Handshape Dictionary

brotheryellow

New Member
It is like learning skateboarding.:dance: Its a better way to learn sign language. You learn the shapes, then the meanings. #musclememory I did short review of the book. I like how the categories are based on handshapes instead of themes, like family or school.:laugh2:
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
It is like learning skateboarding.:dance: Its a better way to learn sign language. You learn the shapes, then the meanings. #musclememory I did short review of the book. I like how the categories are based on handshapes instead of themes, like family or school.:laugh2:
Remembering by doing it first, then learning the specific meaning of that handshape is easier for me. NOT the meaning then trying to remember the handshape form. Thats too English speaking and hearing centered thinking. Sign Language is different than spoken languages, so needs new paradigm for learning methods.. this is a great book for visual language learning.
It's important to note that handshapes are not signs, and don't actually have meaning until they are incorporated into signs...
 

sphenix

New Member
Remembering by doing it first, then learning the specific meaning of that handshape is easier for me. NOT the meaning then trying to remember the handshape form. Thats too English speaking and hearing centered thinking. Sign Language is different than spoken languages, so needs new paradigm for learning methods.. this is a great book for visual language learning.
I was raised and educated bilingually right at the very start. I was put in an early intervention program at the age of 18 months to start reading as much as possible. My mother made index cards where the English words were written on and had matching 2-D photos of the signs and matching photos. For instance she wrote "chair" in English, put a 2-D picture of the "chair" sign, and pasted a picture of a chair itself from some random magazine all on the index card itself. I had an index card for every vocabulary word I needed to learn--red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, chair, bed, drink, eat, door, car, Mommy, Daddy, dog, cat, milk, food, cereal, the list goes on and on.

My mother used to play a game with me where she would scramble the list of index cards and ask me to look around the house and find the item that would match the index card she held up. If she held up the "chair" index card (which had the English word, the sign, and the picture), I would walk up to the nearest chair I saw in the house and point at it. If she held up the "dog" index card, I would visually link it to our family dog Lady.

The point of all this? It was to teach me how to connect English words with their meanings in my head through the use of signs and pictures, to help me understand that each English word had a meaning, to show me that I could communicate this meaning through signs and eventually speech. When I was placed in speech therapy at the age of 3, my family members lessened sign and put more of an emphasis on lip-reading/speech.

My mother's strategy still paid off big time as it helped me gain the skill to alternate between English and ASL with ease when I was in my late teen years. She kept a scrapbook of all the index cards all these years and I stumbled onto it one night when I was on a visit. The scrapbook set off a light bulb- I remembered all those lessons she had taught me as a toddler and a little girl, as young as 4 or 5 years old, and then applied to real life. If someone had a signed conversation with me, I could easily write down the English version of the conversation. If a person wrote a sentence down in English and I was asked to sign it out, I could do it in ASL.

Here's something you need to understand. It is not true that the instructors have the D/HH child understand the meaning then recall the hand-shape (i.e., "A" for the letter a, so on). American Sign Language is a completely different medium of communication compared to written English, yes, but it doesn't mean that you can't teach the D/deaf or hard of hearing child both languages at the same time, which is the best kind of education you could offer. It would go a long way toward reducing the level of frustration that often happens with reading comprehension and written composition for English. I have a 4.0 cumulative GPA at American River College not because I'm smart, but because I was given (and subsequently used) all of the tools I needed to work my way through the assigned reading materials, successfully complete the written assignments and ace the quizzes/exams. And I credit my mother for all of her hard work in ensuring that I had accessibility to those tools. Intelligence doesn't mean shit if you do not have or use the tools you need to ensure success.

Bilingual education is the key to success for the D/deaf and hard-of-hearing child as it empowers the child with tools to interact comfortably with both the D/deaf and Hearing worlds in academic, professional, personal and other aspects of life.
 
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