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Want to learn sign language, where, how what program?

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My kiddos and I want to learn Sign Language, but I know nothing about it and can't seem to find any course/program/video series from which to learn... We basically just want to learn how to communicate at least a little with a fairly large deaf community nearby... I hadn't been able to decide between French and Spanish either so I am thinking of learning Sign Language instead... And I know that there are different sign languages so please excuse me if my terminology is wrong...

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You should say "American Sign Language" or "British Sign Language" or whatever if you want to be specific :)

 

If you have a large Deaf* community where you live, then they probably offer classes. No need to go all up and down google when there's lessons in your own backyard, right? Contact your local Deaf society or school or whatever and ask them. The very worst they can do is say they can't help you.

 

* As I understand it, big-D Deaf means "Deaf culture". Little-d deaf just means "can't hear". I think it's more usual to assume members of the Deaf community consider themselves part of Deaf culture.

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I am wanting to teach my girls Auslan - sign language for Australians. I am wondering the same :/

 

Start with auslan.org, but take care about the regional usage. There are some significant dialect differences.

 

Play a lot of charades, but all mime and no "sounds like."

 

Learn to finger spell and read each other's finger spelling.

 

Look up and learn classifiers. You can't progress past key word signing without.

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My aunt has been a translator for the deaf for pretty much my whole life. She was really impressed when my son was 2 (now 7) and he wasn't speaking but he was signing tons. We watched the "signing time" videos. They are aimed at younger kids, and aren't a language class, per se, but they made it possible for him to have a conversation with her when he wasn't yet verbal. It's a good place to start - even better that you can borrow the DVDs from pretty much any library!

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Are there any community education classes in your area? We get adult/community education bulletins in the mail a couple of times a year and there are usually ASL classes listed. Classes are usually at local junior high or high schools. I know homeschoolers who take those classes with their kids.

 

Signing time videos are nice for learning vocabulary, they don't teach grammar but I think there is a new series in the works that is supposed to.

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For American Sign Language for yourself, if you can't find a local live class, check out www.lifeprint.com. My 15 yo daughter is planning on using it to familiarize herself with some basics in prep for taking a live class through the local community college in the fall. It's free, so nothing lost if you later find something you like better for the kids.

 

I occasionally see local churches that have interpreted services offer classes to the community.

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Start with auslan.org, but take care about the regional usage. There are some significant dialect differences.

 

Play a lot of charades, but all mime and no "sounds like."

 

Learn to finger spell and read each other's finger spelling.

 

Look up and learn classifiers. You can't progress past key word signing without.

 

 

Thanks heaps for this! We have great fun looking up words on their dictionary :)

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Signing time videos are great! I believe they're on Netflix now.

 

Couldn't find it on Netflix, but found it on Amazon. It's not free on prime though :(

 

We watch some signing time videos/songs on youtube though, and have learned quite a bit. 

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Our library has a bookstore that people donate books to. We have an ASL textbook(college level) that we bought from there. 

 

The book is good for teaching the grammar, and youtube has a lot of videos for learning new signs. 

 

We haven't been able to take any classes yet, but local community centers and homeschool co-ops/groups offer classes for ASL every once in a while. 

 

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