Recently, Australia made Australian Sign Language a subject in New South Wales schools. Indeed, this is a very progressive step by the country to further ease the lives within our society. After all, sign language is an integral way for some of the world’s population to communicate with one another.

Thus, Real Research — the online survey application, launched a survey on whether sign language should be taught in schools. In particular, the survey aims to find out what the global public thinks of sign language. For instance, should sign language be mandatory? Also, should there be a standard international sign language? Here are the results.


  • The majority either already know or want to learn ASL.
  • Only 23.88% haven’t learned sign language.
  • 11.90% say learning sign language will create equal opportunity .

76.12% Have Learned Sign Language

In detail, 65.39% have learned American Sign Language (ASL) while 8.73% have learned British, Australian, and New Zealand Sign Language. Adding on, 5.55% know Indo-Pakistani Sign Language, 3.68% know Arabic Sign Language, and 3.99% know Plains Sign Talk.  Likewise, 2.86% know Chinese Sign Language, 2.34% know French Sign Language, and 1.72% know Japanese Sign Language.

Meanwhile, 82.32% say they want to learn sign language. Of which, 63.79% want to learn ASL and 10.88% want to learn British, Australian, and New Zealand Sign Language. More so, many say they wish the learn the following accordingly: Indo-Pakistani Sign Language (4.26%), Arabic Sign Language (3.59%), Chinese Sign Language (3.32%), Plains Sign Talk (3.06%), French Sign Language (2.80%), and Japanese Sign Language (2.13%).

Figure 1: Only 17.68% say they don’t want to learn sign language
Figure 1: Only 17.68% say they don’t want to learn sign language

Many Believe Sign Language Should Be Taught in Schools 

The majority (61.55%) say sign language should be a mandatory school subject because it will teach children equality and empathy. Similarly, 13.59% say it will teach children how to communicate with certain groups while 6.85% say it will expand their capabilities and will look good on applications.

In contrast, 7.18% say sign language should not be a mandatory subject in school as they believe it is a waste of time. Similarly, 5.63% are of the view that children already have too many subjects to learn while 4.30% say it is unlikely that children will ever use this knowledge. 

Figure 2 Reasons why sign language should be made a mandatory subject in school
Figure 2: Reasons why sign language should be made a mandatory subject in school

After this, respondents reveal why they think sign language should be a mandatory subject in schools. Firstly, 58.02% say it will create more opportunities while 11.90% say it will create equal opportunities. Likewise, 5.71% say it enhances cognitive processes, 5.45% say it improves creative thinking, and 5.44% say it promotes cultural awareness and literacy.

Adding on, 4.45% say it improves attention span. Also, 3.77% say it teaches children to control their voices and rely on other forms of communication. Lastly, 3.35% say it improves hand-eye coordination.  

Thoughts on the Need for a Standard International Sign Language 

On the matter of the need for a standard international sign language, 67.24% say it should exist as it would make things much easier. Also in favor of an International Sign Language are 15.68%. However, the latter does point out that it will be a big challenge.

On the contrary, 8.04% say having one international system will lead to a loss of cultural understanding and 7.86% believe most sign language to be quite similar already. Hence, the latter does not think there is a need for an international sign language. 

Figure 3 Respondents’ view on a standard international sign language
Figure 3: Respondents’ view on a standard international sign language

To conclude, the survey asks respondents how they would feel if their country followed Australia’s example and implemented sign language as a mandatory subject in schools. In response: thrilled (51.09%), proud (20.80%), excited (11.60%), annoyed (5.29%), stressed (5.14%), and anxious (4.58%). 


Survey TitleSurvey on Whether Sign Language Should Be Taught in Schools
DurationMay 06 – May 13, 2022
Number of Participants50,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.