In my second week of this learning project, I went through modules one and half of two on Lingvano. Something that I realized (and that I was not aware of earlier) was that you had to pay for a “premium membership” in order to get the last lesson on each module. I knew that there were other good and free resources out there where I could learn ASL so I decided to stop learning from Lingvano.
This being said, I did learn some useful things from Lingvano that I want to share. An interesting point that I hadn’t thought of was that just like any other languages people have their own unique style of signing. They had multiple people teaching the lessons so that we could get used to seeing signs done a little differently. After reading Tori’s (a student who had previously learnt ASL for this project) blog I decided I would try “Sign Language 101” on YouTube. After watching the first video I noticed that there were quite a few signs that he did differently then what I learnt at Lingvano. This made it very clear to me that not all signs will look the same when I’m talking to or learning from different people and to always keep that in mind.
The interesting thing about ASL is that there are some signs that almost anyone could recognize because they are visually representative of that word. These are called “iconic signs” and some examples of these are “swim, house, tree, cup, baby, eat”. Watch my video below showing examples of this:
For anyone wondering: I’m saying the words out loud for my own learning as well as anyone who does not know sign but is hearing.
Another important point is that in ASL they have some verbs that are called directional verbs. Directional verbs show you “who did what to whom”. So, the sign is always the same but the direction you do it in may be different depending on the context. Being expressive with both your face and body is key to learning sign. When people only look at a persons hands when trying to speak ASL, they are not properly learning or understanding the person because seeing the facial expressions is a huge part of it.
This week I learnt many important things that are key to learning sign. I was nervous and worried that changing one of my key resources for this project would screw me up or put me far behind. However, I thought about it and realized that it’s only the first week, and as with most projects, sometimes you realize that your original plan wasn’t the best fit, and it’s ok to change if needed.
Excited to see what the rest of this journey brings!