ASL Students: Be honest, your reason???

Reason for wanting to learn ASL

  • My friends are doing it, I want to do it too!

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • Watching others sign is so cool!

    Votes: 10 15.6%
  • Sounds more fun than learning Spanish or French

    Votes: 8 12.5%
  • To be able to communicate with a deaf person

    Votes: 32 50.0%
  • Other - will explain below

    Votes: 47 73.4%

  • Total voters
    64
  • Poll closed .

green427

Active Member
Be honest. Why do you want to learn ASL?

Because it is a cool fad these days?

Or because it is just another "foreign language" option that sounds more fun than Spanish, French, etc?

Or you really want to get to know that deaf person you have your eyes on?
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
Because I have progressive hearing loss (started in my mid-30's) and now have the time & $$ to take the classes. My daughter is taking the class with me. In addition to learning it to communicate with me, she expects to find it handy in her career choice (medicine). Her friend is taking the classes with us. She thinks it will come in handy for her career choise too (social work, I think). They're both seniors in H.S.

We're taking our classes as DSD and are now in Step 3.
 

green427

Active Member
Because I have progressive hearing loss (started in my mid-30's) and now have the time & $$ to take the classes. My daughter is taking the class with me. In addition to learning it to communicate with me, she expects to find it handy in her career choice (medicine). Her friend is taking the classes with us. She thinks it will come in handy for her career choise too (social work, I think). They're both seniors in H.S.

We're taking our classes as DSD and are now in Step 3.

Cool. I work about 4 miles from DSD, so if you are in the area during lunch hour, we can meet and chat in ASL. PM me if you are up to it.
 

sparrow2

Member
I had a deaf friend who introduced me to signing. I thought it was a beautiful language that opened the door for me to communicate with everyone.
 

Pythias

Member
I'm taking ASL classes for many reasons:

1. I've been HOH since early childhood, but raised orally. Listening and sometimes speaking is quite an effort, so I avoid situations with friends and family that aren't 1 on 1. I thought making Deaf friends and using ASL might be a nice change. I must say that, despite my not being quite fluent, I can sit in a room full of people I"m communicating with for hours - voice off & HA off - and not be exhausted or frustrated or lost: Exactly what I was looking for.

2. Sometimes friends, co-workers, people I volunteer with, some waiter at a restaurant (no joke), etc come get me to help in a situation if there is a Deaf person having trouble communicating (I probably sign, right? I mean, I wear hearing aids :-P). Usually, all the person wants is a piece of paper to write on (obvious?), but still, only having the ability to fingerspell, I have felt stupid in that sort of situation the few times it has happened. Knowing ASL would be nice for next time.

3. Having poked around (mostly due to my Oral-HOH/what-else-is-out-there curiosity), I've seen that ASL is a beautiful language and Deaf Culture goes right along with it. It's interesting and I'd like to learn more for that reason, too!

4. I intend on having children in the next few years, and children who are raised multi-lingually store language in a different way than people who learn only one in their early years, so I would like to have all of my kids learn ASL from birth. For that, I need to learn it first :)

5. Children can sign before they can speak, so it will afford our family more effective communication early on.

6. My husband and I are looking into adopting, and since we will have a bilingual household, anyway, there is definitely the possibility of adopting a Deaf child.

Hmm... I think there are more good reasons that I've thought of, but those are the ones that popped into mind right now.
 
Other:

Well, I was 12, and I was watching TV. Saddle Club Sundays on Discovery Kids had just ended, so I started channel surfing. I turned it to PBS, thinking nothing would be on (because that timeslot had previously been showing something like Sewing with Nancy). An episode of Signing Time was on, and I watched it. Now, I didn't want to learn ASL because of Signing Time, it's just that Signing Time was really my first introduction to any aspect of the language (in this case, the vocabulary aspect) on a somewhat deep level. I had been interested in ASL before ST.

My high school had an ASL class, so I signed up for it for 9th grade. Sadly, I switched schools before I could take the third level. I managed to keep what I already knew fresh in my mind, though, even without interacting with ASL users.

I've always wanted to be a teacher (except for that brief stint when I wanted to be a pediatric endocrinologist until I realized it would take, like, 12-13 years of school). I started out in elementary school, wanting to be an elementary school teacher. Then I briefly wanted to be a special education teacher. Finally, I realized I really wanted to go into Deaf ed.

Now, I'm an undergraduate college student majoring in Deaf ed. I'm currently taking ASL 2 for a second time (first time was in HS, the college doesn't offer an opportunity to test out). I've signed up for the second-year residential practicum/internship thing my college offers, so I should be spending next year at ISD. :)

So I guess you could say that my reasons have more or less evolved as I've become older and more mature.
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
Since there seems to be a number of people who could use it, is there a way to add a "I'm learning ASL because I'm Hoh/deaf" option?
 

kellycat

New Member
I am a total language nerd. I started learning signs on my own as a kid. I studied Spanish...and Russian...and French in college, and ASL when I could take classes at local tech schools.

When I moved to my current job, teaching Spanish, the school offers ASL in my world language department. Two of the three ASL teachers are deaf. So I was motivated to be fluent enough to actually converse with them. (The only member of the department who has done that, btw). At faculty meetings I always watched the interpreters, then learned that one of them taught at the university in the summer, so I sneaked into his class. Well, he knew, but the university didn't, so I could do it for free!

Now I have met several other Deaf people that I hang out with, and am friends with some interpreters, and have even considered getting into an ITP if I can find one that will fit into my life (summers maybe?)
 

green427

Active Member
Since there seems to be a number of people who could use it, is there a way to add a "I'm learning ASL because I'm Hoh/deaf" option?

I was thinking about that after I posted the question. I really set this up for the hearing students that keep popping up on this site asking the same questions.

Looks like I cannot edit the poll options now....
 

metalangel

Active Member
It's all bad/selfish reasons unless you can explain otherwise?

I went to a school with a big HoH/Deaf department so I was around HoH/Deaf people and interpreters throughout high school. I'd like to think that the ones I knew in my classes (whatever your personal thoughts on mainstreaming) helped the rest of us see that deafness and indeed any other 'disability' actually wasn't, to social and/or scholastic achievement.

I'm now ten years since leaving university, unfulfilled in my career and the interest/curiosity from those days (I can't help that) made me wonder if I could maybe do something more useful for myself and other people by learning ASL and putting it to good use. I've also thought about teaching, perhaps in future. Being overseas is my big obstacle to all of this.

That's the honest answer. I don't have any intention of gawking at/'white knighting' the Deaf community, but I can understand why you would be wary of people doing that or indeed any of the other poll options.
 

KristinaB

Emotional Mess
Premium Member
Was never given the opportunity to learn while growing up to be prepared for later in life, so I am working on it now that I really need it. Being total deaf and relying on reading lips is not an easy life.
 

gummybearthief

New Member
honestly, im doing it because i have this unquenchable desire to be able to talk to everyone plus i think its really cool!!! I love how universal it is!! :) sadly im not very good cause im just learning but ill get there!!
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
Wirelessly posted (Blackberry Bold )

gummybearthief said:
honestly, im doing it because i have this unquenchable desire to be able to talk to everyone plus i think its really cool!!! I love how universal it is!! :) sadly im not very good cause im just learning but ill get there!!

I'm just curious what you mean by "how universal it is" ?



Could you explain/clarify what you mean by that?
 
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joycem137

New Member
When I started learning ASL, it was because I wanted to learn more languages to communicate with more people, and ASL sounded more enjoyable than trying to learn Spanish again.

In the course of my study, however, I discovered that I have CAPD and now am learning for my own benefit, so that I can communicate with my friends in environments where I can't understand speech well.
 

Pythias

Member
Another big reason for me was that when going to a conference or something where there are people speaking, I can hear the sound but not well enough to make out the words from my seat. Sometimes there is an interpreter for a deaf person, but, while I could see the signs, I didn't understand their meanings. As HOH, I'm usually the one sitting there with no idea what's going on. Now, I can use what I can of both!
 

newsbot

New Member
I'm considering taking ASL classes soon. My hearing is normal. Didn't know SL is currently considered cool, so that wouldn't have any bearing on it.

In fact, I've considered it more than once in the past few years. I dated a woman years ago who was born profoundly deaf and although she could read lips extremely well and we were together only about 6 months, the idea has stayed with me.

Are there reasons why I shouldn't learn ASL?

Edit: If I were deaf and knew ASL, I imagine I would feel a bit contemptuous of hearing people learning it. (How I really would feel I have no way of knowing.) SL is the deaf community's territory, and here come a bunch of amateurs who don't even need to know it.
 
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JanatheShort

New Member
I, like Kellycat, am a total language nerd! I speak Spanish, I'm learning Arabic, and now I'd like to learn ASL.

Why do I love languages so much? Because when I know the language that a community of people speak, I can talk to all the members of the community! I love being able to talk to people who other people can't easily talk to. I love learning about cultures that other people can't/don't know about. For the other languages, in all honesty, I also love the food. :)

I have been to Guatemala, and knowing even crappy Spanish let me meet people there, connect with them, and make friends that I kept even after coming back to Indiana. Knowing Arabic, even though my Arabic that is beyond sucky, shows people that I at least value their culture enough to be interested and try to learn. And ASL? Well, I don't know how that will help me or help others... but I didn't know that learning Spanish or Arabic would help either, until wayyyyy after I started learning! :)
 
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