Family Signs

For my major project I am moving on from the alphabet (insert slow clap) and onto family signs. So far Bill Vicars is the best teacher I have found. He has many ASL teaching videos on Youtube. I find it amazing how he offers his knowledge to anyone for free. In the video I have imbedded he teaches a student – and in turn, anyone else who watches the video – a 100 basic ASL signs. First they go over them together with the words on the computer screen and then she does it by herself when prompted. I have been taking it slow and repeating the same section over and over so that it hopefully sticks. My plan is to work on a section or two a week. After a day or two of working through the video, I will test myself (probably via flashcards to bring back Old School so it doesn’t feel like I am cheating on it with all of this cool New School internet/technology) and post the video.

Challenges: Now that I have found two sources that I really like, I have encountered other road bumps. For instance, watching these videos almost makes me go crazy because of the lack of verbal cues/sound (disclaimer: the jury is out for the ‘almost’ crazy assessment). I realize that this is a more realistic representation of how someone who is deaf or hard of hearing communicates, but I never realized how much I take hearing for granted. In school, we rely a lot on oral instructions to learn new information and share our ideas. I never viewed oral learning as one of my strengths but after playing this video for a while, I may have to start adding it to my usual “visual learner” self-assessment.

Another issue I am having is that I can’t figure out which hand to sign with. It is supposed to be your dominate hand, yet it feels more natural for me to sign with my left hand. However, if I start signing with my left hand than it gets complicated because most people sign with their right hand and I would have to reverse the signs. I already have troubles with signing things backwards/facing myself instead of outwards to the person I would be communicating with, so I think it is best to keep my right hand dominate. It is a bit confusing to watch someone sign and then repeat the action, but facing them.

Overall, I think I am doing alright. I really enjoyed learning family signs! Any feedback is welcome: How do I compare to the exemplar video? Do I need to slow down or speed up? Is everything clear? Any mistakes noticed? What could I do to create more engaging video? Etc. 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Family Signs

  1. For video feedback, it’s hard to see you with the light behind you instead of in front of you; your hands and body are kind of dark. Also, maybe you could scoot back a bit from the camera, so we can see your hands more fully when they are farther from your body.
    I also *really* like your idea to use flashcards. We have these long vocabulary videos we use for class, and it takes forever to drill vocabulary. Flashcards would be an excellent tool for review. Thanks for the idea. (:

    • Behind instead of in front!!! I would have never thought of that. I tried to improve on body positioning throughout, as I agree that my first videos are not the best quality!

      Flashcards have helped a lot! Glad you like them!

      • Yah! The light behind you makes you a silhouette! I love that video quality is important to you. Thanks for all your kind replies to my million comments. (:

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