By RaVen Sequoia
When it comes to studying and mastering a foreign language like American Sign Language (ASL), there are as many different strategies and methods for different people. As we know, for some people one learning method may work for one person but not for the other. Every once in a while, we all need a helping hand to get a jump start to achieve our educational goals. If you wonder if you need to hire an ASL Tutor or Mentor - ask yourself these questions:
Do I Feel Overwhelmed?
In today's busy world, it's often difficult to figure out what exactly you need to study. If things have piled up to the point that you're desperately cramming until the last minute for an exam or struggling to get past a certain level while in training to become an American Sign Language interpreter or become a fluent ASL signer and have no one to practice with - then hiring a professional ASL tutor is the way to go. Often times a lot of amateur ASL signers or interpreter or any profession requiring fluent ASL are surprised of how different sign language is in the real world versus the tightly controlled sign language classes. Professional certified ASL tutors/mentors have appropriate tools and time saving techniques you need to become a fluent signer. Don't risk getting a bad grade or losing a job due to pride or denial that you may need a pointer or two.
Do I Have a Study Plan, But Not Enough Time to Implement it?
Most people have a general idea of what to study but often find that time slips by and next thing you know, with an already very busy life, you're falling behind schedule. Having an expert to stay on track and master complex linguistic concepts when learning ASL will help you save time instead of drowning in the mind numbing text books that is often full of confusing (and boring) terminology. Besides, it's always an advantage to study with a native fluent signer which makes studying ASL fun and prevents straying off course. If it always seems as if though you'd like to tackle your studying but doing it alone won't cut it, working with a certified professional ASL Tutor/Mentor could be the perfect answer.
Are DVDs, Books, Classmates or signing Peers or My Teacher Is Enough?
With plethora of resources available in libraries, on-line, community colleges, ASL labs, and Deaf events - some people are still finding themselves inadequately getting the gist of certain complex advanced information. We all know that one sided DVDs, textbooks, videos can only help us learn ASL with our receptive skills, but it does not help with our need to apply expressive ASL skills --- plus a lot of people are bored with staring at 1-dimensional screens with no real life interaction and immediate feedback for improvement, etc.
Can We Work Well as a Team?
If you're like many people, you might be hesitant to work with another tutor when you’re studying with other amateur ASL students, non-certified amateur sign language tutor, or working with another ASL teacher who seems to never have the time for you. I've had too many students wishing they had met me a year ago but were afraid to switch to a new tutor.
Granted, you might worry about getting conflicting information – however, diversity makes the world go round. The more exposure you get, the more knowledge you’ll gain. When choosing a professional ASL Tutor, it's important to find someone that is easy for you to work with. If you've got any doubts, try scheduling a single session. If you find that the two of you work well as a team, then you can schedule additional sign language sessions. However, if you find that you don't work well with a particular person, simply schedule a session with a different professional ASL tutor instead.
RaVen Sequoia is an ASL Master Tutor/Mentor/Evaluator at www.ASLmasterTutor.com and she offers helpful tips for mastering ASL Level 1 to 6 & beyond.