ASL Tip When Relocating

My family and I just finished a month of ASL classes together at a church over near Lancaster. Though I had taken classes before where I used to live decades ago, I would suggest anyone moving to another area to take ASL classes in their new community. There are many signs and idioms that evolve within closed communities that are different from other regions. I wish I had figured this out sooner. Many signs I had learned years ago aren’t used in the area I currently live.

My vocabulary and knowledge has been greatly enriched from these classes. Our teacher provided many of the origins of how the signs came to be. I was always interested in the study of etymology when I was younger. I took French and Spanish in school. Though I couldn’t hear or speak them well, I could read and write them decently. I noticed how many words were similar with spelling and meaning. This interest is flowing over into Sign Language, wanting to know the origin and history behind the signs.

I would recommend anyone relocating to sign up for classes and not only will you learn the idioms of the area, you will meet interesting people in your new community.


One comment

  1. It was great to see the variety of signing styles there. I’ve been meeting to many people here in Chicago, and of course spending a lot of time with the tutors. And the tutors and teachers here are really amazing. But now after two years here I’m starting to see all of the same people and I’ve gotten used to their signing styles. I can understand and have conversations easily, which is great, but the challenge is gone. That’s why going to a place with people from all over the country is so rewarding. The students are all from different educational backgrounds so all of their signing styles are different. Some people sign so fast that my eyes are just struggling to keep up! Plus there are regional signs that are really interesting. I enjoyed it immensely I can’t wait to go back for the whole semester. Four days was too short so I’m really looking forward to the full semester. And I’m excited to take classes, even though I don’t know what I’m going to take yet. But I’m going to do some research and see about that. I’m really excited for Gallaudet. I know this fall we have like five students going to Gallaudet! It’s great to see so many students taking advantage of that opportunity!

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