I have to admit, I am a little behind in my learning project. The good thing is, from watching the show that inspired me to learn ASL I have picked up a few things, so I already feel like I have begun. But, I have now started for real. I thought the best way to begin was to learn the alphabet, because although most words in Sign Language have their own movements, if there ever is something you don’t know you can always spell it out. That’s why I consider the alphabet to be the first thing I need to master. I began by watching a short video of a man doing the alphabet, found here. I enjoyed the video because it shows different angles of his hand for us to make sure we have our positioned correctly. I found the downfall of the video to be that it was silent, and didn’t say the letter that he was performing. I think it would have been more beneficial for him to either say the letter, or have a visual aid along with the movement.
Since I am still learning, I decided to try another video. This time I went with something made for kids, because why not? I hope this one has lots of visuals and makes learning a little more fun, and “ASL ABC Lesson and Song” has an enticing ring to it. This one was much better. It was a little girl teaching an adult woman how to do the alphabet, which pretty much automatically made it better than the last because kids are just adorable. And I was correct, this one did include visuals of the letters while we were learning.
Another excellent feature of this video is that since it was in the structure of a lesson, the girl was able to explain exactly how to put your hands to correctly sign the letter. Also, they gave helpful tips to remember how to do each letter. Tips like “to differentiate between D and F, remember in D the first finger goes up, because D comes before F,” and “N has just two fingers over the thumb, because an handwritten n has two bumps.” (as in the picture below)
Now i have gone over the alphabet many times, and I will try to keep practicing until I have it completely memorized. Right now, I can only remember letters a-k. So I must keep working on it! Next time, I plan to learn the numbers. And if that is easy, as I think it might be, I will learn basic words that relate to a person. Things like family, sister, brother, mom, dad, etc. Stay tuned!