Saturday, August 18, 2012

ASL as a second language

Last year I allowed Nevaeh to choose her second language to start learning and she chose American Sign Language. Over the year, we built a basic foundation  for her vocabulary and had a fun introduction by the use of random Youtube videos, cartoons, and online games. It was a fun way to get started and she learned a lot! I wanted to share her favorite resources from last year and share what we are using this year as we move on more in depth with her ASL skills. was my favorite resource to get started. They had great videos with rhymes and had printouts that Nevaeh could use every day to go along with the rhymes that were built around the letters of the alphabet.

We were also able to find episodes of Signing times online and Nevaeh had a great time watching and learning from that show while being entertained. This was a great relaxing activity that she got a lot out of. Nevaeh really likes interactive television shows, so I was super happy to find something that applied to her current curriculum.

We also lucked out by having a friend who is very active with the Deaf community and attends a Deaf church. One of her friends lent her a huge pile of children's books with accompanying signs. I was so happy when she brought that pile of books over and we spent the day making copies of those story books which we used as coloring sheets to help build vocabulary.

This year, I am very excited to start using an actual curriculum. I have gone through it myself quite a bit after I found it through a random google search last year.
I really like the vocab building aspects of this curriculum and the fact that it presents cultural aspects and history of the Deaf community as well. I am really looking forward to spending the next year or two with Nevaeh using this curriculum to help build her skills.

My goal for Nevaeh is that she feels comfortable enough by the end of the year with ASL to use it in conversation with a fluent ASL speaker. My friend who I mentioned earlier has told us about a Deaf church that she attends with her friends and I would love to take Nevaeh there to meet some folks and practice her skills.

 I'm very interested to see what she ends up doing with her second language. I think it was a very unique choice and I pray that I can help her foster that interest and make the most of her learning.

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