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Archive for the ‘American Sign Language’ Category

One of the languages I’ve wanted to learn for a while is American Sign Language (ASL). This desire was reinforced over this summer when at missions camp our youth learned to do signing for a particular song, And Now My LifeSong Sings, with signing instead of singing. Where it particular hit home was watching my four year-old daughter learning it beside the “big kids” and performing it several times with my team and then later at my home church. It’s amazing how powerful a language ASL is. Even to a hearing audience, the movements used to communicate convey something more than just simple words. So I’ve set a new goal to dig into learning ASL.

When I first mentioned ASL resources, John Magnabosco piped in with additional suggestions for resources and the like. It was really helpful to see such encouragement immediately. I’ve gone ahead and gotten a couple of well-rated books on Amazon as well as a couple of also well-rated DVDs to begin learning. My sons are interested as well. So we’ll be working on it together (and my wife was interested before I was, so that should make it a family affair). Those resources should get us started. But I know it’s not all we need to do.

The other thing I need to do is connect with the deaf community here locally. Until then I won’t be able to know that I have any real capability in ASL. It’s like practicing a foreign language… it doesn’t really click and you’re not sure you’re truly proficient until you have to use it. Then, through experience, you begin to master the language. I’m sure ASL is the same way. Plus, I like interacting with folks who have a different perspective on life because it is always broadening for me. I know I rely on my hearing an awful lot. Sometimes I rely on it more than my other senses. I know, because I have been told that I’ve noticed things with my hearing that others don’t. It probably has to do with the fact that I went through the ages of 7 to 15 about half blind and refusing to wear glasses. I finally gave in my junior year of high school for classes but I refused to wear them for sports. That often meant I had to use my hearing to gauge the ball’s speed and possible spin, especially as a goalkeeper, by listening to how it sounded when it was struck. So I have idea of what it’s like to use other mechanisms to discover the same information. And I’m really interested in seeing how our experiences are different.

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