An ASL DictionarySigning Savvy is a sign language dictionary containing several thousand high resolution videos of American Sign Language (ASL) signs, fingerspelled words, and other common signs used within the United States and Canada.
And Much More!Signing Savvy is an ideal resource to use while you learn sign language. It includes the ability to view large sign videos, build your own word lists and share them with others, create virtual flash cards and quizzes, print signs, build sign phrases, ...and more
Sign of the Day - BREAK
(as in a pause)
Apple announced the iPhone 4 today which will ship later this month. One of the really neat new features is FaceTime, which is mobile video calling. The demo video of the feature on their site shows a couple signing with each other.
While we have been able to videoconference for some time on a computer via tools such as Skype and iChat, with the new iPhone, we can easily sign to each other over vast distances and not be tethered to our computers. This is bound to usher in a revolution in sign communication.
As discussed previously, the Signing Savvy website works great on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
We recently added several links to social networking sites to both help the world learn more about Signing Savvy AND to help build a community around the users of Signing Savvy site. Currently, you can access us on:
We have little icons at the bottom of the home page for quick access to these social networking sites.
We are still exploring how best to make use of the social networking sites, so feel free to give us your thoughts. We want to build a strong community around Signing Savvy and the signing community.
As a beginning signer, it is just natural that you will be choppy. Once you get a larger sign vocabulary, you will not be so worried about searching for a way to say something that you know the signs for and you will be able to focus on the flow of your signs.
When you sign music it also helps with the flow if you let the music guide you. There are a few different sites on the internet for you to watch music being signed to show you what I mean. For example, check out the D-Pan. Remember as I have stated in previous blogs, when you are signing music it is glossed (changed into concepts rather than word for word). Check out some songs that are popular and see if you can catch what the people are signing and why they are signing them that way. It is actually an art form all it's own.
Many people often ask me this question. That is really a hard one to answer because everyone's rate of learning a new language varies greatly. The motivation behind the learning is going to be a key factor as well as the opportunity to actually practice what you are learning with multiple signers.
It is important to practice signing with, and reading from, many signers as you learn so you don't just get used to the way one particular person signs. Reading the sign of small children is always an interesting feat because of their tiny hands and the ways they may modify the sign (baby sign). Then again reading the sign of teenagers who may have their own "twist" to their sign style can be a challenge as well. Don't be intimidated if you have trouble understanding someone when you first meet him or her. Just try to relax and grasp the concepts being discussed rather than getting word for word (or sign for sign) of what they are saying.
My first sign language instructor told me, "You will know when you have become a fluent signer when you have your first dream in sign language." I thought that was really strange but sure enough, after about two years of signing, I had my first sign language dream...no voice, only sign. Since then it happens often for me. I find myself also using sign language in noisy situations or at times when I am extremely frustrated and trying to get my point across...even when I'm communicating with people who I know don't sign. I think it just shows that it has become that much a part of my life after almost thirty years of signing!
Earlier, I discussed how I used cooking as a classroom activity to engage my students in sign language education. Well if you cook, you have to shop!
Each week the students and I would pour over cookbooks picking out a recipe that might go along with a particular theme that we were studying at that time, such as traditional Thanksgiving foods in November, Valentine's cookies in February, etc... Sometimes it might just be something that sounded tasty. From that recipe we created a shopping list and we would go to the grocery store. We would shop for the various items and then take a digital photo with two students from the class in each photo. One student would be holding the product, while the other student signed the sign for the item.
The results were overwhelming for me as a teacher. The life-long skills that were being facilitated in the students were immediately noticable!
This type of activity became a large part of our preschool and early childhood program's curriculum. It caught the attention of a professor at Michigan State University and he wrote about it in his book, Literacy and Your Deaf Child: What Every Parent Should Know.
If I were doing this activity today, I would use the Signing Savvy word lists. With word lists, you could create a shopping list right on Signing Savvy. You could then use the word list to quiz the students on the signs before going to the store. At the store you could sign the item and see if the students could locate it. You could also print the signs from the word list and send home the vocabulary for the students' parents and families. Of course if the parents had Signing Savvy memberships, you could share your word lists with them so they could see the sign videos and follow along with their kids.