Learn ASL


Some of you may have noticed we’ve been in the midst of a pandemic for nearly 4 months now, and in that time I’ve picked up some skills/hobbies (I am a significantly better artist!) and lost some. I’ve not touched ASL significantly (maybe a minute or two here or there) since March, and just picked it up again yesterday. I’m on lesson 14, and am hoping to study 14 for the next three or four days while doing review work, working backwards, on the last 13 lessons. After that, I will aim for two new lessons a week, and reviewing two older lessons a day up through Lesson 20, when I will spend a week-plus doing review and practice before moving on. That will put me exactly 1/3 of the way through the lessons (at least the one I can see listed — don’t know if lessons beyond 60 are hiding out somewhere).


So, it turns out that I was happily incorrect about how far along I was in the lessons on-site; with a little “digging” (more just that the nav menus for the lessons aren’t wonderful), I am actually about 1/6th of the way through, with 60+ lessons available.  I’m currently on Lesson 13, and my husband is quizzing me nightly before bed on past lessons as I move forward.  The last two assessments I took I got a 100% and a 96%.  I’m excited to still be with this (since September!) and excited to see how I continue to improve and develop.


ASL practice has been slightly touch-and-go lately, and I’ve taken a break at Lesson 10 to do intensive review and practice the lessons I’ve learned so far before embarking on the next ten. I’m retaking the end-of-chapter assessments, and I’ve impressed with my retention rate for most of the signs, but their are clear deficits in certain areas (I remember next to nothing on the unit about the internet and technology, apparently).  Still, at Lesson Ten, I am a third of the way through the formal lessons available on the site, which mildly blows my mind.  I’m not practicing nearly as much as I want, but I haven’t given up, and I intend to buckle down and do some intense practice in my free time over winter break.


I’m a little later than planned at updating this, but I actually made the decision and commitment to embark on this goal. I made a resolution to start this summer, sometime between the end of summer program and the start of the regular school year.  I’ve been going strong for about 9 or so weeks now; I initially started at SignSchool.com, but exhausted their Beginner section in two weeks, and there is no bridge between the Beginner and Intermediate level.  I really enjoyed the concept of the site, but it seems geared at giving you just enough vocabulary to greet and have a very superficial back-and-forth (think, the kind of conversations you have with an office acquaintance while waiting for the elevator).  I’ve since moved on to LifePrint.com. which is an amazing site that I’m mildly obsessed with.  I’m on lesson 8 currently, still very slow in both receptive and expressive signing, but I’m retaining the signs, and at a slow speed, I’m starting to follow basic exchanges.  I’m proud of myself for sticking with this at this level of dedication for as long as I have.  This is not something I would have been able to sustain a few years ago.