Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sign Language

My mom is a teacher and somehow seems to always get really great links sent to her about teaching. I'm always amazed at the links she passes on to me. Some of them I have stored away for use when the kids get older, because the sites that they are to are really neat and great learning resources, but the kids aren't always ready for them. Last week she sent me one to another Sign language site. I went out to The Deaf Resource Library and looked around. The main page is really just links to a bunch of other deaf resources on the web. For now I'm including a link to the Deaf Resource Library in my links section. I may be adding some of the same links that are already on the Deaf Resource Library to my links if I think that they are great though. There's a lot of new sites in there for me to explore and learn from.

One thing that would be great, even if it's something I have to buy, is an all encompassing dictionary. Yes, I want to know the bad signs, but what I really want is to stop trying to look up how to sign something and not be able to find the words that I want to use in my sign book, or online. I bought the smaller dictionary with only 4,500 words in it when we got one. There was another dictionary that had 8,000 words in it. However, I am still amazed at how many words that I want to use that aren't in my dictionary. I have yet to find a site that has even as many words as are in my small dictionary. So some kind of Oxford ASL dictionary would be awesome.

As for sign language. In general I'm having a blast. I don't know why I seem to enjoy the simple act of communicating with my hands without having to speak. It's slower than talking. Maybe as my understanding increases it will be closer to the same, but I doubt it will ever be faster, there are too many words that need to be spelled out. I'm not sure how far I want to go with my sign language. The 4 classes that are offered at the community college are probably enough to be able to communicate with Bryan as he grows, but I also don't want to be limited. I want to be able to help him grow and learn as well as talk to him. I've thought about continuing on to learn sign language well enough to be an interpreter. This has come up during our sign class several times, because one of the women in my class wants to go that far. Steve told us that there is a 2 year program offered in Peoria. I'm interested in continuing, but at the same time I'm not. There would be more work opportunities, if I were an interpreter, I could go to speaker functions and learn a lot of new things while interpreting. However, I would have to spend a lot of time away from my family, and most likely Erin wouldn't be able to do it with me. So after I learned it, I wouldn't be able to use it with anyone immediately. Continuing to the interpreting level is something that definitely interests me, but I think it's more of a long term goal, than an immediate plan. For now, I'm content to learn through sign 4 at the local community college and be able communicate with deaf people. I need to find some deaf people in the area for me to meet and talk to more regularly though, or I won't be able to retain the information. A skill not used is forgotten, and my mind has more than enough other things to occupy it's time than to remember sign language if nobody is doing it with me. Erin is in the class now, and Aunt Shel and a friend of hers are thinking about taking it in January. I look forward to having my own little hearing group of friends that I can practice with.