I am so excited to begin my Learning Project for EDTC 300, American Sign Language (ASL)! One of the very first days the syllabus for the course was available I gave it a quick look over and noticed this project. Immediately I thought of choosing ASL as I was interested in learning another language. In my last two years at the U of R I have taken a couple of French classes that have gotten me to where I can use a basic understanding and vocabulary in communicating with others. Even this small amount has helped me to see the value in learning another language.
So, why ASL over other languages? Although I have had limited experience working with students in English as an Additional Language (EAL) programs, what I have noticed is that they learn English as they work through other subject areas. These students do have some sort of program or aid in place that helps them in their studies. But what about students with hearing impairments? With the goal of an inclusive classroom in mind, I thought about sign language and how it could be easily implemented into class, all that it required was that the teacher knew this language. I believe that ASL is a skill that I can use in my personal life as well as when I am an educator. So this is my topic I have chosen to explore as my Learning Project!
I am beginning this project with no knowledge of ASL so I sought out beginner level resources that I will be able to use. I have found a couple of apps as well as a YouTube channel that I plan to use to learn from. The YouTube page TakeLessons has 11 videos for beginners at ASL. I plan to work through these videos to develop this skill. The main app I plan on using is called Sign School. It has so many different topics on it so once I work through some of the lessons on TakeLessons I will begin to explore these other topics, beginning with School! The first two topics I will learn will be numbers 1-10 and the alphabet.
To kick my project off, I decided to learn how to spell my name!