As some of you may already know, this semester for my personal learning project, I had decided to teach myself American Sign Language (ASL).
I started out simple and taught myself the ASL alphabet. I was fortunate enough to have support from my sister while doing this project, as she joined in the learning. My sister has also always wanted to learn ASL, so we decided that this is something we would do together.
We practiced the letters of the alphabet by signing and spelling words to each other, seeing who could spell and ‘read’ the words the fastest.
Once we were confident with the alphabet, we moved onto basic colours and numbers 1 through 20. I have to admit that the numbers are still a bit fuzzy, but for the most part, I think I have them figured out.
Throughout the semester, my sister and I looked for various online resources to support our learning. In the search process, we downloaded dozens of apps and watched many, many ASL YouTube videos. Not all of the resources, however, were helpful so when we found a reliable resource, it was exciting!
In our searches, we came across one of my favourite resources which is a free online ASL course offered by Gallaudet University. I really enjoyed this resource because it is taught all through video with no audio and very little subtitle text. It really encourages the user to pay attention to facial expressions and the physical signs, much like those who are deaf or hard of hearing. It was only through this resource that I began to learn ASL grammar. This is something that I had been struggling with prior to finding this website, because all the other resources never really touched on grammar or sentence structure, so I didn’t know how to put my sentences together.
As we come to the end of the semester, I realize that I still have a lot of learning to do in ASL. I have decided that even though EDTC 300 is over, my learning project is not, and I look forward to continuing my journey with ASL. Because of the constant signing between my sister and I, my 12 year-old brother has developed an interest in ASL as well, so I look forward to teaching and learning alongside him too!
Thanks for following my journey!