ASL Students See Deaf Perspective

Bottesini

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[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7geXrtroEl4]ASL Teaching: On Behalf of the Deaf Community - YouTube[/ame]
 

Mudkipz

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Well crap. I want a Deaf instructor to teach me in the future as they are more proficient on behalf of the Deaf culture and ASL itself. I'm sure the majority of Deaf instructors have better methods of teaching ASL to students, if not, at least they can share stories about their lives in which can benefit us in becoming more "Deaf".
 

LoveBlue

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I'm taking my ASL classes at our state school for the deaf and my instructors so far have been deaf ones and I suspect they all are.
Don't worry about me taking any deaf instructor jobs...I doubt I'd ever be proficient enough. :o :)
 

KristinaB

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The class I had was with a hearing ASL certified instructor. I was not happy, but it was all that was available. I am trying to get into another class, but can't seem to find one that either I can afford, or is on a night that I do not have a prior commitment.
 

supportDeafEd

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What sense does this make?

If I were a linguist and held a position in which I influenced who to hire, here would be my choices, ranked (along with martial arts equivalent titles :lol:):

1. Deaf Instructor - Grand Master
2. CODA Instructor - Master
3. Hearing not culturally Deaf instructor - 8th degree black belt

And I would still want to know what method of teaching and lesson plan they would use.

CODAs are better options than regular hearing folk because CODAs (most) are culturally Deaf.
 

tigersharkdude

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Im taking a class currently, my instructor is deaf......highly recommended. He really gets the point across on things
 

Mudkipz

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A hearing instructor can be culturally Deaf, but will take longer as the hearing person is likely to be around Deaf culture at a later age.

@supperDeafEd, I agree. With a hearing instructor with some Deaf cultural aspects in his/her background to go in between 2 and 3. :)
 

Grayma

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I appreciate the emphasis on qualified ASL instructors, too. My deaf friend is teaching me, and I very much appreciate her time and hard work in getting information into my 50 year old brain- but she uses a lot of SEE in her signing. I am also going through the Lifeprint lessons, and she knows that and looks at them too, and sometimes she has never seen the sign he says to use. Almost every time Dr. Vicars provides an alternative sign that he says he does not recommend at all, that's the sign she uses.

I don't know if there are any native signers in my town.

Incidentally, one nontraditional way to earn some income I've wondered about would be for Deaf ASL users to contact local homeschool groups and offer sign classes for a small fee per student. If you only charged five dollars per student per class, you'd make 25 an hour.
 

kellycat

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As a National Board Certified language teacher I just speed to say one thing...being a "native" speaker of the language does not a good teacher make. I teach Spanish, which is my second language, and have been recognized as a good teacher. In fact, having learned the language at least partly in a classroom, along with my methods training, language acquisition study, and travel to several countries and regions whe the language is used, I may be even more able to teach about the language and the related cultures than someone who simply grew up speaking it. There is more that goes into planning good instruction than you might guess.

I am not suggesting that native speakers are all UNqualified. Just that being a native speaker with amazing language skills doesn't make you immediately a stellar instructor. Whoever teaches a language SHOULD have great language skills also...but if they know the language and know the culture, and can somehow connect students to that culture, and maybe the local community, and know how to teach effectively, isn't that what matters?
 

Frisky Feline

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I always told hearing people when they become interested in taking asl classes " take deaf teachers" because they have strong networking by asking deaf people to participate class and give some examples. Like my friend who is an asl teacher. She asked me to come to her class and sign to communicate to a deaf teacher so asl students can learn by watching us to sign. I prefer deaf teachers to teach as long as they have degrees in deaf studies and teaching skill.
 

kellycat

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That makes sense Frisky...as long as your last sentence is included.

I agree that it is likely a deaf teacher will have more connections and such. I just wanted to stick up for the fact that good teacher and good language skills are more important.

If a deaf person has that package of skills, then I'd say being a member of the deaf community & all the connections and experiences that go with it would tip the scales to making it a huge advantage to have a deaf teacher, rather than a hearing teacher with deaf friends who come in as guest speakers.
 

MissLady

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I would also add that Deaf teachers are great because they are usually well vetted and respected by the community at large. They can teach both the accepted standard sign and any local regional variant, as well as slang. And they're great to hang out with! Typically they are willing to go to Deaf events and are fairly student-friendly, which can be a plus for a lot of hearing people making the leap of learning Sign.

CODAs are also awesome. I am thinking specifically of a local CODA teacher who is the clearest signer I know. I have had hearing people who know no sign AT ALL say they understood most of what he was saying, just because of his clarity and his great facial expressions.

Deaf first, then CODA, then long-time terps or other professionals who are steeped in and well respected by the local Deaf community.
 
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