The ASL Vocabulary of Sign Can You
This is not a reference book to carry along and refer to while having conversation, at least not in the long term. Its a book to devour as quickly as possible, and put aside. Its a quick start guide to communicating in Sign.
Sign Can You is a starting point for acquiring Sign as a second language. Your instructors will be your Deaf associates. The process will be life itself. Youll discuss whats relevant, and because of its relevance, youll learn and remember Sign.
We began learning our first language before we could speak. It was a natural process of getting our needs met, and mimicking the language of others. We did it without a book. Were not so much taught our first language as selftaught. Sign Can You encourages this mode of learning a new language.
The centerpiece of Sign Can You is its small vocabulary of relevant signs, which are mostly connected to the 341 illustrations. Actually, there are only 277 illustrations youll need to remember. The details are in the Conclusion on page 173. The idea is to become comfortable with this small vocabulary, and start having conversations.
The Sign vocabulary was carefully chosen to relate to our everyday lives and the things we talk about. Its about who, what, where, how, when and why we are; including:
Space and time, because thats where we live, and also where Sign lives.
Questions and statements, because we make conscious sense of our world through discussion.
Our sign vocabulary is in UPPER CASE BOLD. The Sign Index is comprised of all the UPPER CASE BOLD in the book. Look for the UPPER CASE BOLD when searching for signs via the Sign Index.
The bold italic text refers to communication in Sign. Big is the sign, and not the English word. The bold italics may be signs, groups of signs, facial and body expressions, Sign interpretations or hand shapes.
Focus on the DVD. Sign is a dynamic language that moves through space and time, more easily seen in motion. Also, Sign is more than hand movements. It contains body and facial expression, all combined to create a fluid whole. Lastly, vocabulary by itself is not language. Language is vocabulary passing through time. These things are impossible to express with snapshot illustrations. Thus, your emphasis should be on the DVD video which is multidimensional in its presentation.
Much can be said with the limited vocabulary of Sign Can You, but theres much more to be said with a larger vocabulary. Use a dictionary and your Deaf friends to expand your vocabulary.
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