California is considered as one of the most culturally diverse states in the US and if you would be tutoring in Cerritos and in other parts of the state, you can expect to find a number of people speaking a variety of languages. With a number of languages being spoken in the state, there is one particular language that is not given the recognition it deserves. Most of the time, people are focused on the verbal languages that they hear, but there is one particular language that makes use of hand gestures to communicate. You may be familiar with this language because it is often used by people with verbal or hearing disabilities. If you’re guessing American Sign Language, then you are definitely correct.
Sherri Thornton was born with a difficulty in hearing and since she was a child, her first language had always been the Exact Sign Language (ESL). Normally, children learn their first language from their parents and family but in Sherri’s case, who was the only one in their family with hard hearing, she had learned from teachers.
Her parents hired for her Mr. and Mrs. Zagata at the age of two to teach her how to communicate through ESL. Sherri’s parents didn’t know how to use ESL and had never bothered to learn the language. This became one of the biggest challenges that Sherri had faced when she was young, having to understand her family while they speak to her verbally.
Luckily for her, she grew up in a school in California that had greatly supported the use of Sign Language. With this, she was exposed to numerous people who are deaf, mute or hard hearing people.
After graduating high school, Sherri went on to teach Sign Language at an affordable rate. She says she wants normal hearing people to understand that people like her are not dumb. She wants more people to learn about the language she is using so that they could understand people like her better. Her passion stems from her earlier experiences when she was forced to learn how to speak to become part of the hearing world and now she now wants normal hearing people to be part of her community.