Has anyone learnt ASL/ BSL/ Makaton?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - A Beautiful converted Barn

i learnt BSL as part of my degree. (necessity for the course but course was picked for opportunity to learn BSL!) Tbh – i havent really used it much since leaving uni – i have deaf friends that i hook up with once in a blue moon and i use it then but im not really involved in the deaf world so dont get to use it much anymore.

if you plan on imersing yourself in the deaf culture and going to deaf clubs and meets then you will use it pretty often but if your not then i think you’ll be pretty dissapointed in how often you get to use it.

saying that – i dont think its a waste getting level 1 – it sets you up with the BSL structure and gives you enough vocab to have basic convos with someone. i just maybe wouldnt look at doing it any further than level 1 if it is just a hobby.xx

Post # 3
Member
3722 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I learned ASL when I went to grad school (I got a masters in deaf education.  I knew basically nothing before starting the grad program. 

I agree with PP. If you are planning to involve yourself with the deaf community, you will use it. But if not, it will rarely get used. Once I stopped teaching in a school for the deaf, I use my signing skills maybe twice a year. 

Post # 4
Member
143 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I learned ASL when I met my DH, his parents are both deaf. I use it a lot for the reason, although less now that we moved away. I’m starting to lose the knowledge, it doesn’t get used enough. Keep it fresh!!

Post # 5
Member
389 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014 - Norton Country Club

I learned some Signed English as a kid with some deaf friends in the neighborhood, then took ASL as an elective in college.  My only practice as an adult outside of self-required practice came from a sweet, patient woman who worked in my last office.  I decided that I wanted more than a passing “Hello” between us and asked if she’d be willing to deal with my slow ASL- she said she wanted me to be better at signing because she liked my sense of humor.  I decided to take some night classes and each workday became a practice session. 

Because of the friendship I developed with her,  I have noticed that people who sign can sometimes overstep social boundaries just because of their knowledge. Just seeing someone signing is not always an invitation for you to step into their conversations.  In some deaf circles, there is no tolerance for “learners”… if you really want to practice, you may have to seek out groups that are willing (and patient enough) to assist!  Don’t let that deter you though, there are plenty of groups who appreciate that you are trying, especially if you have a personal connection (child/parent/friend) in the deaf community. 

On a personal note, it’s handy to have as a general skill- my sister, mother, and I often sign to each other across stores/parks, etc for ease.  I’ve also found that the more expressive you are in general, the better you tend to get your point across.  Remember that signing isn’t just about your hands- your facial expressions and body positioning can hugely affect you message. 

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