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Can anyone tell me about ASL?(Am. sign lang.)

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I have continually heard that ASL needs to be taught in real life to make any definitive progress. I know that most languages do better in real life but this seems especially true of ASL. A local homeschool group brought some teachers in for two years. It was very well received because a lot of kids were interested. You might check around to see if there could be someone interested in teaching a group to make it economical.

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Also contact your local community college or state school for the deaf and enquire about classes or a deaf chat night. Learn to finger spell first so that she can ask a word by finger spelling it. :) Another resource is your local library. Ask if they have any videos. Do NOT rely on books, it is very hard to convey a sign via pictures.

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I actually found an ASL class being offered at our local school for the deaf(about 40 minutes away, not to bad). It has 4 levels. Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Levels are 14 weeks long, one day a week for an hour and a half. $145.00 per semester. You get a certificate if you pass each level. So she can get her 2 credits in. Problem is, you need to be 16. She will not be 16 until Sept of 2014. Sophomore year. I am trying to see if they will make an exception if I take the class/es with her(I would love to learn it as well), and let her start at 15. Classes resume in mid-September. Either way, if we have to wait a year that is ok. I am so happy we found a live class. The CC wanted $245.00/semester. Thanks for all the help.

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I think there are classes that you can take online that have a video component. I don't know any more than that, but maybe knowing they are out there you can find them. I just did a google search with the terms learn ASL online and that looks like a good place to start.


I have found books helpful only after I learned some things. I like this one that is based on handshapes.





The following site gives practice in reading finger spelling. I am a beginner, not a fluent signer and so I don't know what an ASL teacher would say, but I think learning finger spelling well is very important.




Another site that I like is


http://deafmissions.com/ They have an ASL daily devotional with the complete text shown also. It is fast though; I'm not sure I would have gotten much out of it at first.


One nice thing about ASL is that you can get to the point that you can communicate (however awkwardly and slowly) pretty quickly. I met a deaf couple at a homeschool convention and another gal at a garage sale and they understood me and I understood them(though less well). This was after 10 weeks of an informal class and not much practice in between the weekly class sessions. 10 weeks of informal Spanish wouldn't have gotten me to that point.


Just a few ideas.

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oo! oo! [waving hand] I can answer this!


DS took 2 semesters of ASL at the local community college as dual enrollment for his high school foreign language last year in his senior year. Worked great! Was VERY pleased with the quality of instruction.


Not only that -- through the classes, DS found what he wanted to do after graduation -- AAS in Interpretation for the Deaf!The CC has a well-respected program, and having take the 2 semesters last year in his senior year, has given him a bit of a jump on coursework for the program. He is in his second semester now as full-time student at the CC, and has completed most of the prerequisite coursework, as well as continuing with the next 2 semesters of ASL. In the fall, he will enter the actual degree program.


Anyways, I do encourage you to consider the CC, even though it is more $$. First, you will be getting more instruction for the money -- CC foreign language classes are usually two 2-hour classes/week for 15-16 weeks. That's about 60 hours total for $245 for a semester (4 hours/week x 15 weeks) compared to the Deaf School course being 21 hours total for $145 for a semester (1.5 hours/week x 14 weeks) -- about 3 times the hours for just $100 more. Or, about $7/hour for Deaf School course, and $4/hour for CC course...


Plus, the CC class would also count for both high school AND college credit. The Deaf School class would not.


(And just as a side note for your recordkeeping and transcript credit count: the Deaf School hours would be extremely low for counting as high school credit. Normally a semester of high school credit is 60-90 hours of work. 21 hours is too "lite" to count as a semester credit, unless there will be about 3-4 hours each week of outside-the-home work and study... If it were me, I would look further into the Deaf School course and learn more about amount of work and what actually will be covered in the course, compared with content of the CC course. Try looking at the table of contents of either the Community College text, or a high school level ASL course for comparison, to see if the Deaf School class will be giving you the full amount of material and hours to really be able to count it as credit.)


Plus, the more hours per week exposure of a foreign language, the more you actually absorb and learn it.


And finally, if your DD becomes very interested in the subject, it may lead into a career path by taking it through the CC. Also, some CCs allow students as young as 14yo to take classes -- and YOU may be able to audit at no cost to be with your young student. :)


Just a few more thoughts, based on our experience with ASL at the CC! BEST of luck, whatever you go with! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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The links posted above are all good.


Another suggestion is to contact local churches that might be active with the deaf community. If there are any near you, the church can put you in contact with whomever handles interpretation services. That person should also be able to provide you with resources for learning ASL.


DS started taking an ASL course earlier this year that is taught at a nearby church by a church member who has a deaf son. We're only in week 6 of 30? so we're still very early beginners. DS has much more opportunity to practice than I do and is already more fluent in signing.

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