April 13th, 2021
What skill am I learning?
I’m learning American Sign Language for In-Depth this year.
What progress have I made since my last post?
We’ve actually had two meeting since my last post, because we had one during spring break! I’ll mostly be talking about the most recent one though, because I think that makes more sense.
Since my last post, we learned a bunch of new signs and phrases! The signs were related to food, colours, school subjects, and filler words like the 5 Ws and “cool”. Some phrases we learned are “do you understand” and “can you type it” which could be very useful during our zoom meetings!
We also watched a documentary about ASL and the deaf community, called Through Deaf Eyes. It was really good, and I watched it while eating chocolate chips and unpeeled carrots because they’re nice. The documentary talked a lot about deaf history, like where and how ASL began to be used, how deaf and hard of hearing kids were taught in school, and a bunch of little interesting details that I never really thought about like poetry in ASL and accents! We discussed the documentary during our last meeting.
In my last post I mentioned a question I had about whether there’s signs for punctuation in ASL and whether you use it while finger-spelling. Well, I asked my mentor about that, and though I can’t find the exact quote, she told us that there are signs for punctuation, but you wouldn’t use them while signing. For example, instead of signing “I like potatoes (comma) they are very good (period)” you would just pause, like you would while speaking! There are signs for punctuation though, like we have “question mark” and stuff in English.
There are many places where my project had alternative choices, that would have each led me down a different path. For example, my choice of mentor! I only really had one choice of mentor, but things could have gone differently if I’d emailed different people at different times or something. My mentor, fellow mentees, and I were faced with many alternative choices, like what signs we wanted to learn and when to learn them. We discussed whether we wanted to do certain activities, like watching a documentary and discussing it afterwards, voice-off activities, and having a deaf person join us for a meeting!
For my learning center, I think I’ll make a website, like I did for my eminent person project. As I think I mentioned in a previous post, it’d be disrespectful for me to record myself for entertainment or educational purposes, but I think as long as I make it clear I’m not trying to teach ASL because I’m not qualified to do that yet. So I might record some videos of myself signing, whatever I think makes the most sense! Some other ideas I had is to include some deaf history because it’s pretty cool, and maybe talk about some deaf/hard of hearing characters I know of, because they’re what inspired me to learn ASL in the first place! I hope that my learning center will inspire other people to learn ASL too, because it’s a really cool language and I think the world would be a better place if more people spoke it. I’m not sure how I’ll make my learning center interactive yet. Last time I tried (it didn’t work because I didn’t realize I made it private :/) to make a Kahoot, but I don’t think that makes sense to do this time. I’ll continue to brainstorm, and hopefully come up with some good ideas soon!
Thanks for reading, and have a great day or night!