Basic ASL Phrases that Teachers Need

My Go At It:

My Purpose:

My purpose for this video is to a) gain competence with basic signs that a teacher needs to communicate with someone who signs, b) gain competence with introductory signs that I could teach early childhood education learners or those who need to use ASL as a form of communication, and c) work on better video production (which, I mean, I can only go up!)*.

*note: I was clicking through word cards on my computer and tried to edit a bit of the awkwardness of this out… without 100% success.


Photo Credit: daveynin via Compfight cc

My resources:

Important words I found using Signing Savy: Your Sign Language Resource:  

Please leave comments below! Thanks for watching!

Photo Credit: typexnick via Compfight cc

The Beauty of Sign Language and Inclusion

This is beautiful. The amount of work for the community to come together is immense but it would definitely be worth it! This video also highlights the possibilities created when technology (cameras, Samsung services, Youtube, etc.) is coupled with traditional learning (sign language courses taken by community members). The possibilities of learning are endless. Better yet, the possibilities of creating an inclusive society are at an all time high thanks to technology! 🙂

Time Signs ASL and Taking the “Time” to Reflect

Please feel free to leave some feedback in the comment section:

The camera is a bit further back this time; this was a correction I needed to make, as suggest by Nadene via email correspondence who noted that “ASL requires the whole upper body, not just the arms and face.”

Please view my model: Bill Vicar’s “100 Basic Signs” from 4:17 to 6:13.

Taking the Time to Reflect:

Thanks to networking on Twitter I was able to connect with Nadene who has signed for 25 years and is part of the deaf/hard of hearing community. Firstly, I would like to say how shocked I am that someone would be kind enough to take the time to watch my videos, give feedback, and send a very encouraging email. This connection is one that would not have been made without the internet/social networking and I am very grateful. Nadene was able to assure me that resources from ASL University are valuable learning tools. I feel very encouraged that someone who has spoken ASL for 25 years was able to tell me: “from the videos you posted, I think you are getting the gist of the alphabet and signs.” If you are reading this, Nadene, thank you very much for your time, honest feedback, and encouragement!

Although the benefits of technology have allowed me to connect and begin my ASL learning journey, Nadene made the point that I need to take my learning beyond a computer screen. She noted that learning a language is not something I can entirely do online as “ASL encompasses a culture that requires [people] to meet face-to-face in order to learn the social norms of that language.” The idea that I am not just learning a language, but also a culture is both exciting and frightening. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by this notion but I am just taking it day-by-day and I keep reminding myself that my goals are to prepare myself for a ASL class and work through the challenges and successes of self-directed, online learning. I am not expecting to learn an entire culture and language overnight. When I put it into perspective, I’ve been working on the English language for 21 years (four of them as an English major at the University of Regina) and I still have improvements to make.

Nadene’s comment that resonated with me the most is that “when it comes to expressive language, there’s really no substitute for face to face interaction — even if it is through Skype.” The quizzes and videos are a great way to improve my receptive fluency but I need to practice my expressive fluency face-to-face with someone else. That is the best way to “catch [my] errors and help [me] improve.” I also have noticed that at Camp Easter Seal I was able to pick up the basics of sign language easier because I was working with people who only spoke that language; being immersed in face-to-face interactions cannot be replaced by technology, although both have their positives. I am hoping to connect with another ECMP 355 student this semester and we can test out our receptive skills. It is on my bucket list to take an actual ASL course where I will work on expressive and receptive fluency with professionals. For instance, the Saskatchewan Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services host ASL classes in Regina.

This experience has reminded me and reaffirmed for me that technology and face-to-face interactions need to be balanced in our classrooms. They both have their positive and negative aspects but used together, the best and most-rewarding learning can take place.

Balance is key:

 Photo Credit: Erin Costa via Compfight cc

Brain-Based Instruction and Accountability

Using multiple intelligences is something I always try to incorporate in my lessons as a teacher. And that made me think: what about with myself? Do I use multiple intelligences to help myself learn? The conclusion I came to is that I don’t use this research-based strategy enough for myself; I often rely on written and verbal intelligences to learn. Therefore, I decided to make a visual that is in my room by my door. So far this visual has motivated me; I am starting to see the progress that I have made and value my learning (this was a problem I was having at the start). Using visuals also has held me accountable – I can’t ignore my learning project because I walk by it multiple times a day. I now make myself sign a couple words on my way out of the door. It also acts as a visual reminder to take my daily fingerspelling quiz at ASL University Fingerspelling Quizzes. Moral of the story: the strategies we use with our students are strategies we can and should use for ourselves as lifelong learners!


Twitter, Networking, and ASL Learning Project

Over the last couple days I have really being feeling the benefits of online learning. I think these photos from my Twitter account show the possibilities that are present when we learn online; collaboration, connection, and networking are just some of the benefits that these photos display. Ironically, technology is often blamed for causing a lack of connection but I am feeling quite the opposite – people who don’t even know me are willing to help, offer resources, and encourage me on my learning passion. Glass is definitely half full today! 🙂

Sign Language ASL Twitter Collaboration

ASL Reasons

ASL Places

My first take at ASL places signs:

My resources:

Bill Vicars “100 Basic Signs” (see: 2:17 to 4:11)

Paul Fugate‘s “Places in American Sign Language (ASL)”

ASL University – I have been using the quizzes to test myself. For instance, on February 20th I got 70% on fingerspelling test one and today (February 23rd) I got 100%. It is starting to feel good to see this success and I can feel it getting easier. It also allows me to practice interpreting (listening with my eyes) instead of just speaking with my hands, as true communication requires both parts. I try to complete one of these quizzes a day, as it is helping my retain what I have already learned and is allowing me to accurately self-assess if I am on the right track. For instance, I noticed that I need to spread my fingers more for “f” and that letters “e,” “a,” and “t” trick me sometimes when listening. I am so used to getting feedback and not having to self-assess/self-correct so I am thankful for this resource.

I am currently practicing time signs so stay tuned and feel free to leave some feedback in the comment sections!