|Volume 1, Issue 33||
Hello ASL Heroes!
In a message dated 4/2/2006 12:52:00 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, John L. writes:
I have a question for you, can you give me a definition for "Classifier Predicates"?
A classifier (in ASL) is a sign that represents a general category of things, shapes, or sizes.
A predicate is the part of a sentence that modifies (says something about or describes) the topic of the sentence or some other noun or noun phrase in the sentence. (Valli & Lucas, 2000)
Example: JOHN HANDSOME
The topic is “John” the predicate is an “adjective predicate” describing John’s appearance.
Example: JOHN RUN
The topic is “John” the predicate is a “verb predicate” stating what John did or is doing.
Example: JOHN BED
The topic is “John” the predicate is a “noun predicate” stating John’s location.
Example: JOHN CL:FF “eyes quickly looked at right”
The topic is “John” the predicate is a “classifier predicate” indicating that John quickly looked to his right.
Whenever you use a classifier to describe the shape, size, movement, or location of a noun, you are using a “classifier predicate.”
In a message dated 2/7/2006 3:01:30 PM Pacific Standard Time, an instructor writes:
Hi Bill- I just got a call from ___________, who is a professor of Speech Pathology on campus who I have known for a long time. She was talking with a group of her students who were giving you rave reviews on your class! However, they were concerned about a book used in your class called "For Hearing People Only" (or something like that) which talks very negatively about speech pathologists. She and the students were concerned about such a negative book being used.
The title of that book is "For Hearing People Only."
The third edition has 768 pages of information about Deaf people and Deaf Culture organized into 131 chapters. (No that isn't a misprint: 1-3-1 chapters.)
Of the 768 pages, five are devoted to discussing speech pathologists. In those five pages the book puts forth several assertions that could be considered negative:
1. Speech pathologists consider deaf people to be broken and in need of fixing. The word "pathology" itself implies "disease."
2. Many older deaf people have had very bad experiences with speech pathologists when they were younger.
3. While some deaf children benefit from speech training and develop good speech skills, for many others it is unfruitful time that could have been better spent developing literacy and other communication skills.
4. By dismissing ASL and not learning it, speech pathologists are making a tacit statement that what is important to us (the Deaf), is not important to them, and not important period.
Compare that to the situation of a teacher of English as a Second Language who travels to China. Imagine if he spent 20 years teaching Chinese people how to speak English but never took the time to become skilled in their language? How much more effective he would be if he were to have learned and developed a respect for their language prior to teaching them his language.
I'm very, very open to discussing the merits (or demerits) of that book.
I encourage Carole and/or any of her students to identify specific premises of the book and state why they are of concern.
If there is a legitimate concern, then whose concern is it? Is it true?
Do they or do they not have a view of deaf people as needing fixing? Yes?
Did or did many Deaf people not have bad experiences in their youth?
Are there many deaf children who do not develop speech recognizable to strangers even after years of training?
Is there a high percentage of speech pathologists who are not fluent in American Sign Language?
If the statements in the book are true--and if this is a concern as portraying (some) speech pathologists negatively, then isn't the right response to change the behavior of (some) Speech Pathologists and engage in public relations rather than to "ban the book" which raises the concerns?
I'm available for further discussion of this topic and open to being educated.
In a message dated 2/10/2006 7:32:25 PM Pacific Standard Time, DJ3262
In a message dated 1/24/2006 9:30:34 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, kathymmcclain@_____.com writes:
My name is Kathy McClain. I have purchased your [e-report] "How to make a living teaching sign language."
My question to you is: How do you get the press releases? All of the papers I have contacted so far have said that I am a business and will have to do regular advertising for my workshops. They said if I was a non-profit organization that they would run the stories. I have seen other press releases on sign language from people that make money from holding workshops for a registered price. What is it I am supposed to do? Please help asap. Thank You!
First of all "contacting" the newspaper and opening up a discussion is a bit of a mistake. Newspapers are in the business of selling advertising, not giving it away free. The only reason they print articles is to help them sell more advertisements.
So if you contact them and begin a dialog regarding getting publicity for your workshops they will think, "Oh, you want publicity, that's an advertising function, you need to contact our advertising department."
The trick is to do something newsworthy and simply forward that news to the newspaper so they will think, "Oh, this is news, let's put this in our 'community news' section."
What I used to do was I'd contact a library (or hospital, or community center) and ask if they had a "community room" that could be scheduled for community events. Then I'd tell them that the local sign language club (me and my friends) wanted to use the room to host a free sign language workshop as both a public service and as way to get more people interested in sign language.
After I'd get approval to hold the meeting, I'd start building up my relationship with the library. I'd point out that the workshop would be a great opportunity to showcase the library's ASL books and related materials. Then I'd ask the librarian if she'd like me to set up a table at the back of the room with the various library books on it and encourage participants to check the books out.
After I had the library firmly involved with the workshop (so that it became "our" workshop instead of "my" workshop, I'd type up and send the following news release to the "community editor" of all the nearby newspapers:
Contact Person: Bill Vicars (916) 555-1234 / myemailaddress@
For Immediate Release:
"Free ASL Workshop"
An American Sign Language workshop will be presented by Bill Vicars at the City Library, 28 Somestreet, Somecity, on Saturday, February 18, from 10 a.m. to noon. Students will learn useful phrases and be given the opportunity to ask questions. For more information call (916) 555-1234 or email MyEmailAddress@somehost.com.
If I ever got into a situation like yours, where the newspaper developed the opinion that I was a business person just trying to get free advertising, I would simply approach the library and ask THEM to send out the news release on their stationary. I'd write it for them and I'd include the relevant mailing address (or email address).
You might be thinking, but I don't want to give a "free" workshop. I want to make MONEY. My response is, you will! Just be patient. Get lots of people in the door. Then "wow" them for two hours with your best stuff. At the end of the two hours hand them all a six week lesson plan and let them know that if they'd like to learn more they are welcome to take your community education course which just happens to start next week at this same time!
It is important to keep up the relationships with libraries or community centers once you establish them. For example, while helping clean up after the event, mention to the librarian how well it went and that you had quite a few people indicate that they would have liked to have come but couldn't make it on that particular day. Then bring up the subject, "perhaps we could do this again in a few months?" Then lock it in...every three months on the second Saturday from 9 to noon.
Set up that type of relationship with five or six libraries, hospitals, or community centers and eventually you will be completely booked up with plenty of paying students.
In a message dated 1/24/2006 1:08:54 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
message dated 1/10/2006 4:59:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, hoftim@
In a message dated 1/18/2006 2:16:25 PM Pacific Standard Time,
In a message dated 1/25/2006 7:46:48 PM Pacific Standard Time, NeoAnderson48 writes:
You might just LOVE researching Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet.
Go here, http://www.gallaudet.com/, and click on the "Gallaudet Family History" link. Then look for the "Notable Gallaudets from American History" link.
In a message dated 1/31/2006 3:24:23 PM Pacific Standard Time, johnai3@ writes:
For many, many years Weber State University did offer ASL classes. (I taught there for a decade!) Then they formed a partnership with Salt Lake Community College and had the SLCC instructors teach the classes. I do not know if that is still the case (I moved on to graduate school and a position at Sacramento State), but if you want to know about ASL classes at Weber State, I suggest you contact their office of services to students with disabilities. The people in that office will likely know about any ASL classes at their school. They might even be able to put you in touch with a Deaf college student who could tutor you and your family in ASL. It is worth asking.
You might also contact the Utah School for the Deaf. They have a campus there in Ogden. I know they used to offer ASL classes to parents of deaf children. The classes may be open to the public. Again, it is worth asking. Plus maybe they can direct you to other resources. Back when I was in the area there were several "night school" ASL classes offered via community education programs. Also if you are LDS (Mormon), there is a Deaf congregation that meets in Ogden.
One final comment. You might want to contact the Utah Division of Rehabilitation Services, become a client, and possibly have them pay for your ASL classes.
In a message dated 1/31/2006 4:25:10 PM Pacific Standard Time, LDinoto551 writes:
It has been years since I've watched that movie (saw a TV version of it once). The signs looked fine to me.
I recall watching her sign in an other movie. In that movie I noticed her signing "birthday" using the sign BIRTH and then the sign DAY.
The fact is there are dozens of different signs for "birthday." Your sign will either be "right" or "wrong" according to the region in which you live. As I watched her sign BIRTH-DAY I thought, "Hmmm, she is using a very safe / generic version" of that sign."
So, no, I don't think her signing was "incorrect" all through the movie, I just think that it is hard to please everyone.
In a message dated 1/14/2006 4:19:30 PM Pacific Standard Time, emma.michael@ writes:
If you have a minute, I have a question for you. Is the "I love you" sign motionless, or should you shake it a bit?
The ILY (I love you) sign is done both ways. My observation has been that "shaking" it a bit does several things:
1. Shaking draws and maintains attention to the sign
2. The sign can be shaken in such a way as to take on a "motherese" quality. Which is to say, a mother saying "I love you" to her baby has a much different meaning than a 21-year old boy saying "I love you" to his 21-year-old girl friend. Thus the shaking can be a way of saying, "I love you, in a brotherly sort of way."
3. The shaking movement can be used to make the sign suitable for "leave taking." Just as Hearing people raise their voices and stretch out the word "bye" while saying "good-bye," --shaking the ILY sign during leave taking inflects the sign to mean: "good bye, I love you" all rolled into one sign.
In a message dated 1/29/2006 5:25:01 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, a "free spirit" writes:
I remember the chair of the department introducing me at a dept. meeting. He announced that I had TWO degrees. At which time I piped up, "Yeah, and ONE of them is even real."
Honestly, my advice is find a good "distance education" program that grants credit for life experience. Make sure it is accredited by one of the agencies recognized by the US Dept. of Education. That's why I ended up getting the second doctorate. I wanted to go through life feeling secure in my credentials. It took me three extra years of poverty and sweat, but I'm glad I made the investment of time. For a balanced discussion of the topic, check out Dr. John Bear's books on "distance education."
These days it is easier than ever to get a legitimate distance education degree.
My wife is getting her Masters (MFA) in Creative Writing from an accredited school up in Oregon (Pacific University). She travels up there twice a year for a couple weeks each time. The rest of the program is done via correspondence. Studying from home fits her needs as a Deaf person because she doesn't have to deal with constantly trying to lip-read or having to rely on an interpreter.
In a message dated 1/31/2006 6:25:52 PM Pacific Standard Time, sacornelius@ writes:
You are using a form of signing which is sometimes called "simcom" which is short for "simultaneous communication." Simcom uses "Pidgin Sign" (also called "contact signing") combined with speech.
My advice? Stick with what you are doing. It isn't going to qualify anyone for "foreign language credit" --but that isn't your goal. Effective communication with your target audience (your students) is your goal and it seems to me that you are succeeding.
Keep up the good work.
In a message dated 2/1/2006 11:25:29 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, Zani11111 writes:
It is a challenging test for most applicants. Online resources at this time are not sufficient to prepare you for the California Subject Examinations for Teachers, Languages Other than English: American Sign Language. (CSET:ASL).
(I was one of the development committees and also helped develop the scoring levels for it.)
Make sure you download the information manual for that test:
My suggestion for preparation is to READ every one of the books suggested in that manual.
Plus go to as many deaf socials as you can.
And practice your expressive and receptive fingerspelling ability.
Watch a video or two of "storytelling" done by a skilled native ASL signer and pick several stories and MEMORIZE them until you can tell a beautiful ASL story from memory.
In a message dated 1/14/2006 9:36:59 AM Pacific Standard Time, mom4ccbr@ writes:
I recommend "Learning American Sign Language" by Humphries and Padden, (available via Amazon.com).
Plus I suggest you borrow an armload of ASL books from your local library and pick a few signs to compare in each ASL book so you can get a feel for the amount of variation.
Now a comment regarding the "sentence structure" of "Ring, one time the bell, please."
That is an interesting example of a topic/comment (subject/predicate) thought process.
The topic: the ringing of the bell: "RING"
The predicate: do it just once: "ONE TIME THE BELL"
In a message dated 1/14/2006 9:27:49 PM Pacific Standard Time, mom4ccbr@.com writes: