The transformation was unbelievable as you will see when you watch Val’s YouTube video! She found that the ‘groups who used ASL were more focused, relaxed, comfortable and active in the class from beginning to end’. Val also stated that the ASL group ‘learned faster and took advantage of that by doing three times more games or activities in the first class’.
The difference I saw in the groups was that the ASL group gained self-confidence, even the shyest little girl! I have adapted what Val terms an ‘Instant Flashcard’ on students’ hands. Can you imagine that your students would always have their ‘flashcards’ with them?
The lesson that Val uses in the YouTube video is from Genki English, Vegetables Theme, which is also a great tool for teaching ESL! Genki’s creator, Richard, calls ASL the ‘Magic Bullet’!
Val taught herself the signs but, hopefully, my soon-to-be released book American Sign Language as a Bridge to English, will be a huge help for other teachers learning ASL. There are four parameters to every sign and, sometimes, two signs might vary only by one of the parameters, such as LIKE and WHITE. The Palm Orientation, Location, and Movement are exactly the same and the Handshape is the only difference. LIKE uses the ‘8-hand’ and WHITE uses the ‘5-hand’. My book teaches signs using the handshapes which helps correct simple mistakes in signing.