Learning the English Language – One Shape at a Time

December 1, 2022

Sign Language Interpreter

Zach Krueger knows the value of sign language interpreters in a public school setting.

“Language learning and language access is incredibly important for cognition and quality of life,” says the Dallas Center-Grimes Middle School Sign Language Interpreter. 

Mr. Krueger is working one on one with Ashlyn this year, with some big goals in mind.

“Improving her language usage skills is going to greatly improve the quality of care she receives over her life,” he says.

This is a big reason why Zach developed a sentence structure symbol activity. Each symbol represents a different part of a sentence. 

A square represents a noun.  A circle is a verb. Adjectives are triangles.

All with the goal of making a tough situation, easier for Ashley.

Today’s practice focused on a ball and two boxes, and trying to describe their locations.

“The ball is on the box is exactly opposite of the box is on the ball,” Krueger says. “You can have the word ball, have the word box, have the word on, but if you don’t have the structure, you have a 50-50 shot to communicate what it is you are trying to communicate.”

As the odds begin to improve for Ashlyn, so do Mr. Krueger’s goals for the year.

These visual prompts are nice and she likes to use them,” Krueger says. “But the goal eventually would be to keep the visuals in her head and not rely on them anymore.”

As a sign language interpreter in a middle school, Zach knows how important this work truly is. If they can master this as a team, additional doors will open for Ashlyn.

“Being able to have a systematic way to organize the words you have, gives you a systematic way to organize your thoughts, which makes learning things easier,” Krueger says.