Fingerspelling Practice?

Discussion in 'Sign Language & Deaf Education' started by justinram11, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. justinram11

    justinram11 New Member

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    Hello! I just wanted to say I've been reading on AllDeaf for awhile now and decided to ask a question. I am taking a ASL 1 class at my high school and kind of ended up in there by accident. I LOVE the class (dare I say my favorite?) and have a fabulous teacher! I seem to pick up on signs very quick but am terrible at fingerspelling! I've gotten better at receiving using asl.ms, but my expressive is terrible!! xD

    My fingers always get all bunched up and I seem to add random "i"s and "a"s into my words. If i do manage to get the word out, its very choppy, and not fluent at all. I don't have many opportunities to practice fingerspelling (or ASL at all for that matter) as I don't know that many people who also know it :P

    Anyway, Thanks for any input anyone can give! I'm absolutely loving ASL and am finding the little I know of deaf culture very interesting!
     
  2. Bottesini

    Bottesini Old Deaf Ranter Premium Member

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    Practice and watch yourself in a mirror . :)
     
  3. justinram11

    justinram11 New Member

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    Thank you! :ty:
     
  4. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    For expressive practice:

    Slow down. Perfect your production skills first. With practice, the speed will pick up.

    Don't think or say each letter as you spell.

    Practice letter combinations until they become automatic, like in keyboarding. Combinations such as th, sh, er, ei, ie, the, an, en, tion, ch, wh, bl, br, st, sl, pl, etc.

    Spell everything you see--street signs, labels, menus, vocabulary lists from your other school subjects, sports teams' names and names of players, your friends names when they pop up on caller ID, song lyrics, etc.

    Enjoy! :)
     
  5. Jiro

    Jiro If You Know What I Mean Premium Member

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    oooo that's a good tip for me! :ty:
     
  6. ASLGAL

    ASLGAL New Member

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    you explain things so well, Reba :)
    too many students get stuck trying to do letter/think/letter/think/letter and lose their flow
     
  7. violet

    violet New Member

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    Agreed.. I did this in my first few yrs of learning asl.. I can say I've now got it down pretty well :)
     
  8. CSign

    CSign New Member

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    One tip I learned (similar to what Reba said) was to fingerspell in syllables. For example, monkey... Mon-key. A slight pause between the two. I'm not articulating it as clearly as I should, but hopefully that makes sense.
     
  9. Dee.

    Dee. New Member

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    I am new here and a new student too in ASL. Thank you all for your invaluable inputs. This will help me alot.
     
  10. AquaBlue

    AquaBlue Active Member

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    Right on the money. Ditto.

    Also: This link will keep your fingers busy. :)

    __
     
  11. authentic

    authentic Well-Known Member

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    I challenge you...

    can you sign ASL with face expression like him?

    [yt]cIIUqKmuMd4[/yt]
    :hmm:
     
  12. justinram11

    justinram11 New Member

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    Thank you guys! So basically what I'm getting is that practice is key, which doesn't surprise me :D

    I think my main problem is I'm not willing to slow down :P If I go at a slower speed it seems to flow MUCH more smoothly, but usually when I'm trying to sign in class the thought of going "slow" goes out the window and I just end up with my hands tied in a knot :lol: Thank you guys again! Other than fingerspelling, I'm loving the language!!!
     
  13. justinram11

    justinram11 New Member

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    Sorry to double post, but is there some practice for "i" other then just keep raising it and lowering it? That seems to be my hardest letter and I'm not sure if it's cause I play the violin or not. xD

    My pinky just doesn't seem to want to cooperate with me, I have an insanely hard time trying to make it go up, and when I do all the muscles by my pinky feel as though they are about to snap xD (a little exaggerated of course :D ).

    Thanks guys!

    Also, how long should I expect before becoming fluent w/ fingerspelling? I don't expect a week turnaround, but also hope it doesn't take like 10 years :P
     
  14. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    Do have an actual physical problem with your pinky finger? Does it cramp? Is it same for both left and right hands? What about when you form "j" and "y"? Is it just when you spell, or when you form signs that also use the "i" shape?
     
  15. justinram11

    justinram11 New Member

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    I guess you could describe it as a cramping sensation xD and no, I don't have any physical problems that I'm aware of, and my Y and J seem normal. My "w" also seems to put some strain on it too.

    It does only seem to occur when fingerspelling too, like at the moment I can life up my pinky finger no problem, but if I try to incorporate it into a word, it just seems to cramp up xD
    If I do a sign that uses the I shape I also do not have a problem, only when spelling. Like I think "alcohol" uses pointer and pinky finger out on both hands on top of each other (not sure if thats right not not, our tearcher wouldn't teach us the sign and I oversaw someone in ASL 2 using it).

    It also seems that if I can "zone out" my fingerspelling gets much better, but anytime I try to actually think of the word that I'm trying to spell, it turns into a mess. I guess its just something I will have to practice at.

    Thanks for the reply!!
     
  16. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    :hmm: Interesting. Do you have any carpal tunnel or repetitive motion injuries?

    Yes, that's the sign. You can see the sign at
    Sign for ALCOHOL | ASL Sign Language Video Dictionary

    Click on the third choice for that sign.
     
  17. justinram11

    justinram11 New Member

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    Lol, not that I'm aware of, but now I'm beginning to think that I just need to stretch my hand muscles a little bit xD After about a half hour of practicing, my fingers have loosened up and seem to be fingerspelling now without the cramping. Thanks for all the help! It's very much appreciated! I think I'm just going to have to get over the fact that it takes time, and I'm not going to immediately become good at it!

    Thanks again!
     
  18. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    One tip is, make sure your hands are warmed up before starting. Run warm water over them if they're cold, and/or flex them and shake them out a bit before starting. :)

    Lots of practice is good, yes, but not all at one time. Take breaks. :)
     
  19. justinram11

    justinram11 New Member

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    One more question if I could. :) I understand in ASL that you always put the "wh" word at the end, so like "Where are you going?" would be "You going where?". My question is, can you do this with non-question sentences?

    Such as:
    "I know very little sign language"
    "Sign language I know very little"

    Would the second be more correct than the first? or would they both be acceptable?

    :ty:!!!!!
     
  20. violet

    violet New Member

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    okay..this was about fingerspelling not signs and facial expressions :P
    i can try will i be as amazing as him..probably not :P
     

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