Great news! I finally officially adopted Ziggy, my new hearing service dog on Friday, May 04, 2012. Ziggy and I are learning to bond with each other. This whole year will be a lot of work for both as we train him to be the best hearing service dog.
This month’s ASL Tip:
5 Tips In How To Stay Patient When You Advance Yourself In ASL
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed, bored, resistant or intimidated as you advance yourself learning American Sign Language?
Here are the 5 tips I’ve learned to overcome my own learning struggles – especially since I have ADHD and dyslexia – learning ASL took me awhile to master the subtle nuances and then I discovered tools to keep me going. If I could master ASL fluently, I know you can too!
1. Stay in the present. Discipline yourself to ignore all internal and external distractions. Take your time; slow steady progress is beneficial in the long run.
2. Be healthy. Get plenty of rest, eat right, and drink filtered water. If sick, focus on healing and then immediately pick up where you left off.
3. Time Management:
Learn to juggle your busy schedule. If you’re a morning person, it may be a good idea to meet for ASL sessions in the morning. Learn to say no or set boundaries with family & friends who don’t understand the importance of completing your ASL homework or assignment. Make an appointment with yourself to do your own studies.
4. Be your own critic: Film yourself signing your homework or an ASL conversation or a story that you want to practice. Then analyze what areas you need to improve upon. I have had to film myself sometimes 7 to 8 times to get my piece accurate.
5. Sign Out Loud: When I first started to learn sign language – I was shy and didn’t take criticism very well. So, everyday, I used to look in the mirror and practicing conversing with myself as if I was signing with a Deaf friend. This helped me to feel prepared when I had to meet deaf people at school or on campus.
May these helpful tips help you persevere as you advance in American Sign Language. If I could transit from the awkward, choppy, long-winded contact language (half-English, half-ASL) to fluent, entertaining, colorful American Sign Language…I know that you can too! Patience and perseverance pays off.
Other Fun News:
Deaf Expo – a few weeks ago I got to attend Denver’s Deaf Expo.
I got to buy the American Sign Language Video Dictionary and Inflection Guide. A team from National Technical Institute for the Deaf & Rochester Institute of Technology created the dictionary.
The greatest thing about this CD it shows accurate ASL grammatical sentences with over 2,700 signs. One sign can inflect (change) from one sentence to another.
I then got to meet the famous Deaf UFC fighter – Matt Hamill – bought one t-shirt and regretted I didn’t get another for my goddess son, Wydeko. I learned a lot from Matt’s presentation of his long career in wrestling and then pro-UFC fighting and then opening up a pub and a gym in Utica, NY. The movie took 5 years to make because Matt was not pleased with the script and had it changed 15 times! Good for him to make it as authentic as possible!
Exciting news of Matt’s future plans – he is going back to training and continue to fight in UFC. He wants the winning belt to take home. I was surprised to learn he is in the top 10 world’s best UFC fighter.
Matt shared a story that one hearing UFC fighter named Tito Ortiz insulted the Deaf community – it pissed him off and he defeated Tito – interestingly, the guy was his former coach! He took him aside after the fight and insisted an apology – so Tito apologized publicly. Thanks, Matt, for being an advocate to the Deaf community!
Another thing I learned from the Deaf Expo – starting in September 30, 2012: Prerecorded programming that is edited for Internet distribution rule will be applied from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Yeah! So, we should be seeing more English subtitled videos online. I can’t wait! To learn more about this, go to:
Need Your Input:
I’m looking for fun easy-yet-stimulating games for two players that we can use through the video-phone or Skype (web-cam). Please list your favorite interactive games that we can practice to use more hands on ASL activities together.
Thanks everyone for your ongoing support this spring season.
ASL Master Tutor/Mentor/Evaluator
Quote of the month:
Sign Language is a Human Right.
It’s not just an option.