Sign Language: The Final Chapter

It is now week 14 and it does not feel like I have been working on this independent learning project for that long. Actually, now that I type that out, it feels like I have been doing that a lot longer than 14 weeks. I do not want that to seem like a negative statement, but it is tough having to teach yourself a skill. Yes, I did have a background in American Sign Language, but that was in sixth and seventh grade. I think it was good that I had this to begin my ILP because it gave me motivation. I saw it as a head start for me because I knew the basics, so it had me hungry for more knowledge. I think that if I did not have any previous knowledge on this topic I would not have been as motivated to learn more. It is tough to start from the bottom. It is easy to be discouraged when you have to teach yourself something that you do not even know if you have an interest in yet. I am very glad I did not put myself in that position. However, it also would have been an adventure to start something I knew nothing about, and that would have been motivating too.

There were not very many speed bumps during my independent learning project over the last 14 weeks. I think the hardest thing was attempting to get myself to buckle down throughout the weeks and continue learning sign language. Another problem was when I found a couple books on Amazon.com that would have been great to study, but could not decide which one I wanted to buy. I mean, I would be happy to buy both of the books, but I am a college student, so I did not quite have that option.

Overall, I had a great experience learning ASL all over again. I probably would have gotten a lot further if I had a teacher, or someone else, to guide me and share their knowledge with me, but I think I accomplished a lot for having to teach myself. I hope that I can use what I have learned continuously in the future so that I do not learn this skill (for the second time). If you or anyone you know has plans to become, or currently is, an educator I recommend learning sign language for your students. Even just the basics, such as the alphabet, would be great for the teacher, and even the students, to know.

Thank you to everyone who has followed some of my work with this project! If you have any questions on resources to use for ASL then please leave a comment below! Once again, thank you.

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5 thoughts on “Sign Language: The Final Chapter

  1. Jacob,
    Sign language is a tough concept and even tougher to learn on your own. I think it’s awesome that this was the ILP you chose to do because it was something that is very challenging yet, rewarding in the long run. I agree with you that it would probably have been easier if you had a teacher or a person to held guide you rather than relying on books and the internet but it was a great test for you to see how far you could go on your own. You have inspired me to want to learn more about ASL that way I can use it in my future classroom someday! 🙂

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  2. Learning by yourself is definitely a blessing and a curse! It is great to be able to take the time to work on something for yourself, and to work at your own pace, and to learn in your own way. But it is also hard for the reason you mentioned! If a teacher was guiding you it would go faster, and you would know you’re doing it right! It sounds like you chose a good option for you though! Are you planning to become fluent or just keep the basics?

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  3. Jacob,
    This is a great post. I am so excited that you decided to learn sign language. This skill is going to take you much farther than you can anticipate. Hopefully, you can keep building until you are completely fluent in the language. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

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  4. It is amazing that we have been at this for 14 weeks and it really hasn’t seemed that bad. I like the fact you chose something that you could build on just to become better at a lifelong skill. I feel your pain with hardships that came along the way but it feels good to be about done.

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