We are more than halfway through August of 2021–where has the time gone? Anyway, I hope you all are having an amazing day or night. For those of you who aren’t aware, I recently started 9th grade, and one of my two electives is American Sign Language (ASL). One of my older cousins is Deaf and uses sign to communicate, so I’ve always wanted to learn ASL so that it would be easier to have conversations with her.
Turns out that my school offers an American Sign Language course as a foreign language. And voilà; I’m officially studying ASL!
I decided that I would get a little creative and do another page in my journal. And I decided to go all-out and make it inspired by some of the highlights of my first week of my studies. Today, I’m going to share some of the things that I’ve learned, so far, with you guys.
ASL has always been so fascinating to me; probably because it’s pretty much speaking English, the only difference is that you are communicating with your hands instead of your mouth. Almost like a shadow puppet, where every sign means something new and you use your hands to tell a story. Sign language of any region is all about sight, and using your eyes to hear the world around us in a different way.
Deaf culture within itself is another topic of the course. Although most hearing people are probably unaware, the Deaf community has not only developed their own languages (including sign, lip reading, and oralism—or speech training), but also their own art, values, technological advances, and history. Learning more about the contributions of the Deaf community to make the world a more equal place is definitely something that I’m looking forward to.
I’ve already memorized the entire alphabet, so I make sure that I occasionally practice my finger spelling by writing down practice words—as you can see in my journal—and trying to sign them as fast as possible. I think that this technique is a really good method to improve both your memory and speed, which has already proved itself to be pretty helpful when learning ASL.
The last thing that I’ve learned and want to share with you all is that despite what we may think, ASL is actually a very precise language. If the shape or the way you move your hands is even a little off, it can completely change the meaning of a sign. Crazy, right? That’s why it’s super important to watch demonstrations—and copy them while looking at yourself in the mirror—to make sure you’ve mastered each sign.
The truth is, every little detail counts when it comes to ASL. And if you ask me that only makes the visual language that much more creative and beautiful.
I am so thankful to God that I was able to take this course, in the first place; even though I’m just starting, it’s already one of my favorite courses for the year. In fact, I may even post updates here and there to share my progress with you guys.
Hopefully, you all were able to learn a thing or two from this post, as well. ASL is so much more than making shapes with your hands; it’s a part of an entire culture and community. I truly encourage anyone who has curiosity about the language to learn it for themselves. Either way, I hope you had fun reading about my takeaways from my first week of learning ASL.
Was there anything in this post that surprised you? Also, can you speak a sign language (of any region and/or country)? And if not, have you ever thought about learning? Feel free to share your responses in the comments! I would love to hear from y’all!
Have a fatabilous rest of your day, everybody! God bless you all and I will catch you next time! Peace in! ♡