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Unread 01-29-2012, 07:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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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!
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Unread 01-31-2012, 12:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I do the same thing. I watch as they fingersign super slow... but to get it I usually end up making the sing. The other problem I noticed is that a lot of sites have fingerspelling practice but it is just a pic of a letter, then a pic of the next... the letters don't flow like in real fingerspelling. I'm not sure how much practicing with pics will help.

Hopefully someone will have some ideas for where to practice fingerspelling.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 08:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply JanatheShort (love that name). If you have skype, maybe we can practice fingerspelling/receptive skills sometime.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 11:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Try this one. It has helped me a lot. Good Luck!!

Asltrainer.com

Last edited by Angel1989; 01-31-2012 at 11:04 AM. Reason: Retyped
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Unread 01-31-2012, 11:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Angle1989 - this looks great!
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Unread 01-31-2012, 12:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted

If you have an android phone lifeprint.com has fingerspelling app and also a numbers app.



It fingerspells the words or numbers then you type in the answer

Last edited by playsonfreeway; 01-31-2012 at 12:16 PM.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 12:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've never felt that need, but a lot of the people when I retook ASL 1 in college (couldn't test out of it) would do it. My teacher told them not to do it, actually. It helps me to view the fingerspelling as a word instead of individual letters. Like:

Instead of actual letters, i.e. J-E-F-F, you see it as Juh-eh-ffff (if you're phonetic)/Jeff. It's like reading.

Some good fingerspelling practice sites:
Dr. Bill Vicars' American Sign Language (ASL) Fingerspelling Practice Site (letters/words)
American Sign Language ASL, (numbers)
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Unread 01-31-2012, 12:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks playsonfreeway (playsonfreeway?!) no such cool technologies here, but neat to know that stuff is out there.

Purplewowies: I've actually been trying to do that - take it as a word as it forms rather than individual letters. I think that will come more and more as parts of my recognition process become more automatic, or get faster. Thank goodness for all these resources for practicing to that end. And thanks for the links.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 05:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have to sign the letter myself when fingerspelling. And when I am doing the fingerspelling I do have to look off into space or close my eyes to picture the word I am spelling.
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Unread 02-01-2012, 10:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks Janet! I am bound2ride. I have a webcam but never use it, just pulled it out of the closet. Now I'm playing around with lighting because the way my room is now, my hands aren't clear enough (as far as I can tell). I'm going to try hanging a dark sheet behind me, which I'm thinking will help (contrast). I don't want to add any *additional* challenges to this process:0
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