Tag Archive: Language


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My wonderful students have been practicing and planning an ASL Showcase. Students will perform acts, skits and songs that are translated into Sign Language. You do not need to be fluent in ASL to enjoy the show, only have a willingness to have fun and experience something new.

The event will take place at:

Redlands High School

"A-S-L" signed with American Sign La...

“A-S-L” signed with American Sign Language, combined Image:Sign language A.svg, Image:Sign language S.svg and Image:Sign language L.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

840 East Citrus Avenue

Redlands, CA 92374

Clock Auditorium

6-8pm

Entrance fee of $5.00 at the door

The showcase will include a raffle, vendors and great snacks.

imagesCA8QPK11During this week, a local reporter and photographer interviewed myself and some of my students for  a story for the Redlands Daily Facts newspaper. It was such a great opportunity and experience for me and the students. We were able to share about the wonderful events and learning experiences we are involved in and the difference we are seeking to make in ourselves, school campus and the hearing and deaf communities. We landed a space on the front cover of the newspaper and on the 3rd page of another newspaper titled The Sun.

So often it seems that the positive in the world goes unheard or is ignored to pay attention to the negative going on in the world. This articles highlights some of the positive that happens daily in my classroom and how students apply what they learn in outside of class.

On a personal note, I felt good to be able to share my passion for deaf culture and American Sign Language and how the topic I teach has made a difference to some students that are connected with the class. It also gave me a bit of inspiration to hang in there because sometimes as a teacher we are at the very bottom of the totem pole for recognition and at the very top of the totem pole for blame. This article along with a select group of students reminded me of the short-term and long-term rewards of teaching. To see a students smile because they were able to sign to a deaf person, to read a report about how learning  ASL has changed their life, to hear about the college or career the student selected just because it involves Sign Language and to simply feel the passion a student shows because of how connected they are to the topic. For these experiences I am grateful to simply be an educator.

A link to the article is below, enjoy:)

Silent World Gains A Voice

imagesCAUCQE2C

help images

Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help! The Beatles – Help! Lyrics

As a teacher every now and then we may teach topics we may not know the technical term for but we now what we are teaching and how to teach it. Sometimes, I will teach a topic and someone will ask if I teach a certain topic or make a comment on the topic I teach and when they use the technical term..I think oh yes that is what is called. My motto is I am always learning and I seek to learn something new as often as possible therefore I am in a constant learning process. What I think I know…. I don’t and what I think I don’t know…I do, odd how that works. However, I know that I know I want to always put my best effort forth and when I am not familiar with a topic I am going to research or ask for help until I get an  answer I understand. Therefore, I was introduced to these four topics some of the topic I knew already and the others I did some research to make sure I understood and now I want other educators, native signers or those knowledgable about linguistics to shed some light. If you could give definitions and examples of how you use this in content, that would be great!

These are 4 topics : Classifiers; Discourse Analysis; Register and ASL Sentence Types. 

Thankyou for your help and feedback!

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss

Moments of Gratitude

English: wiktionary:thank you diagrammatically...

English: wiktionary:thank you diagrammatically shown in British Sign Language (BSL). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the weekend a number of my students and I volunteered at a deaf community event. I had a great time! It almost felt like I was at home in my circle again (with my mom and brother who have passed on) it reminded me how much I enjoyed communicating with them and how much I enjoy sign language.

Seeing familiar faces and being welcomed by deaf individuals I have never met always gives me that “warm fuzzy feeling”..lol. Like I am with people I belong with. To add icing to the cake, I saw my first ASL teacher! I started ASL classes in the interpreting program around 1996 and normally ASL/Interpreting teachers and fellow students judge me when they find out I am CODA (Child of Deaf Adults). They treat me differently or expect me to know everything. I am not God! I only know what I know and can be who I can be. She always did that for me..accepted me as I am and required me to improve and always look for something new. I have great memories of her I can’t say that for every teacher but for her I am.

It also felt good for students to see me sign and interact with other signers. Sometimes, I know they wonder how well I can sign and can they trust who they are learning from. This opportunity allowed them to see my skills at work and accept that I may know a little something..smiling. I also saw students sign more than ever and in such a natural manner unlike the guided classroom practice and pre-written conversations for them to copy and perform. Students returned the following day and shared all of their great experiences. This opportunity allowed them to “Dive in Deaf World” and that is all I can ask for.

I am always thankful for my culture deaf/hearing, thankful my language-ASL/English, thankful for my passion, family and thankful for great teachers who inspired me years ago and continue to inspire me now.

I absolutely love when I find a good video on YouTube to watch! Especially when I need to practice my receptive practice and the best way to do that is by signing with the Deaf community but when time does not allow that the second best way is by watching videos of native signers.Sometimes when I can’t connect with fellow educators, fluent signers or with members of the Deaf community I watch videos to retain my skills as best as I can..smile. Videos of native signers can be from YouTube, resources suggested by RID (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf), EIPA(Educational Interpreters Performance Assessment) or videos found on material websites such as www.dawnsignpress.com or www.harriscommunications.com.

I found this video on YouTube while looking for idiom videos both English and ASL to teach my students about how English Idioms are used in sign language. I also taught them the common phrases and idioms specific to the deaf community. Teaching Idioms is a lengthy process as students need to understand the definition for the term idioms and then how they are used in the English language. After that we then learn the same information for ASL idioms. At the very end of all that this a great video to show students of idioms at work…maybe a bit much for beginning students but a good video for fluent signers. If you have other suggestions please share.

Until my next post, be encouraged:)

shhWhat is the best strategy to learn American Sign Language???? By immersing yourself in the language and culture. This means signing and not focus on talking which is imperative to signing success.

Returning to a classroom full of talkative, hyper and at times non-attentive high school students, this is the number one  strategy students put last on their list even when enforced. I understand that learning a new language can be confusing and overwhelming and there are times when voices need to be used but there are many times if students focus they can express themselves with the vocabulary they have (which is similar to talking only with hands). I share with students the scenario that when deaf individuals find themselves in a situation with a communication barrier they cannot turn their voices on, so they figure out a way to communicate with ASL. I expect students to do the same as best as they can.

I find that the best signers are those who not only focus and use the voice off rule in class but put what they learn to use outside of class. I remind students that ASL is similar to math if you don’t use it you lose it. You may feel confident in class but when you leave a signing environment you lose what you learn unless you incorporate it into your daily life.

I share my passion and respect for American Sign Language not only because it is part of who I am; a bi-lingual bi-cultural individual  but I know its beauty and benefits to the hearing and deaf cultures. I want my students at any level to love it as much as I do or at least respect it because “American Sign Language is to the eyes as words are to the ears”  -Ken Glickman-

Sooooo……Voices Off..please!