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#1 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone got any suggestions? We're in a rural village with no local ASL resources. We have a couple of reference books. One is fun but simplistic, intended for young kids, the other more college-like and fairly dry. There's a plethora of signing dictionaries on-line, but we'd love to find something a little bit systematic and fun to work through, something that puts signs and grammar in a sort of curriculum or sequence that works for kids. Dd is 10 but working at an advanced academic level and has aesthetic and social affinities that run old, so something intended for high schoolers would probably be about right. 

 

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#2 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 05:30 PM
 
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I would look for open enrollment universities that offer ASL for distance learners. That would involve being at the computer at scheduled times for video classes, but is probably the best bet. ASL grammar is decidedly idiosyncratic, and there are a lot of very subtle nuances like the difference between "kid" and "brat," which is just the angle of a gesture. I learned the hard way that it is very easy to be very rude when you don't understand those nuances.

 

Another possibility would be to find an interpreter who is willing to teach via Skype.

 

I'm not at all fluent in ASL, but one of my best friends works as an interpreter, so I have a small body of knowledge. In my limited experience, ASL is not a language that is easily assimilated from books.

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#3 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great ideas. I'll definitely keep those in my idea-bank.

 

However I think that's more than she wants right now. She is interested in dabbling in ASL out of curiosity, not working for conversational fluency. She doesn't want formal lessons or classes. It's much like her interest in Spanish last year: she enjoyed learning a bit about the language and the grammar, and it was cool to begin to recognize some vocabulary, her general understanding of language in general was enhanced. (She did a basic intro high school course at the local public school, with a non-native speaker.) But she wasn't working towards mastery ... just satisfying her curiosity. She knows she's highly unlikely to use Spanish meaningfully in the next ten years. Beyond that there's a chance, but she'd have to come back to it in a systematic, immersion-like way. 

 

So I guess I should have specified that we're looking for something low-key and introductory and self-paced. If she gets driven and passionate about it, we'll look towards something more detailed and comprehensive, possibly working with someone who is fluent. For now, she wants to be able to dabble. Something like Rosetta Stone for ASL would be perfect, or a DVD series. 

 

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#4 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 10:15 PM
 
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In about 6 months I'll be able to tell you if this set is any good:

 

http://www.amazon.com/16-DVD-Complete-American-Language-Library/dp/B00550AE2O/ref=sr_1_20?ie=UTF8&qid=1377061940&sr=8-20&keywords=ASL+DVD+set

 

My kids are a bit younger, but we dabbled in sign language last year with whatever we could get from the inter library loan system.  We pretty much maxed that out.  When I asked at the local office for the HOH/Deaf community, they said that a tutor would run $40+/hr... so we're trying this.  We may end up making a little group of it - there are some other HSing families that seem interested in our area as well.

 

FWIW, I don't know how far your DD is, but if she doesn't have the alphabet down cold, that is where to start.  So many signs are initialized and/or they build off of those hand shapes, that it helps immensely when you don't have to think about how to make that letter, you just do.

 

HTH

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#5 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 10:15 PM
 
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Accidentally double posted, but I'll use this post anyways - for dabbling, the library is really good.  Also, we've enjoyed a phrase book (my son's first sentence of choice was "My foot is bleeding."  Aah - so proud. :)

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#6 of 14 Old 08-21-2013, 06:02 AM
 
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My son uses lifeprint.com which is an amazing ASL website.  It seems to have everything he needs to learn ASL, and it's free, which I love.

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#7 of 14 Old 08-21-2013, 08:41 AM
 
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Hi Miranda,

 

I have two sources that have been suggested to me to help my soon to be coming daughter Nellie learn to sign (we are adopting her from Bulgaria - she is blind but not talking yet).  

 

This book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039953041X/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

 

which I have checked out of the library and LOVE.  So simple and great illustrations.

 

And this website: http://www.start-american-sign-language.com/learn-sign-language-asl.html

 

which has a few free lessons.  I haven't used it yet so I would love to hear what Fiona thinks.

 

Cheers!

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#8 of 14 Old 08-21-2013, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You guys are great! Off on a monster hike today, but will look through all your suggestions tonight or tomorrow and I'm sure there will be something here that works for her. This interest was a spark from about three days ago when she decided not to repeat the Intro to Spanish course (the only second language course offered here) and started wondering what other languages she could explore. She's already practising finger-spelling obsessively, but isn't very quick yet ... which is lucky, because I need time to learn too. We'll see where this all goes...

 

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#9 of 14 Old 08-22-2013, 05:19 AM
 
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My SIL and her 3 sons are deaf.  My brother is hearing impaired.  I am starting signing classes at the college next month.  For me, the best way for me to learn is to be around my SIL.  I pick up so many signs when I am with her.  She explains it well and the reason behind the sign.  She explained that the English language talks and talks and then gets to the subject.  For ex. I am going to go to the store.  The subject is at the end.  With sign they always say the subject first.  So something like Store, go.  Or Store me go.  She said there is no strict way to form a sentence.  Facial and body expressions are important in conveying your message.  Just a few tidbits.

Maybe she could start with learning the alphabet and finger spelling.  Have fun!

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#10 of 14 Old 08-22-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by homeschoolingmama View Post

 She explained that the English language talks and talks and then gets to the subject.  For ex. I am going to go to the store.  The subject is at the end.  With sign they always say the subject first.  So something like Store, go.  Or Store me go.  She said there is no strict way to form a sentence.  Facial and body expressions are important in conveying your message.  Just a few tidbits.

Maybe she could start with learning the alphabet and finger spelling.  Have fun!


This is what I didn't say clearly! Thank you!

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#11 of 14 Old 08-22-2013, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh yes, we have certainly discovered a lot of the differences in grammar. So cool. Another one of the things I find nifty about ASL is about indexing, for example, assigning nominals to particular locations within the signing space so that pronouns can easily be used by pointing to that location.

 

We're practicing finger-spelling while we investigate various resources and approaches. We're also hoping to interest a couple of the kids in our homeschool group in this. Our choice of format and resources will depend on whether we develop a group or not.

 

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#12 of 14 Old 08-29-2013, 06:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

Oh yes, we have certainly discovered a lot of the differences in grammar. So cool. Another one of the things I find nifty about ASL is about indexing, for example, assigning nominals to particular locations within the signing space so that pronouns can easily be used by pointing to that location.

 

We're practicing finger-spelling while we investigate various resources and approaches. We're also hoping to interest a couple of the kids in our homeschool group in this. Our choice of format and resources will depend on whether we develop a group or not.

 

Miranda

Miranda, Do you think you could give an example of what you mean about indexing?  I don't quite understand what you are saying.  Thanks.

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#13 of 14 Old 08-29-2013, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Miranda, Do you think you could give an example of what you mean about indexing?  I don't quite understand what you are saying.  Thanks.

 

Okay, say you're telling a story about your brother and his boss. At the start, you sign "brother" and point the the left, thus 'placing' your brother in the signing space. You sign "his boss" and point to the right, placing the boss on the other side. From now on throughout the story, you can use pronouns for "he," "his" and "him" referring to your brother (by pointing left) or referring to his boss (by pointing to the right), rather than having to sign the actual nouns "brother" and "boss" over and over.

 

"He [point left] told him [point right] that he [point right] hadn't got the report yet. And he [point right] was angry. But he [point left] had never asked him [point right] for it in the first place." 

 

Obviously the grammar wouldn't flow exactly like this, but I hope that kind of explains the use of pronouns by "indexing" locations in the signing space with particular nouns (brother and his boss). You may be familiar with this, but maybe my terminology is unfamiliar.

 

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#14 of 14 Old 09-03-2013, 09:08 PM
 
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Thank you for explaining it for me.  It makes sense now. :)

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