Happy New Year everyone!
What New Year's resolutions do you have for learning ASL this year?
Here is one great article that I highly recommend you reading titled:
How to see the barrier to reaching your goals
I found this helpful for any students plodding along mastering American Sign Language and feeling overwhelmed.
May this article give you enlightening insight!
ASL Linguistic Tip:
ASL Classifier - how to fill in the gaps that stalls you....
Common Glitch When Learning to use ASL Classifier as You Advance Yourself:
HS: #1 = person -- how do I show the person using the #1 hand shape (HS) carrying a box? The HS #1 has no arms!
Pause the #1 (person) - then role shift into the mime classier (body classifier) - mime that person carrying the box and then immediately role shift back to the #1 hand shape (HS) to continue the rest of the action which could be walking and carrying the box.... or walking and carrying the box and trip or dancing with the box on the way to his closet.
Suggestion to visually understand how to look through the lens of a Deaf signer:
I want everyone to learn how to view the world through a deaf person's eyes. It's important to use your imagination. However I realized that a lot of people don't use their mind visually a lot --- so to train your mind to start noticing different details in your surroundings is by studying how films are made.
If you understand how films become a successful entertainment it's because they use clever tools to give an illusion of realism. Think of ASL Classifiers as the fantastic and fun clever tools that makes your ASL story telling become 3-D or animated or lively.
First, study various films and notice how they shoot images from long distance in order to give you an idea of the surrounding and then up close to show the details of the character's emotions and then mid-range to show two people conversing.
Imagine if movies only showed movies from far away, you'd feel detached and lose interest. Or imagine if a movie kept only showing up close, and you'd lose a lot of important information as there is no real sense of what's happening in the environment.
Or imagine if it's entirely close up and all you see is emotions on the faces and you'd feel stifled and claustrophobic.
Learning to juggle difference distances in using ASL classifiers will help you improve your ASL storytelling and keep listeners captured. When you're describing events with a person, place or things --- you'll learn how to juggle the visual distance of your hands with the story you're sharing to keep things in perspective. Start slowly with a simple one distance routine... then as you add more details, add two different distances until fluent. Then when you feel comfortable to step up, add dialoging and emoting. This requires a lot of practice, fumbling, cursing, trying again and then squeal with delight when you finally get it. Hang in there, I know it's frustrating at first, but once you catch the patterns, everything will click.
Timing which distance to choose takes practice, just like how I have to learn to master perfect timing when I use the clicker for my dog when training him a new cue. So many times I click too late or too early and I confuse my dog, Ziggy... so he has to patiently wait for me until I get it right and when we both get it right, I praise him profusely for a job well done.
Perhaps I should start using a clicker with my ASL students when you get your ASL classifier and the ASL sentence type right? Nah, just kidding!
That's it for now and we'll go over more helpful tips next month in February, 2013.
My next tip will be about what if there is an ASL Classifier that does not exist in the ASL dictionary: can I just invent my own? Yes and No.
Are there any other tips or questions you may have that you want clarification in my next blog?
Long distance students, please also think & tell me of fun easy to play games that you'd like to use that is playable through a web-cam. I noticed a lot of games I bought were too advanced... please help me find novice and intermediate games we can play to learn with ASL. I want to include more fun games.
Happy New Year Everyone!