Post # 1
I am considering learning British Sign Language. Not for any particular reason other than a personal challenge and the potential to be able to assist those that are deaf or hard of hearing at my place of work.
Has anyone here learnt any form of sign language as a hobby rather than a necessity? Have you been able to use it much?
I am currently learning Makaton (developed to help hearing babies, children and adult with communication ) to help my daughters communication and I have really enjoyed it to the point of considering learning properly, getting a qualification and tutoring others in the future.
My husband thinks im nuts for wanting to go back to college to learn something he considers a waste of time. Its not a waste of time, is it?
Post # 2
- 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
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
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
- 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.
Post # 6
Thanks all. Im going to enquire about the foundation course at my local college which runs evening classes and decide from there. Its something I really want to learn.
I work in a hotel and we often get deaf guests staying with us. Just last week we had 4 seperate reservations in one night and it was challenging getting them to sign all their regestration paperwork and xplain everything i had to explain.
I know some basic signs which i did use and they all really apreciated it.