In-Depth Blog Post
What skill have I chosen to learn?
For In-Depth this year, I have decided to learn American Sign Language!
Why have I chosen this skill?
I chose to learn ASL for my In-Depth project for a few reasons. One is that I like to read a lot, and some of the books I read have deaf characters. One in particular, Hearthstone from Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, made me really interested in learning sign language! I tried to learn some sign language, and ended up almost memorizing the alphabet, but I forgot it after a while. I want to take this In-Depth project as a way to get back at it again!
More reasons are that learning other languages lets you communicate with a wider range of people. This is the same for sign language! It also gives you a way to learn about different cultures, and of course, it expands your brain. Sign language has always interested me even more than spoken languages. It seems so different, but I’m excited to see the differences and similarities between them, and what learning sign language can teach me other than the language itself.
When and How
I don’t have my timeline right now so I’ll update this when I do.
I’m still in the process of finding a mentor. I hope to find one at least by the 9th so we have time to do the paperwork. I have emailed someone but have not heard back yet, and I know someone else doing ASL emailed a few people, so hopefully we hear back soon, so we can get started.
What are some questions I want to answer?
One thing I’m wondering is what the differences and similarities between sign language and a language like English or French are. Like, how does grammar work and how is that different?
What are my goals?
My goal is to be able to have full conversations in sign language, around 1 to 2 minutes, but it would be better if I could have even longer conversations. I also want to be able to understand sign language if I see people speaking it on, say, the news on tv.
What can others do to help me?
My family and friends can help me by practicing with me (at least at the beginning, when it’s simpler), and watching me practice and giving me pointers. My mentor can help me by, well, mentoring me. My dog can help me by sitting on my feet while I practice. I can help myself by making sure to practice hopefully daily and having a good schedule. Also be getting enough sleep so I have energy to learn.
What resources can I use to help me learn?
My mentor will be my most valuable resource, but some extra resources I will or could use are books and YouTube videos.