Learning American Sign Language 2nd Edition
you are now beginning to learn American Sign Language (ASL), the sign language used by Deaf people in the United States and parts of Canada. It is important to note that you are learning American Sign Language because there are many sign languages throughout the world that differ in structure and vocabulary from one another. As you learn about ASL in this book, you will also be learning about the culture of Deaf people in the United States.
Learning American Sign Language is structured to help you learn American Sign Language by presenting the vocabulary and sentences needed to
communicate in common life situations. The sentence structures you need to learn are shown in context-that is, the grammar and vocabulary are tied together in some meaningful communicative situation. Notes discuss particular structures and rules that help you to master this language as well as give you cultural information for your interaction with Deaf American Sign Language users.
You should be aware that Learning American Sign Language Second Edition is not intended to be self-instructional. No eBook can be truly self-instructional when the objective is to learn a language that uses gesture and vision. However, the illustrations and exercises in this book will help you to recall and practice what your teacher has presented to you in _class or what you have seen on practice videos. This book serves a purpose for which textbooks are ideally suited: to be a resource and reference for your ongoing study when no model of American Sign Language is present to demonstrate the language to you.
As with any other language, the amount of exposure you have to the functional use of this language will help determine the speed at which you master it. Realistically, American Sign Language cannot be learned in a few weeks. The vocabulary and structures presented in this book require two semesters or three-quarters of study. However, your fluency will depend on the number of class hours and the amount of interaction with users of this language that you have during your time of the study.
The units of this book have a simple design. Each unit has a topic and is divided into subtopics. Each subtopic has a short dialogue that presents you with the structures and vocabulary of a real communicative situation. Key structures on which you should focus are selected from these dialogues and illustrated; some are discussed in short notes. Each unit has exercises that allow you to practice these useful structures. And finally, in each unit, there is a vocabulary list that is organized in categories for more effective study.
There are a few things you need to know to use this book. English translations of the American Sign Language sentences and vocabulary are given to help you understand the ranges of meaning for signs, but selecting exactly equivalent translations is very difficult, as often a change in the situational context will produce a different translation. Your teacher will be able to offer alternative translations that are equally suitable. Translations cannot be done on a “one word for one sign” basis. Sometimes a single sign requires several English words to translate it adequately or, conversely, a single English word requires several signs.
Signs are illustrated and labeled with capitalized English words. For example, the sign translated as “tree” is labeled TREE. This is a common way to label signs because there is no other widely accepted system for representing signs in print. The shortcoming of this system is that many signs do have multiple meanings or a wider range of meaning than the one- or two-word label assigned to it. Therefore, you should try to be aware of the full range of meaning of a sign rather than just that represented by the English label. In some places, signs that look exactly alike are assigned different labels because to assign them the same label would be confusing to you. Although using these English labels to represent signs may be a bit confusing at times, you should become accustomed to this convention and it will be less distracting.
As previously mentioned, sometimes a single sign requires a two- or three-word label. When this is done, the words are joined by hyphens as in NOT-YET. These two words joined by a hyphen represent just one sign. Hyphens are also used to join letters that represent finger spelling used by American Sign Language users. Finger spelling is a system of hand configurations that represent letters of the alphabet that are formed to spell out names or words. Therefore, J-0-H-N represents the finger spelled letters of the name “John.” Other symbols are explained as they appear in the units. Your teacher will also be able to explain what these symbols represent. You will become used to them after a while.
On the inside front and back covers, you will find the finger spelling and numbers system used in ASL. At the end of this eBook, you will find a vocabulary index that will help you to find illustrations of signs in the text. You will find English translations of the ASL dialogues at the end of the book as well.
American Sign Language is a rich and complex language. Recently declared as an official language and recognized by 48 states as a foreign language, more and more high school teachers across the country are teaching American Sign Language as an elective.
Learning American Sign Language: Levels I & II – Beginning &Intermediate is designed to prepare teachers to successfully interact with American Sign Language (ASL) users. Lessons are structured around language needed for common life situations, and examples are presented in the form of dialogues coupled with grammar and vocabulary instruction. Information is also included about the culture of deaf people in the United States.
Learners will discover that the eBook:
- Contains lessons designed around the conversational language needed for common life situations.
- Illustrates hundreds of sentences and vocabulary with over 2,000 high-quality colorized drawings that aid in study and memory.
- Contains over 100 grammar and cultural notes, 72 exercises, and charts of the American Manual Alphabet (Finger spelling) and ASL number system.
- Teaches the rules of ASL in a natural order that is predictable and compatible with the everyday language of native users of American Sign Language.
- Incorporates information about the cultural lives of Deaf people in the United States.
- Is supported by a video demonstrating all the conversations and important structures in the text.
Order the Video!
Video to Accompany American Sign Language, 2/e
American Sign Language students will find themselves captivated and entertained by this state-of-the-art Video that presents all 72 dialogues and each key structure from the text clearly and naturally. Four internationally known Deaf actors animate the dialogues bringing life to the illustrations in the text allowing students to preview and review instructional materials at home to enhance their classroom learning.