My interest in sign language is a very new thing for me that was brought on by a recent experience. On day when I was out on the job as a substitute Educational assistant, I had the opportunity to observe a deaf child in a school. In this particular case the student had a special Educational Assistant who was trained in ASL so they could communicate. Furthermore, other staff members within the school and student had started learning ASL to communicate with this one student and make them feel more welcomed. I was so inspired by these teacher’s willingness to learn ASL to help the student learn. This experience got me thinking about my role as a future educator and ways I would accommodate to a deaf student. Honestly, I was stumped I didn’t know any sign language the most I could do is wave hello. This realization made me eager to begin learning ASL and I feel this learning project is the push I need to get on track and start my learning.
I am really passionate about this learning topic because I think it will be very beneficial tool for myself as a future educator. Having basic foundational ASL skills would allow me to communicate with students that are deaf and also students that are hard of hearing. I don’t know if I will ever reach a point that I will be fluent in ASL which for right now is okay. My goal is to develop my ASL enough that I can have very basic communication with deaf or hard hearing students. I feel this means of communication is a critical aspect that will allow me to develop teacher student relationships and a very inclusive classroom environment.
For this learning project I will be start right at the bare basics. As I said before I have never used ASL or attempted to learn it before because it is a new interest to me. The time frame for the learning project is 7 weeks. In these 7 weeks I hope to learn the alphabet, numbers, common word, common phrases, and basic questions (5 w’s). for this assignment I will use a variety of different resources like apps, videos, websites and images. Some of the resources I have already found and plan to use are ASL American Sign Language, ASL Pocket Sign and the YouTube channel Learn to Sign.
As I start this learning challenge, I feel excited and nervous. I know from previous learning attempts that language require a lot of daily practice in order to learn successfully. I am excited this EDTC course has given me the push I need to start to start my ASL learning challenge. Wish me luck I may need it. 😉