Hi Tristan hope you are feeling well and energetic. I have a question about ASL and I know you are pretty near an expert so maybe you can help. My kids and I are interested in learning ASL but my resources are limited (already spent my “school” budget this year) so I was wondering if you had any recommendations for a free start in ASL. I want to start while the interest is high rather than wait till next school year. Would library books and youtube videos be ok? or would you advise against that? I don’t want to pick up bad habits that will be difficult to break. Thanks in advance for your input.
I’m not Tristan but you might find this helpful:
If you scroll to the middle where the author is answering a user’s question, he links to actual lessons. We have used this and really enjoy the dictionary of signs. We broke the videos into smaller segments to keep it fun. This is a free resource.
We have also used books and youtube.
Thanks Sheraz! I just checked that out briefly and it looks fantastic. I will go back later when I have more time. I am avoiding Monday morning right now and really need to get serious.alphabetikaParticipant
I was also going to suggest Lifeprint! One of my daughters is fluent in ASL and at least two of her teachers used Lifeprint along with their other materials.
LOL, so glad others could help you! Yes, Lifeprint is great. I think ASL works best if you see it visually. Looking at diagrams in a book is a lot harder for many signs. Check with your local library system as well for dvds. For example we’ve used Signing Time dvds for years. (They also were on Netflix at one point, may still be, I’m not sure.)
Thanks everyone, I am excited to get started. Our Sunday school worship videos use ASL for “hand motions” so my little kids are always excitedly teaching me signs. I thought it might be fun to really learn while they think it is fun. It seems like ASL would be something easy and fun to add that will be a great asset to them as adults. Thanks for all the advice. And thanks for giggles on a Monday.alphabetikaParticipant
My daughter has loved learning it and has been able to use it on two overseas trips and in her current job. It’s a much more complex language than many realize, certainly than I realized before she started studying it and telling me about it.
If any of your kids love it enough to continue with it as a language, there are a lot of opportunities for certified interpreters. My daughter hasn’t gone this route at this point, but she’s been told numerous times that there is lots of work available, at least where we are. We also have a couple of interpreters who translate at our church service as part of a growing ministry to the Deaf community.cdm2kkParticipant
Ha! We are using Lifeprint too. I found it last year and had scheduled the lessons, but they ended up being way too long and I was trying to go way too fast and we kept putting it off and never got past the first few lessons.
This year, I slowed the lessons way down and decided to add in more fingerspelling too and it is working very well. Kids are very interested and are progressing well.
As for the finger spelling, I printed out the names pages and I have them practice on their own and then 3 times a week they play a little game. I give each child an order in which to fingerspell 10 of the names. Then they take turns finger spelling the names and they keep track of who fingerspelled correctly, who read the name correctly, and then they tally up who was the best signer vs. reader.
I have also added fingerspelling their spelling words as practice and while I don’t make them fingerspell them all as that would take a long time, I do have them fingerspell at least 5 and I pick them randomly. This has helped to revive the fun of spelling a bit too. My son is dyslexic and I was worried at first about him doing this, but I think it is actually helping him in learning how to spell his words! God always helps us find a way…..
Anyway, Best of luck.
Side note: I found the show Switched at Birth (Netflix) has a lot of ASL in it. I watched the series and while it is NOT for young children at all, I have been letting mine watch with my supervision and we have used a lot of the drama and relationship issues as great sex ed discussions. This also helped bring ASL to life for the kids and has helped motivate them to really try and learn it.retrofamParticipant
Check out drwonder.com for videos to practice with.
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