Week 6 – American Sign Language is different than English. It is not just taking English words and representing them on your hands-that’s called Signing Exact English )S.E.E. and SEE is used primarily as a tool to teach English to deaf children. American Sign Language is a unique language with its own syntax, grammar, and structure. It doesn’t follow the general rules of English. Just to reiterate: American Sign Language is not English. When we say that we saw a black cat, we simply say “I saw a black cat.” But in ASL, it’s different.
When talking about American Sign Language, one way that I like to explain the language is to compare it to the stage. Drama. Performance. If any of you have ever taken drama, you know how important blocking and set building are to the story. It’s fine that we know who the characters are, but it’s more important to know where they are going to stand; how they feel, what they are going to say….what does the stage look like? How is it set up? This is all just a long introduction to the idea of setting up the noun or subject first, and then having the action (verb) or description (adjective) following the subject. CAT + BLACK…..
Lots of new information today…
Here are the notes from our first class about the syntax and structure of American Sign Language.
To review the conversational phrases, click here
Week 5 – We were finally able to add to our repertoire of feelings today. So far, all we have been able to say is “I’m fine.” Well, today we added a bunch of different feelings, and one of students, who shall remain unnamed, was able to say how she really feels “I’m hungry!!” We learned that we could be sad, happy, excited, angry, hungry, “okay” or even wonderful.
Here are the notes from our discussion.
Week 4 – Today we learned that position and expression are so very important to learning sign language. You can’t be a deadpan kind of person and successfully communicate with a deaf person (unless you are mimic-ing a deadpan person…right?). You have to get over yourself if you are going to be a good signer. You can’t be self conscious…..it doesn’t mean you’re overemphasizing-as in the old Greek times, when the actors were performing for hundreds of people…most of the time, you will be within a few feet of the person you are conversing with, so I encourage you to practice appropriate expression to match the story or thought that you are conveying.
We are getting closer to learning all the numbers. We reviewed up to 50 and then added 60,70,80 and 90. Woo Hooo!!
Time was another concept that was introduced. We have “time” on a clock and there is also the concept of “time” as in an epoch-a period or chunk of time. Review the differences and practice telling time in sign language to someone in your family.
Here’s a look at a verse from the Bible that uses “In the beginning”…..that would be considered a chunk of time. So would “A long, long time ago” or “Once upon a time”
Here are the notes from class.