Entire class learns sign language to communicate with deaf classmate

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[In this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, Bosnian boy Zejd Coralic, center, learns sign language from teacher Anisa Setkic-Sendic, not shown, with other children in a class at an elementary school in Sarajevo, Bosnia/AP Photo/Amel Emric]

Life can be pretty isolating when you don’t have a way to communicate with those around you.

That’s exactly what Zejd, a 6-year-old deaf boy from Bosnia, was faced with after his mother, Mirzana Coralic, asked the public school to enroll him, reports the Associated Press.

[In this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, Bosnian boy Zejd Coralic, right, learns sign language from teacher Anisa Setkic-Sendic in a class at an elementary school in Sarajevo, Bosnia/AP Photo/Amel Emric]

When September rolled around, the teacher that agreed to take him in, Sanela Ljumanovic, quickly realized that something had to be done because nobody knew sign language – not even Zejd.

At first she tried to develop her own tricks to communicate with him, but one parent had another idea: why not teach the whole class sign language?

And in just three months, the first graders at the boy’s school have the basics of sign language down – making conversations, like asking for math homework, possible.

[In this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, Bosnian boy Zejd Coralic, left, learns sign language from teacher Anisa Setkic-Sendic in a class at an elementary school in Sarajevo, Bosnia/AP Photo/Amel Emric]

“Can … you … show… me… our… homework …in … math?” 6-year-old classmate Uma Nadarevic asked Zejd, completely in sign.

And understandingly, Zejd pulled out his notebook and showed her the geometric shapes he’d drawn at home.

But Uma’s not the only one – his whole class is taking the challenge of learning a new language head on.

“I like to learn Zejd’s language so I can talk to him and other deaf people,” said Tarik Sijaric.

“I like this language and I also think it will be useful when I grow up,” added another student, Anesa Susic.

[In this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, Bosnian boy Zejd Coralic, center, participates in a class with other children at an elementary school in Sarajevo, Bosnia/AP Photo/Amel Emric]

In 2003, new laws were adopted into Bosnia that allowed for children with disabilities to be fully integrated into society, reports Newser. But so far, the impoverished parts of the country will mostly leave children to the care of their parents.

Zejd got lucky, and “looks forward to going to school,” said his mother. “Now he’s happy and motivated.”