In my ECMP 355 class, we have the choice to either create an internet based project or to learn something significant through online resources, while documenting your progress online. I’ve decided to learn ASL (American Sign Language) for my learning project. I’m not very talented at learning languages, but I’m willing to give it a shot! I’m also taking ELNG 200 this semester and it definitely sparked my interest in learning how to sign. We had the pleasure to have Joanne Weber, a teacher in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Thom collegiate, in our ELNG class and her work with deaf and hard of hearing students is inspiring. I decided to look at her website and I was pleasantly surprised to see that she has written a poetry book called The Pear Orchid. Being deaf herself, she explains her struggle with being deaf and she also talks about themes of suffering, childbirth, sexuality, rebirth, language and relationships. I am definitely considering on purchasing this in the near future because it sounds like a very good read. Here is a quote from her website:
Inside a deaf woman, a pear orchard grows.
As a child, she whirls among mirrors and pears,
her finger tips brush the blue black branches,
Her gown is sheathed in the rainment of broken lights
splashing over green, red and golden fruit.
She sits in the darkness, waiting for someone to call her
from the orchard.
Having Joanne in my class inspired me to learn how to sign. If I became fluent in ASL someday, this could be a valuable asset to my teaching and this in the end, could create endless possibilities! I could teach other students how to sign, deaf or not, and I can interpret to students. When I was in elementary school, we had a sign language club and this is something I am highly interested in doing in the future. Exposing students to different languages spoken in Canada (or in your area) is essential to a child’s education. So why aren’t we required to learn ASL as well as French and English?
I looked at a view resources already, but I have not officially started yet. What I found interesting so far is how crucial it is to have the right hand and finger position.
In this video, he teaches how to count in ASL, but he also demonstrates the wrong ways of positioning your hands and fingers. Although it is humorous, I feel like this is an effective way of teaching ASL. I was looking at other resources and the images seemed unclear and the videos were really fast to follow. In Rob’s video, I felt more sure about myself because he was presenting me with mistakes I was actually making when attempting to carry out the sign.
In conclusion, I am very excited to start this project, no matter how challenging it may be. Let me know if you have any tips, thoughts or if you happen to stumble upon some valuable resources for learning ASL! As I said before, I’m not so great with learning languages, but I feel like I will have a fun time learning ASL since it is more visual and hands on! Expect a lot more blog posts on my progress and thoughts!