I know it’s early but I wanted to extend a warm greeting to everyone, as it’s my favorite holy day of the year.
In this blog I am going to share more insights of how to improve your American Sign Language expressive and receptive skills and general information that may help students with some URL links.
I’ve been studying the past few months of common concerns that many ASL students share: anxiety of learning a new language. I share your concerns deeply as I have ADHD and dyslexia and have poor memory skills – however, I’ve managed to overcome my own anxiety with sheer concentrated efforts when I learned ASL. Here are tips to overcome your anxiety when mastering ASL.
1. Remember that I provide a safe environment for you make all the silly and sometimes funny mistakes – in fact, I encourage you to make mistakes as that is how we learn from is correct and what is incorrect.
2. Absolutely no self-criticisms or put downs – it is a waste of time, energy and emotions. The precious energy should be channeled to studying, practicing, playing ASL games, and for some reviewing your homework.
3. Be patient. I can’t emphasize enough of how important it is to LET IT GO and GO WITH THE FLOW. Learning and mastering a foreign language is not an instant gratification deal --- the neat part is that if you dedicate a lot of time and energy (4 hours or more a week ideally) into practicing ASL – it will all start to click.
4. Do your homework that I assign you. Without the necessary self-practice in between sessions a lot will be forgotten. Reviewing the first rough draft of your performance will save us two from wasting our valuable scheduled appointments – most of you will already know the basic rules of what is needed to demonstrate your best.
5. Socialize with Deaf and hard of hearing people who do NOT voice. Try to find Deaf people in your local social events that do not voice, patient with newbies and uses ASL --- not PSE and not SEE. We don’t want to be picking up bad habits from other signers that have not updated their skills.
6. Adapt: become a flexible tree that bends to the wind – get used to the fact that different regions has different signs all over the USA and Canada. Become skilled in memorizing as many different signs for one word you can so you’re well prepared when you meet an out of state signer.
I hope these tips above will reduce your anxiety issues – if it becomes so intense that you’re constantly overwhelmed – I recommend homeopathy or Bach Flower Remedy. It may or may not work for some people. These are natural, safe remedies to gently help you…
A great blog from Joette is a good starting point – especially for colds and flus:
And to find a professional homeopathic in your town go to:
For ASL Interpreting Students: I found a fantastic blog for ASL interpreters with a fresh twist – tips from a Deaf ASL interpreter! – check it out at:
Also here is a great site too:
Original, relevant, and timely content of interest to ASL and sign language interpreting students and practitioners, including introductory information about deafness and American Deaf Culture.
Here is an excellent real life example of hard core male ASL Deaf signers to study from:
Lastly, here is a great American Sign Language Hand Shape Poster that I recommend all ASL student to buy (cheap, only $5.95) and put where they can see it daily when studying ASL. Once you memorize these handshapes, you’ll be able to quickly recall which exactly handshape for certain signs goes to and your ASL classifiers skills will be greatly enhanced.
You can buy it at:
I hope this blog has been helpful for you!
Have a great fall season!