US: Sign language fourth most studied

American Sign Language is close to surpassing German as the third-most-studied foreign language at America's colleges and universities, writes Elizabeth Weise for USA Today. Only 4,500 more students study German than study ASL, and enrollment in classes for the gesture-based language used by the deaf increased 16% since the last survey three years ago.

The top language studied in US colleges in 2009 was Spanish, followed by French. Arabic saw the biggest increase, up 46%, but is still studied by just 2% of all students enrolled in language courses.

The Modern Language Association survey found that 8.6% of college students at schools that teach foreign languages take them. Enrollment in language classes is up by 6.2% since the 2006 survey.
Full report on the USA Today site

American sign language is considered a foreign language even when studied in America? How odd.