How long? ASL question

Discussion in 'Sign Language & Deaf Education' started by Ruliya, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. Ruliya

    Ruliya New Member

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    How long does it take for the average hearing people to be fluent in ASL? People who are outrightly new to ASL or deaf culture.
     
  2. Jolie77

    Jolie77 New Member Premium Member

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    Actually, It varies. Some of them will be quick to learn and become fluent but some are slow to adapt to that. It just really depends on how motivated you are for wanting to learn ASL. There's no exact time frame for how a hearing person would become fluent in ASL. Some of them would be expert with in less than 5 years, but some takes longer than that. So bascially, again like I said, It varies.
     
  3. robbielyn

    robbielyn New Member

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    Others on here have stated at least 5-7 years. Some exceptionally language oriented people can learn it in 2-4 years. Fluency involving all the intricate nuances of the language surely takes a while when you consider we hearies think in words vs concepts. To switch to truly thinking in concepts isn't an easy task. Wish it was but it's not. Communicating and having a large vocabulary in your repetroir doesn't not in themselves denote fluency. There is so many things that happen at the same time in ASL that to incorporate them all flawlessly is indeed a beautiful, magical art to say the least. You have morphemes, directionality, use of space and time, nonmanual markers, classifiers. Using them all at the same time is truly awesome yet for the deaf it comes naturally. But for us hearies, it is truly a beautiful challenge to take up. Robbielyn
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2006
  4. gnarlydorkette

    gnarlydorkette New Member

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    I remembered reading somewhere that it said it will take a person to learn ASL as a second(third, fourth, whatever) language and become fluent in 12 years.

    And having a Deaf gfd/bfd won't speed it up.

    [Edited:
    Also people have different definitions of what makes you fluent in ASL-- for some, it is the simple ablility to carry on a coversation with a Deafie without asking them to repeat. For me, the moment you are fluent in ASL is when you sign in ASL grammar with facial expressions, ASL idioms, et cetera-- to an extent where people will assume the hearie to be a Deafie or CODA.]
     
  5. NFGTragedy

    NFGTragedy New Member

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    Thats what I think of when I hear fluent... It's one thing to speak(sign :)) a language but a total different thing to BE that language. In my opinion being fluent is the ablility to BE that language. I do hope you understand what I mean... I, for one, have been signing for just shy of 1 year and I feel that I could become fluent in about 15 years if I continue at this pace. That is if I ever even become fluent. Who knows what the next 15 years of my life hold.

    I would try and keep an eye on the present. If you ever want that to be a reality in the future then you must decide it now. Set your mind to it, start practicing, and begin studying. Learning another language isn't an overnight accomplishment.
     
  6. SxyPorkie

    SxyPorkie New Member

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    It all varies.... some has no apatitude to learn ASL...some will learn faster when they get involved with deafies... and some learn very slow...
     
  7. jillio

    jillio New Member

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    I've been associated with Deaf culture and using ASL for 20 years. I'm still learning.
     
  8. sexy foxy

    sexy foxy New Member

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    I grow up sign english until I went ACSD in colorado in 1997 and met one guy work there that very strong asl and I learn from him and I still learn many new ASL everyday.
     
  9. eliotj

    eliotj New Member

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    How long


    As someone else has posted, it depends on the person.

    Me, personally, I like language. I was quick to master Spanish (except in writing)

    In spanish I hear a word once and it sticks.
    In ASL, I'm taught a sign and once I used it, it sticks also.

    Then there's a definition of "fluent".

    By definition many people think that when I say I speak fluent spanish, that I know EVERY SINGLE word. Shoot....I don't even know EVERY single word in English!

    Fluency is the ability to communicate without stopping to mentally translate.
    So when someone approaches me locally (99% Mexican culture here) and begins speaking spanish, I don't stop to translate mentally. I just know what it means. If you walk up to me and say "how to do you say garbage in spanish" or some other word, I very quickly spout the answer.

    When my daughter says "dad, what's the sign for hippo?" I make the sign. I don't stop to think.
    Though the limited knowledge I have of ASL technically would qualify me, I don't have the vocabulary required to tell anyone I'm fluent in ASL. When I can carry on a conversation with the average Deaf person and not have to ask for translations, I'll feel "fluent".

    I believe it would be wrong for me to guess the number of signs in a Deaf person's vocabulary, just as it would be wrong to guess the number of words in my vocabulary so it is up to each one of us to truly determine when we're comfortable telling someone "I'm fluent..."
     
  10. eliotj

    eliotj New Member

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    Fluency


    True.

    One of the first steps in learning somethingis patience.

    I had to learn that when I set out to learn another language, I can never have the knowledge of someone that has been communicating in that language for their whole life.
    Though I may be able to commnicate very well, there are just some things you can't learn unless you're actually a part of the culture growing up.
     
  11. Duncan

    Duncan New Member

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    My ex gf can flunet in ASL but she needs to learn more and pratice but she is knowledge about deaf cutlure, history, ETC very well!
    I was dating with her for under a year. she can signer for 7 or 8 months she learned from me when I taught her a lot. That time, I was be wtih her.
    she was amazing and movtives a lot! and tried so hard to sign and communcate wtih me. I was really very impressive with her!
    I know she is still very interested in to learning more asl , deaf culture, etc for now.
    I havent hear from her for a long time.

    My guess If i was still be with her for 18 months or so, she was fluent in ASL very well and no problems! But Right now She is still ASL or forget some signers?

    Because she did not meet any deaf people on the island who are flunet in ASL. I know lot of deaf people on the island are not in ASL. But in Vancouver deaf people are flunet in ASL.

    But some hearing people who are very hungry to learn in ASL can learn so faster. I agree with jolie77's comment.
     
  12. jamielee

    jamielee New Member

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    Im actually working with students right now who require a lot of sign. I have practice lots to keep my skills good. Im still around these parts just very quietly.
     
  13. Calphool

    Calphool New Member

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    My wife started signing about a year ago. She's been very aggressive about how she learns (she studies every day, and takes classes each week). While she's by no means fluent, she can hold conversations with deaf folks fairly well. Her biggest weakness right now is probably vocabulary. So, sometimes she has to "sign around" a word she doesn't know yet (or resort to finger spelling from time to time). Her instructor (who's been deaf her whole life) says that she is doing very well, and within two or three years she'll be pretty fluent. She also took a brave step by signing the sermons and songs at our church every week. There aren't any deaf folks there yet, but it's a good way to keep herself challenged and learning. At some point, we may get a few deaf families. I think she'll be so happy if that happens. It will demonstrate that all her hard work has paid off.
     
  14. Duncan

    Duncan New Member

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    That is great! because your wife learned from deaf instructor , she does understand what is ASL.

    Does she get involed with deaf social and deaf community?
     
  15. Duncan

    Duncan New Member

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    Jamie,

    I want to tell you that you CANNOT teach asl to the students because you are NOT DEAF!!!! your signer isn't good enough and you still dont understand grammellic as face experess inculded ASL.

    Last time I was asking you for working together but you did not.. Oh well...

    The SEE or ESL are not langauges!

    The ASL is a true langauge.

    Therefore you need go to ASL classes to learn more.

    Last time you went to the ASL test. You wanted to know what your ASL level. Your ASL level was prep 1.

    If you or your staffs need to teach asl students you have to hire deaf instructors.
     
  16. jamielee

    jamielee New Member

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    I did not say I was teaching sign. Learn to read idiot.
     
  17. Casperman

    Casperman New Member

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    ASL.. It varies on people. if they are really motived sp? and willing learn and accept challanges etc.. i grew up in deaf family and deaf myself but i still learn more asl everyday... there is always more new signs etc everyday thur our kids....
     
  18. Calphool

    Calphool New Member

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    Yes, she has been working on broadening her deaf social network. She goes to a local deaf church on Wednesday afternoons and plays cards and dominoes with some deaf senior citizens. We've also met a few deaf families around town. We wanted desperately to go to the Iowa School For the Deaf Homecoming this weekend, but unfortunately we had family visiting from out of town.

    I decided to start taking classes at the same place my wife is taking them, and since I had been practicing with my wife, they decided I was past Level 1 already!

    One thing that I'm noticing is that there is a lot of variation in how different signers position their hands. You can get very familiar with how a particular signer signs, and then see someone else, and get a little confused. The other day our instructor was finger spelling "spill" and I kept thinking he was signing "skill", because he didn't turn his "P" down as far as my prior teacher (he had it almost level flat rather than down). Finally, I asked him to stop, and I signed "What skill are you talking about?" He looked surprised, and then signed "spill" (instead of finger spelling), instantly I realized what he was saying, but I felt embarrassed! :Oops:
     
  19. darkflare83

    darkflare83 New Member

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    i guess it depends on how determined you are
     
  20. Calphool

    Calphool New Member

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    I'm still just a beginning ASL learner, so I may be totally wrong, but it seems to me that the main ideas of ASL versus SEE are that ASL seems to be oriented around signing the most important topic first, and then describing that topic with additional signs (sort of like some Asian spoken languages). Also, facial expressions seem to be used to represent adverbs in English. (So instead of signing: "She shouts furiously", it seems like you'd sign something more like "shout <pointing to the person>" and you'd have an expression of anger on your face.) Also, the idea of signing a concept, and then "bookmarking it" in space for future reference seems unique to ASL (Unfortunately! I love doing that. It feels very weird signing the same things over and over again when someone doesn't understand the bookmarking concept.)

    One thing I'm still unclear on is how you convey the idea of past and future tense in true ASL. Is it implied by leaning forward and backward?
     

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