Anyone Know Sign Language Or Want To Learn?

Discussion in 'Education & Learning' started by Magalina Lilis, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. Magalina Lilis

    Magalina Lilis Active Member
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    Jennifer and I were discussing sign language in another thread. I thought it would be fun for others to join in on the discussion and share their knowledge on this subject.

    I began learning sign language, as a child, while doing volunteer work in an organization called Volunteen. In later years I worked in group homes, the private sector (respite care for foster care parents), elementary schools and a university with people that were hearing impaired or developmentally and or physically disabled.

    During the course of this time, I also took a sign language class at a local college, it was then that I met my husband. Coincidentally, both of his parents (now deceased) could not hear due to childhood diseases. Now, I am find myself in position to refresh myself, as I consider the possibility of getting certified.

    First lesson - a review of the ABC's

     
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  2. John Donovan

    John Donovan Active Member
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    I don't know sign language, but I have the feeling that I would be really bad with it. My mother used to have a gift, after being a nurse for disabled people her whole life. She could understand deaf people from the first try. I, however, have always been bad with understanding deaf people, so I would be really bad with the sign language too.
     
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  3. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    I don't know sign language and would like to learn how to speak using my hands. I have seen many people speaking to each other going so fast I would not be able to keep up with them I am sure.
     
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  4. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    I can't follow what people are saying, either. Not yet anyway. I'll be able to pick out certain words. And a few common phrases I could pick up... "how are you? whats your name? good morning! nice to meet you (also). " Thats my problem right now. I got irritated at the learning program. So I found a dictionary of signs. Its great for learning and memorizing. But until you can have a conversation with a real life person, with out a script you well never be fully proficient.
     
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I signed up for a course once, and bought the book, but something got in the way and I never took it.
     
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  6. Magalina Lilis

    Magalina Lilis Active Member
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    I can relate to everyone's concern about the difference between learning some signs and having and comprehending an actual conversation using sign language. John, I am certain your mothers gift touched many peoples life in a special way. Pat, I have often asked others to slow down! Who knows, Ken maybe you will still learn signing.

    Interesting this topic came up the other day with some friends. My husband was saying he could signing better then he could do it himself. I know this stems from being raised by his deaf parents and all the events he went to as a child. Still he is 100 times better then me in both areas. I think, he feels this way because he will improvise some signs or spell them out quickly. I know, I am amazed every-time I have every seen him have a conversations with such a flow.

    My signing is more choppy and basic, similar to Jennifer, I am more confidant with the basics. Same with my kids. They learned the basics from a young age, as they learned to speak. We often laugh with our memories of our son sitting at his high chair constantly asking for more milk, please over and over again, because he hungry, now with such serious animation. Yes, he loved his cereal. Nowadays, they still now the basics and the alphabet is embedded. Sometimes when I am out with my daughter in a public place and she wants to tell me something in private, she will sign it. It is like our own secret language.

    Today, I am going to review some of those basic signs. I have to admit, I use to always confuse the words good and thank you. My father-in-law use to always laugh and correct me.

     
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  7. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    I'm going to have to watch it a couple of times before I have them all. Like 'share'. Thats a new one for me... as well as 'last' and 'which'. I am so glad you posted this! Even though I can't sign back and forth with anyone here, I still feel like I'm not doing this alone, anymore
     
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  8. Carlota Clemens

    Carlota Clemens Well-Known Member
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    When I was young I was felt tempted to learn sign language and Morse code, but I had not a way to learn this latter, and I was later confused about sign language.

    To my knowledge, and based on old books my father had representing the sign alphabet, I thought it was about using hands to make words based on those positions that represented characters.

    Through the time I released that it is a kind of language that incorporate both body expressions and phonemes that seemed more complicated to me than actually learning and alphabet the way we learned to use this.

    So that I don't know nor would like to learn sign language today.
     
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  9. Brittany Houser

    Brittany Houser Well-Known Member
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    Magalina, this is fascinating! This is the way I taught myself to "speak" sign language when I was in high school. At the time, I was dating a guy who had a deaf sister. I wanted to learn to communicate with her, so I learned it on my own. Alas, David and I broke up within a year :), and I never used sign language again. I have long since forgotten it, but I think I'll take a refresher course. Who knows? It might come back to me.
     
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  10. Magalina Lilis

    Magalina Lilis Active Member
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    I feel the same way. I must admit I have never used the word "which" and for the word "last", I often use "finished". I will wait to post a new video, as I am going to review this one again. Then again, anyone can feel free to share another video and I will work on that one, too.

    I understand, learning sign language is a personal choice. You do bring up a very relevant point about signing concerning how animated and expressive it is through body and facial expressions. I find this to be a bit unnatural for me to master this skill; however, in the case of my husband it comes naturally. He use to also say the words out loud, as he signed because both of his parents could read lips too. He certainly did not mumble.

    Thinking our situations may not be that uncommon! Hmm. Pretty sure my husband and his sisters got away with a lot more then I did when it came to bickering with each other. lol Anyways, you will surprised to find out how much you retained. Some signs will be like, oh yeah, I remember that. Other times, I find myself discovering, oh no, I had this sign all wrong.
     
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  11. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    Here's the video dictionary I've been using, if anyone needs it. I couldn't find instruction that I liked, so I started going through this, one letter at a time, and memorizing the words I use when I'm speaking.

    https://www.signingsavvy.com/
     
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  12. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    I'm thinking about a sign class with hopes to communicate with my autistic granddaughter. This will be very helpful. It didn't even occur to me to consider researching the internet on sign language. Thank you, Magalina.
     
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  13. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    when my son was almost 5 years old, he didn't speak.No one could figure out why. But when he did, he couldn't enunciate for anything. They put him in speech therapy. Inside of pressuring him to talk and enunciate, they taught him a few signs, (more, candy, and a few others.). he would use the sign while he tried to say it. Whatever the reason for him not speaking, that seemed to be key in him learning to pronounce and enunciate. I don't know if that is similar to why your grand daughter is learning it. But if it is, it works.
     
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  14. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    @Magalina Lilis I just realized that the dictionary focusing on American Sign Language. I know there are some differences. Which are you focusing on? And are they similar enough to learn together?
     
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  15. Magalina Lilis

    Magalina Lilis Active Member
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    Sorry folks for my absence on this thread. I have been busy with my children visiting the last couple of weeks, thus not much time online. Then yesterday, when I hopped on here, I was remiss to not stop by this thread on sign language.

    What a neat idea! I will begin, too! I will let you know how far I get in a week. Thanks, Jennifer, for giving me the intensive to find words that I would have not of thought about without this useful tool!

    Your welcome, Von! I do hope that you pick up a few words here and there. I know your granddaughter will more enriched with you reaching out to her in this way (and so will you). I am not sure, if I mentioned this in any of my posts, but my daughter (a very wise, independent soul) is also autistic. Although she is able to communicate, there are times when she reverts back to sign language (as I said in public, crowded places with me - wish my kids lived closer, so I could spend more time with them...).

    As Jennifer points out, sign language is a wonderful facility in conjunction with speech and language skills.

    I do not have a preference between American (ASL) or English (SE); although, I tend to lean towards SE by using phrases vs full sentences.

    I often think back to my mother-in-law going to foreign countries and able to communicate with others.Of course, when you are communicating with people from other countries, there are bigger differences. This is where gestures and facial expressions play an even more significant role. .
     
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  16. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    God bless the alphabet. There have been a time or two where I was trying to sign whatever I said that day. I can't tell you how many times I had to spell it out. Do you suppose the differences between ASL and SE would be easily figured out as long as you know the alphabet? I'm going to have to look into both of them and see what the main differences are.
     
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  17. Magalina Lilis

    Magalina Lilis Active Member
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    From my personal experience, I would say yes the differences are easy to figure out. I say this because my mother in law went to one of the first private deaf school in the nation, yes it was a boarding school and her training was more formal. My father in law went to one of the first public schools for people considered "deaf and dumb" (yes this was years and years ago).

    Bottom line they were taught differently, actually my mother in law graduated high school and my father in law dropped out in 6th grade. They were able to communicate perfectly. Of course, we all jumped in to finger spell in conversations all the time! So, I hear you about the importance of the alphabet!
     
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  18. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    you can't live with someone and not develop a private "code". My husband and I have all sorts of personal jokes, and indications that we are not being completely honest, so the other should NOT jump in and correct them. I could only imagine the possibilities of a code between 2 people signing. My husband likes for me to tell him what different signs are here and there.Just from those rare moments we have our own meanings to some of them.
     
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  19. Magalina Lilis

    Magalina Lilis Active Member
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    Aha. You hit on an area of sign language that I often think about and that is the subject of intimacy. Of course, you would know that I think it is super cool you share this with your husband, as it is a special connection I have with my husband, too.

    Taking this is a step further outside family dynamics, I would like to share another special bond that had this level of intimacy that I doubt I will ever experience again. I believe, this individual deserves a special place of honor in this thread. Her name was Arvilla.

    Arvialla was similar to Helen Keller. She lived in a group home for the developmentally disabled and I had the privilege of interacting with her on a daily basis in an educational setting, At the time, she was in her sixties. Many people thought she was a threat because she would become violent when approached unexpectedly. The truth in the matter was this was merely her instincts to protect her immediate surroundings (personal space).

    What I learned was the importance to let Arvilla know who you were upon greeting her to allow her to know that you were not a threat. She gave me her own personal sign for my name. Yep, she was so clever! You might wonder how she could see or understand sign language. Well, she had a gift to feel the signs. And boy, did she have quite the vocabulary!

    One of my favorite activities was also communicating with Arvialla through braille. We would both learn new words everyday. I have to admit, it was a special thrill when she would ask me to learn a new word. I think, one of the key things that helped us to facilitate this interaction was to also use the physical objects, too. Such as, a chair, a book, etc.

    When I got pregnant with my second child, I had to step away from this experience. It sadden me greatly, but the memories of this experience enriching my life is something that I will always treasure. I think, this is another example of how we have come a long way from judging people with disabilities to be less intelligent. It is so far from the truth!
     
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  20. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    Thats a wonderful story!! I love hearings about these things. It helps to cheer me up when everything else is bringing me down. I'm turning cynical so its nice to read something like this to soften me up.
     
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  21. Texas Beth

    Texas Beth Well-Known Member
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    When I taught kindergarten, the education "overlords" at the time, said students must be taught a second language. It didn't matter what language was taught. So another teacher and I taught concept sign language. The students liked it and some of them used it at home.
     
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