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Sign of the Day - LYING A LOT
(as in lying a lot)
Site News | Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Every year around this time, I get a message or two from teachers and interpreters of deaf children asking how to best convey the concept of rhymes to their students. Rhyming is a very common curriculum goal in many, if not all early childhood education programs throughout the United States and Canada.
The problem often with rhyming is that many of the words are made-up and, therefore, they have no sign. We all know that words that have no sign should be fingerspelled if you follow proper ASL rules. You can fingerspell these nonsense words, but that isn’t always very interesting for the young deaf child to watch and doesn’t accurately convey the concept of rhyming words.
I stumbled upon this great video of Austin W. Andrews, an ASL storyteller also known as Awti, describing how to rhyme in sign language. He uses the classic nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” as an example and does an excellent job of explaining how to handle rhyming when signing.
Some of Awti's great rhyming pointers include:
- Rhyming in English focuses on words that sound the same. ASL doesn’t use sound, so to use the principle of rhyming in ASL, signs should look the same.
- Rhyming is also based on repetition - repeating similar sounds in English to create an audible rhythm. Do the same thing in ASL by repeating similar signs to create a visual rhythm. Use movement, handshape, location, palm orientation, or other components of signs to create repetition and a visual rhythm.
- Stay true to the meaning of the rhyme, but don’t get caught up in delivering a direct translation of each word. To sign, “Hey Diddle Diddle,” Awti signs HI (for “Hey”) and then uses swinging arms for DIDDLE that mimic the movement of FIDDLE in the next line of the rhyme. Swimming arms may not be an ASL sign, but “Diddle” has little meaning in English as well and the point of rhyming is to establish a pattern, rhythm, and repetition (whether audible in English or visual in ASL).
Watch the short video to see Awti’s rhyming example in action. The video has no audio, but is captioned. If you are a fluent signer, you will not have a problem understanding the signing in the video, and that is actually the best way to watch it. If you aren’t a fluent signer yet (notice I said YET), then I suggest you watch the video a few times, first reading the captions so that you get the jest of the video and then go back and watch it again, focusing on the sign.
To turn the captions on, click the "CC" button at the bottom of the video.
- McCulloch, Gretchen (2014, September 5). How Do You Rhyme in a Sign Language? Slate. Retreived 9/15/2014 from http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2014/09/05/rhyming_in_a_sign_language_a_proposal_from_asl_storyteller_awti.html
General Interest | Friday, September 26, 2014
NO ORDINARY HERO: THE SUPERDEAFY MOVIE is a family drama about a deaf actor who plays a superhero on a TV show who must look beyond the cape to inspire a deaf boy to believe in himself.
Based on the internationally known SuperDeafy character, NO ORDINARY HERO, featuring Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin, is the evolution story in this fictitious family drama. John Maucere stars as Tony Kane who plays a superhero on TV, but in real life he’s just another guy who happens to be deaf. Eight-year-old Jacob Lang, also deaf, is having a hard time. When Tony and Jacob’s paths cross, they inspire belief in each other and in themselves. The film is completely open captioned making it fully accessible to deaf, hard of hearing and “signing impaired” audiences.
Directed by Troy Kotsur, who is deaf, and executive produced by Liz Tannebaum, Paul Maucere and John Maucere, who are all deaf and produced by Hilari Scarl and Doug Matejka, the film is now in theaters nationwide.
The film enjoyed a sold-out world premiere at the prestigious Heartland Film Festival and is thrilled to be screening at the Temecula Valley International Film & Music Festival and screening as the opening night film for the Rome International Film Festival where it will receive the Shepherd Award for innovative filmmaking.
NO ORDINARY HERO is screening nationwide at movie theaters and screenings through Tugg. Tickets and bookings are available online at http://www.tugg.com/titles/superdeafy and on the movie website: http://www.noordinaryheromovie.com/