s American Sign Language Teacher, instructs first period ASL on Sept. 1.

Ziad El Bego, Staff Writer

American Sign Language (ASL) is a new language class introduced in the 2022-2023 school year. ASL is available for both Naperville Central and North students. 

Hannah Beucher teaches three sections of American Sign Language at Central and two sections at North. 

Students enrolled in this class can expect additional American Sign Language classes over the coming years, starting with ASL 2 next year. 

Ignacio Gamboa, Central’s World and Classical Languages Department Chair, was part of the team tasked with introducing ASL this year. 

“For about 10 years, there has been interest from the community,” Gamboa said. “Since ASL is a language that is surfacing in different high schools and different communities, why aren’t we offering it yet?”

This year, 70 students are enrolled in the course, including senior Delaney Schretter.

“I’ve always liked learning sign language,” Schretter said. “I’ve just never had the discipline to do it myself. I was really excited when I saw that they offered it.”

Similar to other languages, ASL immerses its students in the specific environment to assist in learning the language.

 “What’s really cool about this class is that we don’t talk during it, it’s completely silent,” Schretter said. 

To Schretter, ASL offers far more than just the learning of a new language: it allows students to be more attuned with the deaf community. 

“I think it helps tolerance and understanding differences between people,” Schretter said. “We’ve learned a lot about deaf culture as a whole. How to be a good person, basically how to respect others.”

The class has a mix of students from different grades and backgrounds. 

“Probably about a third of them are seniors and then the rest of them, the vast majority of the rest, are freshmen,” Gamboa said.

 However, the class is not targeted to any one grade. 

“I would recommend this class for anyone,” Schretter said. “It’s one of my favorites. I look forward to it all the time.”