Starting intensive BSL classes today

AJWSmith

New Member
This evening my wife and I begin an intensive BSL course. Each class is 3 hours long and there are two classes a week, plus goodness knows how many hours of homework practice.

I'm lucky that my hearing wife wants to do this with me so we can practice BSL together. We can fingerspell and we already know some signs, but I'm expecting to get flooded with loads of new signs and I'm hoping my brain is up to it. I've tried many times to learn a new language and have never succeeded to become fluent in a single one.

Wish us luck!
 

Beach girl

Active Member
Good luck! Be patient with yourself; you can expect steady progress as you work at it. I'll be looking forward to hearing how it goes for you.
 

Jazzberry

Member
Good luck AJW! I hope you keep us posted. I understand what your concerns about learning a new language -- I'm finding it challenging to learn ASL also.

Maybe you can ask your BSL teacher for some suggestions? If they have taught for awhile, they probably have some ideas on what works and what doesn't.

I hope you keep us posted as to how you like it.
 

sharpee

New Member
Good luck I started my BSL 1 in September, 7 weeks in, at 1st it is literally all fingers and thumbs, but getting well enough to be able to converse with our other students, I am one of two that are deaf the others are hearing. It is practice and don't rush the signs as that confuses speed comes later. Good tip I got from a deaf friend who signs really well, "think of pictures not words"
 

AJWSmith

New Member
First lesson went OK. Having learned a few BSL signs already, my wife & I had a head start. But it's nice having feedback from our Deaf tutor on how good or bad my signs are as looking at a YouTube clip doesn't give you that. I got confused when we were having a tour of the building and the tutor was explaining about the ladies toilet - turns out that the sign for toilet and woman are quite similar.
 

Jazzberry

Member
That's great though
that you and your wife were able to understand that in the first class! :)

Did you get a chance to sign or talk with the other students?
 
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Journey

New Member
First lesson went OK. Having learned a few BSL signs already, my wife & I had a head start. But it's nice having feedback from our Deaf tutor on how good or bad my signs are as looking at a YouTube clip doesn't give you that. I got confused when we were having a tour of the building and the tutor was explaining about the ladies toilet - turns out that the sign for toilet and woman are quite similar.

Uh oh, better be sure you don't get those two signs mixed up. "Where is the toilet?" will get you a short helpful response; "Where is the woman?" could get you a questioning look and long lecture from your wife. :giggle:

Good luck and have fun with your classes.
 

AJWSmith

New Member
That's great though
that you and your wife were able to understand that in the first class! :)

Did you get a chance to sign or talk with the other students?

There are five of us, but I'm the only deaf person apart from the BSL tutor. We chatted briefly in the breaks/brief rest periods. From next week we're all going to go voice-off while in the building so it'll be interesting to see how much we're able to communicate. Two of the other students are from other countries and English is not their first language. And there's one person who knows some ASL but no BSL.
 

rebeccalj

New Member
Uh oh, better be sure you don't get those two signs mixed up. "Where is the toilet?" will get you a short helpful response; "Where is the woman?" could get you a questioning look and long lecture from your wife. :giggle:

Good luck and have fun with your classes.

Why are so close together signs I would ask. LOL

Too easy to mistake the two. Someone wasn't thinking when come up with either sign. :giggle:
 

rebeccalj

New Member
There are five of us, but I'm the only deaf person apart from the BSL tutor. We chatted briefly in the breaks/brief rest periods. From next week we're all going to go voice-off while in the building so it'll be interesting to see how much we're able to communicate. Two of the other students are from other countries and English is not their first language. And there's one person who knows some ASL but no BSL.

I grew up, as you probably know, with ASL but then I was oral mainstreamed. Strange how all these years later certain signs feel *natural* to me. I mention in other thread I start watching Lee BSL songs because it was at least *my* music in a way. Then I start to have his playlist on all day at work and begin to get confused by certain signs he was doing so switch back to ASL playlist.

How do you think you will manage /voice. I do not think you are just yet so curious.
 

Jazzberry

Member
There are five of us, but I'm the only deaf person apart from the BSL tutor. We chatted briefly in the breaks/brief rest periods. From next week we're all going to go voice-off while in the building so it'll be interesting to see how much we're able to communicate. Two of the other students are from other countries and English is not their first language. And there's one person who knows some ASL but no BSL.

Its nice that your class is small, you and your wife should get plenty of attention!

I've only gone to two ASL meetups, and so far I've met about 8 other people of which only 1 is deaf. Their stories are interesting:

* The deaf person is hoping to become a teacher of the deaf.
* One of the others mother was a teacher of the deaf and she had learned ASL from her. She enjoys it so goes to the meetups so she won't forget how to sign.
* One has a deaf sister and they both know the sign language used in the Dominican Republic and want to learn the one used in this country.
* Another one enjoys learning foreign languages and knows a handful including Mandarin! He just met someone who knows ASL recently, so decided to pick up ASL also. It seemed that he had spent very little time learning ASL so far, but he had almost as much vocabulary as everyone else in the group. He appears to just be able to pick up languages very quickly. I'm trying hard not to be jealous! :)

I haven't gotten the other people's story yet, but I will! So far it seems like a good crowd. I'm a little disappointed that I haven't met more d/hh people who want to learn sign -- but at least so far I haven't met anyone who has a deaf fetish! :D (I'm still hoping that I will meet some of the NYC people who post at AD at the NYC ASL meetups. )

I hope the same will be true for your class! :)
 

AJWSmith

New Member
I grew up, as you probably know, with ASL but then I was oral mainstreamed. Strange how all these years later certain signs feel *natural* to me. I mention in other thread I start watching Lee BSL songs because it was at least *my* music in a way. Then I start to have his playlist on all day at work and begin to get confused by certain signs he was doing so switch back to ASL playlist.

How do you think you will manage /voice. I do not think you are just yet so curious.

I think we'll struggle to stay voice off in break times/rest periods as we know so little BSL and it's so much easier to communicate orally. It will get easier as we learn more BSL.
 

AJWSmith

New Member
Its nice that your class is small, you and your wife should get plenty of attention!

I've only gone to two ASL meetups, and so far I've met about 8 other people of which only 1 is deaf. Their stories are interesting:

* The deaf person is hoping to become a teacher of the deaf.
* One of the others mother was a teacher of the deaf and she had learned ASL from her. She enjoys it so goes to the meetups so she won't forget how to sign.
* One has a deaf sister and they both know the sign language used in the Dominican Republic and want to learn the one used in this country.
* Another one enjoys learning foreign languages and knows a handful including Mandarin! He just met someone who knows ASL recently, so decided to pick up ASL also. It seemed that he had spent very little time learning ASL so far, but he had almost as much vocabulary as everyone else in the group. He appears to just be able to pick up languages very quickly. I'm trying hard not to be jealous! :)

I haven't gotten the other people's story yet, but I will! So far it seems like a good crowd. I'm a little disappointed that I haven't met more d/hh people who want to learn sign -- but at least so far I haven't met anyone who has a deaf fetish! :D (I'm still hoping that I will meet some of the NYC people who post at AD at the NYC ASL meetups. )

I hope the same will be true for your class! :)

That's an interesting group. Like you I'm jealous of people who can pick up languages easily. It's a useful talent to have. I hope you get to meet other d/hh people learning ASL soon.

What I like about learning sign language is that I only have to concentrate on the visual stuff. In the past, I've learned languages orally and there are always some sounds that I can't hear. What I have to do is memorise the mouth and throat shapes and trust that I'm making the correct sound. For example I can't hear the difference between "ch" and "sh". But I'm told that the "ch" is formed in the back of the mouth while "sh" is formed at the front. Sign language is easier (not easy!) because I only need my eyes. For example, I have to concentrate on whether he uses one/two or all fingers and the direction they're moving 3-dimensionally.
 

mbrek

Active Member
Premium Member
Maybe the reason I've been picking up ASL so quickly is because it's visual. I never thought of that! I've never been one who picks up languages quickly, but I am an artist - so perhaps ASL is getting in via that route. Whoopee!!!
 
First lesson went OK. Having learned a few BSL signs already, my wife & I had a head start. But it's nice having feedback from our Deaf tutor on how good or bad my signs are as looking at a YouTube clip doesn't give you that. I got confused when we were having a tour of the building and the tutor was explaining about the ladies toilet - turns out that the sign for toilet and woman are quite similar.

Lol, it would be funny if you sign wrong one to deaf people! I assume you use toilet sign on side of your chest? Can easily get confused two, toilet only use middle finger on side of chest and woman all fingers.
 
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