Learning Tips Blog Articles

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

By John Miller  |  Thursday, February 14, 2013

We hope you have a great Valentine's Day! This is a reposting of our blog post from last Valentine's day. It does a great job of covering all the different ways to show LOVE... in sign language that is! Many people know and use the sign for I LOVE YOU. This sign is used universal throughout the country and the world. We see it all over television, at sporting events and during "shout outs" to our mothers. The sign is actually ...
Thinking BROAD as you learn sign

Thinking BROAD as you learn sign

By John Miller  |  Thursday, December 27, 2012

Recently I visited with a group of parents of young deaf children who were sharing their frustrations and struggles with learning sign. They were asking for tips to improve their skills as their families learn the language of their young deaf children.  Their question is one that I hear often, and I know I have addressed it in previous blogs, but because I hear it so much, I thought it might be good to discuss it again. I will also ...
Clearing up the confusion between Translators, Interpreters, and Interveners

Clearing up the confusion between Translators, Interpreters, and Interveners

By John Miller  |  Saturday, October 20, 2012

I thought it might be interesting for the Signing Savvy community to hear a little bit about the people who work in communication fields with deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing individuals. It's easy to misunderstand the difference (or to even know there is a difference!) between a translator, interpreter, and intervener. However, they are different professions with varying expertise. The type of person you would work with would depend on the situation and needs of the individual, such as the ...
Braille Explained

Braille Explained

By Jillian Winn  |  Wednesday, October 10, 2012

There is sometimes confusion between the communication techniques used with deafness versus blindness, especially with understanding what Braille is and who uses it. It's not uncommon to tell someone you know sign language and then they ask if you know Braille. Braille is typically not used by deaf or hard of hearing individuals. It is a written language used by the blind and visually impaired who may have a hard time, or be unable to, read written text. Braille uses patterns ...
A blended approach to learning sign language is still the best!

A blended approach to learning sign language is still the best!

By John Miller  |  Monday, August 20, 2012

I often am asked what the best way to go about learning sign language is.  My stock answer is to take a blended approach (classes, web resources, books, practicing with others) in order to give yourself the best and most well rounded experience. Classes of some sort, whether it is through your local community college, church, school class, or becoming enrolled in an actual interpreter training program can all be great ways to learn the language.  The reason for this is ...
Using Signing Savvy to learn sign language

Using Signing Savvy to learn sign language

By Jillian Winn  |  Sunday, August 12, 2012

Signing Savvy is a great resource to use when learning sign language – whether you are taking a class or just trying to learn on your own.  Using Signing Savvy while taking a class When you are taking a class, you can use Signing Savvy as a sign reference, build your own wordlists related to what you are learning in the class, and practice your vocabulary using the flash cards and quizzing features.  Like using a textbook, Signing Savvy is a great ...
Education Options for Children that are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Education Options for Children that are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

By John Miller  |  Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We have received questions from parents, family and friends of newly identified children with hearing loss asking about what we know about educational options. Let me begin by saying that making educational decisions for you child is a very personal decision and takes a lot of thought and discussion with professionals that have specific knowledge of the services available in your area. There are many different education options to explore. You need to determine what is the best fit for your family.
FINGERSPELLING……that dirty BIG four-teen letter word!

FINGERSPELLING……that dirty BIG four-teen letter word!

By John Miller  |  Friday, February 3, 2012

In all my years of signing, I have never had anyone say to me, "I can’t believe how easy fingerspelling is!" or "Man, I really LOVE fingerspelling all these odd words that don’t have signs for them." It just isn’t a favorite part of the job! It is the thing that makes even seasoned interpreters break into a sweat when they have to start signing for a calculus class or in a court of law with a bunch ...
Showing TENSE while signing ASL

Showing TENSE while signing ASL

By John Miller  |  Thursday, January 12, 2012

One thing that many new signers struggle with is how to show tense (past, present and future) while signing. In ASL, you don't sign words like went or going or suffixes like "ing", "ed" or "s". By including the sign NOW at the beginning of a sentence, you can clarify the sentence is in the present tense. English Version: I am going to the store. ASL Version: NOW + STORE + I + GO. By including the sign PAST or BEFORE ...
Tips for Learning Sign Language in Your Natural Environment

Tips for Learning Sign Language in Your Natural Environment

By John Miller  |  Saturday, December 10, 2011

One of the most common questions I get from people who are first learning sign language is, "How do you remember so many new words? It's overwhelming!" It is; and unless you plan on incorporating it into your everyday life, it won't stick with you. Often sign language instructors will divide sign vocabulary up into categories like household items, food, family, colors, shapes etc... Doing this helps you to categorize the words and file them into your memory bank that way. ...