As you have possibly read in my last few blog posts I have been doing an independent learning project over the topic of sign language. For those who have not read those blogs, well, I am doing some learning on sign language. As a quick summary of why I am doing this and why I have chosen to do sign language here it is.
I took a couple sign language classes in middle school, which were in 6th and 7th grade. I chose to pick this back up because I am studying to be an elementary educator. I think this could be very beneficial to my as an educator because there may come a time when I have someone in my classroom, whether it be a student, parent or visitor, so I believe that I should be prepared for this. In my last blog I shared a video of a quick glance at the work of what I have been doing. I started out attempting to refresh my memory with the language by watching YouTube videos. This week I am doing the same thing; however, I chose to step things up a few notches.
After brushing up on my ASL, which is the version of the language I am studying, I started to get into more difficult things with this, such as having conversations using the language. While sitting down and having casual conversations with my friends at night I attempted to respond using sign language. I would speak to them as I would normally reply, but I would use sign as I spoke the words. This was very nice because I was teaching my friends the language as I taught myself as well. However, it was a lot more difficult than I had thought it was going to be. In other words, I did not prepare myself well enough. Because of this I started to watch more videos on YouTube of how to hold a conversation, like this one below.
I then questioned how fast I was signing. I asked myself, “If I am holding a conversation with someone who is actually deaf or hard-of-hearing am I going to be able to hold a conversation if I am signing as slow as I am?” So, I had to find a video of how fast people sign. Well, for those who use this as their main language anyways.
I came across this video, which had no verbal languages being spoken during the video. This was a very advanced video for myself because the man on the left would sign a vocab term and then use it in a sentence using ASL. It was very difficult to follow along with this video. Granted, this is a difficult topic to teach yourself, which is what I am doing, but I started with a slight background on the subject, so I hope I can learn, at least, the basics to keep up with an elementary school student.