Learning project wrap-up

June 21, 2022 0 By Jasmin Boha

If you have been following along with my learning project, you would know that I chose to learn American Sign Language! If you have not and are new here this post will consist of everything I have learned, some of the challenges and struggles I had learning ASL online, the tools that worked best for me, and how and what I plan on continuing to do for my learning!

Before being a part of this class (EDTC 300), I have always wanted to learn sign language not only for my own knowledge but also to be able to communicate with others who use sign language as their form of communication! This opportunity in this class gave me just that! What is better than learning and doing something you have always wanted to do for grades and marks in a class??? I’d say it couldn’t have been much better than that! As a preschool teacher, I decided to take the route of not only learning ASL myself but also taking the opportunity to introduce ASL into my preschool classroom! Unfortunately, I was not able to record or post any of the children in my class or show how they were progressing in their learning journey of ASL along with me. However, I can proudly say the children quickly gained a strong interest in “learning a new language”. We watched many videos, learned a few child-friendly songs with the signs, and even learned the alphabet! For 3-4-year-olds to learn the alphabet in sign language and very quickly remember it I was not only shocked but also super proud! (I had many proud teacher moments teaching ASL in my preschool classroom)! Enough about my little students, even though I could talk about them ALL day…

At the beginning of my learning journey, I chose to simply learn the ASL alphabet, and surprisingly I found it very easy to learn and also remember! There were so many helpful and useful videos on Youtube that I found I learned best from! One specific Youtube channel that I found myself constantly going back to was Laura Berg Life. I found the videos on sign language posted by her were very simple to follow along, and with a younger child directing and teaching the video I felt not as pressured seeing as if a younger child can teach it, I can definitely learn it! Another Youtube channel that I found very helpful was Learn How to Sign. These videos were very informative and filled with LOTS of information. One downfall I found about these videos as they were more fast-paced, and with all the information that one video held, I found myself forgetting what I learned in the beginning and getting confused!

Aside from Youtube videos I also found very useful, fun, and easy free apps to have and use on my personal phone! two of the main apps that I downloaded and kept on my phone were the app ASL pocket sign and The ASL app. Both of these apps are free to download and very easy and simple to use! I created a screen recording of the ASL pocket sign app to show how simple and engaging it is for users to learn while playing! view the video down below!

ASL Pocket Sign app screen recording

Ways of learning ASL online that I found very difficult or just did not work for me were pictures-unless referring back to alphabet photos. I am a very hands-on learner. I need to be doing it as I am learning so that I learn otherwise it goes in one side and comes out the other! I found that looking at a photo was not very informative, as I was not able to properly see the way a hand movement or position should be, as well as the correct facial expression if necessary.

Throughout my learning journey I learned the full alphabet as well as taught it, I learned to count from 1-20, I learned many emotions, as well as simple sayings and phrases such as “hello”, “good-bye”, “how are you”, “all done”, “more”, “please”, and “thank you”, “breakfast”, “lunch” and “supper”. I also learned about common foods such as water, milk, cookies, tea, soup, sandwich, eggs, bacon, toast/bread, and many more!

Here are a few of the videos I created of myself learning and signing! Along with a link to a Kahoot I created to learn and study ASL!

ASL signing emotions!
Learning and signing the alphabet!
Counting and signing!

Although this class is coming to an end, I have decided that my ASL learning will not! I plan on continuing to learn and progress my sign language skills. I get daily reminders on my phone from the ASL pocket sign app to complete daily challenges which I continue and plan on keep doing every day! The reason why I have decided to continue to learn sign language outside of this class is that I feel it is a very useful and helpful language to know! Whether I am wanting to communicate with someone, teach others, or ever find myself in a situation where I am needing to have a different form of communication I believe it will be a lifelong useful tool to have and know! I have also decided to incorporate sign language more into my preschool classroom. Ways that I have thought to do that are by purchasing sign language posters to hang around my classroom, searching and adding sign language age-appropriate books into our classroom library, and continuing to educate and teach the students whether that be through conversations, songs, or stories!

This class has opened my eyes and mind more than I would have on my own when it comes to American Sign Language. I find myself constantly looking for resources and tools that might be useful or helpful for myself or for my classroom. I am very hopeful that one day I will be able to have a full conversation with someone in sign language and be able to help or properly communicate with them with no struggle! I am aiming to be able to have a full conversation in sign language just like how I do every day with my English speech-language. I am going to continue to work hard and learn more each and every day to be able to reach my goals!

Thank you for following along with my journey, and providing additional resources, tools, and opinions regarding ASL!