|The students learn sign language|
from a Deaf lecturer, Okada (right).
By having enforced "the basic ordinance on sign language" in Shintoku town, Hokkaido located in Japan's northern island, in April, this year, the opportunity to study sign language is growing in the town.
The Shintoku High School (67 students) has taken in the sign language class since April, 2013. The integrated study for the first-year student offers sign language, and "buckwheat noodles making" which is currently carried out since April, 2012.
On June 13, the sign language lesson started as part of a first-year integrated study. Okada Setsuko (岡田セツ子), 75, who teaches in a sign language circle in the town, is a lecturer till September.
Five members of a sign language chorus visited the class and learned together with the students on that day. Okada explained to the class, "By repeating sign language, you will memorize it and be able to communicate with a Deaf person. Sign language helps you some day even after you graduate."
As the final stage of study in September, the students will visit a facility for the Deaf in the town, demonstrate how to make buckwheat noodles, sing a school song in sign language that they would have learned, etc.