Friday, November 23, 2007

The Language of Play - Expanding Our World

While searching websites this morning, I noticed this site that announced that Signing Times!, a popular, award-winning series, is available on PBS stations throughout the country. This paragraph in particular resonated with me:
While Signing Time! is a blessing to all parents interested in the benefits of teaching sign language to their children, Rachel Coleman, co-creator of the series and mother of Leah (who is deaf), confesses a more personal goal. " One in 1000 babies are born deaf. I have no control over that. But, I can do my best to share my daughter's language with you and your children. I can't tell you how many times we've been at the park and other children notice she is signing and they don't know what to do. My hope is that the communication barrier between the deaf and hearing will dissolve; that every one will know a little ASL, just as most people know a little Spanish. And when your child sees my child at the park, there would be no awkwardness... just three signs... 'Hi ~ friend ~ play'...that is all it would take to change her world."

If you are fortunate to have the PBS program in your viewing area, watch it with your own children. (It is not televised in the Boston area. I'll have to look into that.) If not, here are a few sites that will help you learn some basic signs online:

ASL Browser - Quicktime videos of numerous signs, searchable by letter, click here for the sign for "friend"
Animated GIFS - multiple signs, click here for the sign for "play"

Now you know how to include a child who signs at the playground. And sit back and enjoy the language of play and fun in action!

Interested in learning more about American Sign Language? click here.

4 comments:

Jackie said...

I have two students who are deaf in one of my classes. Of course there is an interpreter in the room, but I'm trying to learn some ASL too, so thanks for the links!

Karen Janowski said...

Jackie,
Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if the links helped you. Your willingness to learn some appropriate signs will speak volumes to your students (no pun intended). ASL is a beautiful language, it is the language that my kids and I studied when I homeschooled them for two years when they were in middle school.
Have fun with it - I find the videos and animated gifs work much better than trying to learn from a book.

Karen said...

You can also read more about Rachel Coleman here:
http://www.handsandvoices.org/articles/fam_perspectives/V8-3_colmans.htm

Anonymous said...

My brother and his family are moving to Russia so I have decided to learn Russian, the problem is I have no idea where to start! Russian is not as widely spoke as languages such as French and German so I am having trouble locating a tutor. So I have decided that I am going to do it myself online. Does anyone have any experience of learning language online? Is it easy when there’s no one to speak to? Also what are the prices like?