Strategies

You are fast approaching the chapters that will teach you signed vocabulary for ASL. As you go through the upcoming lessons, you will gain a greater understanding and advance more rapidly if you put the following strategies into place. These strategies also include those that can be applied in the ASL classroom:

  • Practice, practice, practice. This is the magic key! Form the signs again and again, and set them to memory.

  • Sign slowly with clarity. Clarity in forming signs far outweighs the importance of the speed. In the study of sign language, the clarity of your signs is your articulation.

  • Don't worry about signing errors. Errors are all part of the learning process.

  • Don't worry about speed and feeling awkward. Your speed will improve as you develop control. Learn to form the signs clearly, and add the speed later.

  • Learn to relax while signing. Simply maintain a relaxed posture, one that is free of bobbing or jerking movements. Remember, this is a visual language, your form is important.

  • Enroll in a sign language course. A class, this book, and interactions with friends and the Deaf community will give you a jump-start into learning conversational ASL.

  • Put aside your English grammar. How you hear a sentence often is not relative to how a sentence is signed.

  • Learn to see the words versus hearing the words. ASL is a visual language.

  • Learn to focus on the signer's face, not his hands.

  • In order to truly immerse yourself in conversational ASL, beyond this book and the classroom, you need to begin to associate with people in the Deaf community at every opportunity.

    Use the signs you know by signing them every day. Try to set aside a short ten minutes a day for review.

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