ASL Week One (notes)



It’s helpful here for you to look at the alphabet and to watch the video on how to make each of the handshapes that represent the letters in the American Sign Language alphabet. Once you have practiced the alphabet a few times, try to spell your own name. I want to mention that you will have to “choose” which hand you will spell with…are you right handed? Or left handed? Whichever hand you use, that will be your “dominant” hand. More on that later.

There is a real difference in the syntax and grammar of American Sign Language vs. English. It’s not just English on your hands. There is a way of coding English on your hands and it’s called Seeing Exact English (S.E.E.). American Sign Language is different. I won’t say it’s exclusively one way or another, but in most instances, you set up the noun before you describe it. If you had a black dog, you would sign “DOG” before you gave him a description. Think of yourself as a painter and understand the very visual nature of sign language. You want the dog on the canvas before you paint him “black”…so many times  your adjective will follow the noun. Think of “a dusty old book” which is exactly how you would say it in English, right? But in sign language, you would be leaving a person wondering WHAT IS DUSTY AND OLD??? So, give them the book first, and then describe it.

Numbers 1-10 

Our conversational phrase for today: Hello! How are you? I am fine.

Signs we learned today: ABCs, numbers 1-10


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