My first language love was American Sign Language (ASL). In elementary school, we had a session called D.E.A.R., Drop Everything And Read. It was 30 minutes of reading anything -- the student newspaper, a library book, or a book from the reading corner. My friend, Trina, and I used to check out ASL books and sign to each other.
Our teacher loved what we were doing but didn't want us to distract the others, so she let us sign to each other in the teacher room or while sitting on the floor next to her desk. We would pass the book back and forth, interpreting each other's sentences. We used a lot of finger spelling, which isn't true ASL, but we were proud of ourselves.
When I got to high school, I was disappointed that ASL wasn't offered for the language credit. I had hoped I was finally going to get real educational instruction. I still haven't taken a formal class, but if I had the time and money to take a community college class for fun, I would take ASL!
I'm so fascinated by the language and deaf culture. Have you ever watched ASL interpreters? They're beautiful! Interpreters are very animated. It's almost theatrical which is probably why I love it so much. ;-)
For two years I've been obsessed with watching Ally ASL. You can read a bit more about her story on this ABC World News clip, or you can see her YouTube channel. Here is one of my favorites:
That video led me to this one by CaptainValor on YouTube. I'm not a Miley Cyrus fan, and I know this song is cheesy, but just look at him. He's so stinkin' adorable.
Even though I won't be an old signing pro by the time I'm a mother, I still plan on using baby sign language. I believe it works and that it gives babies a stronger opportunity to communicate before having verbal skills. My favorite little signing baby? Fireese. Her mom started My Smart Hands after the success her family had. Fireese is a big kid now, but look at these videos from the My Smart Hands YouTube channel!
Do you know anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing? Do you know how to sign? All my mama friends, did you try baby sign language with your little ones?