The 3 stages of difficulty in learning ASL – for me, anyway – are 1) memorizing the vocabulary, 2) learning the grammar and 3) reading other people’s Sign. In other words, it’s more difficult for me to understand other people when they Sign to me, than it is for me to learn how to Sign to them. In order to better facilitate my learning to read Sign, I set out to find some learning aids.
Most videos are just too advanced for a beginner like myself, to make heads or tails of. Sure, you can pick up a word here and there, but for the most part, it’s like watching a foreign film with out the subtitles. You might be able to put together what’s going on, but not by listening to the dialog.
Well, our contributor Jean F. Andrews sent me 3 DVDs called “The Alabama Early Literacy Concept Study.” These are Signed interpretations of a series of children’s books called “The Little Books.” Here, ASL pros are signing bare-bones simple concepts, to little children. Their Signs are exaggerated for ease of understanding in pre-language aged children. There is no text or audio voice over. It’s simply a man or woman Signing, while showing pictures that a child can understand.
This overly exaggerated and extremely slow Sign is exactly what I need. It can serve as an opportunity for me to develop the habit of picking out words from other Signers. Now obviously, these concepts are pretty mundane. Stuff like why you need to get dressed before you can go to school, or how red apples are sweet, while green ones are sour. But that’s the level of Sign that a beginner needs.
In writing this article, I – naturally – looked for a link to the AELCS, but couldn’t find anything. Apparently, the creators of these awesome discs have chosen not to publish or sell them, online. And that’s too bad, because I think these things will make a great resource, not only for pre-language aged Deaf kids, but for anyone trying to learn ASL. I do not own this intellectual property, but if it is at all possible, I will try and post or upload the ISOs of these discs on DeafInPrison.com. Then, anybody who wants them can just download and burn them.
So, today’s Sign Hour was spent watching ASL Storytellers Sign to little kids. Not only did I get some practice reading Sign, I now realize how important it is to always get dressed before you leave for school.
BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.
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