weird learning phenomenon
I've been studying from the DVDs made by ASL everyday productions and taking an ASL 1 class in real life. One thing I notice is that I'm too slow at following people when they fingerspell. (signing, following signs, and fingerspelling myself seem to be coming along ok.)
So I started going to youtube to practice reading (is that the right word?) fingerspelling, right now looking at the four letter word*** practice from westwood ASL. I noticed something odd. If I sign along with him, I can make the hand shapes before I know what the letters are, and I recognize them a split second after. If I *don't* sign along with him, it's harder, it takes longer, to recognize the letters. It's like I'm learning more manually than visually somehow.
I'm forcing myself to keep my hands down the first time through each word, and letting myself sign the second time through for practice. (I really don't want to get into the habit of signing along with people when they're trying to communicate with me! When I was in grad school, there were alot of foreign students, and one of the ways they would try to improve their English was to sit in class and repeat any difficult words the professor said, under their breath. Very frustrating:0 Anyway, I don't want to become a source of that kind of annoyance.)
Has anyone else learning ASL had this experience, where you comprehend faster if you sign along?
Also, any recommendations for more fingerspelling-reading practice? I'm just doing searches on youtube right now, but some videos are better than others.
***(cough) words with four letters, you know. Not "four letter words". Gee Amy, nice vocabulary!