It has been quite the roller coaster ride at ASL immersion. There are three teachers. By all rights, there should be three classes. One Beginner. One Intermediate. One Advanced. Instead, all 40 students are rolled into one class. Bad idea.
There must be 10 people who don’t sign (at all) or barely sign. For them, this has been largely a wasted week. $400 worth of waste, not to mention housing and/or transportation costs. For the intermediate students such as myself the first day was deadly dull, the second day better, the third day showed real promise and today was either over everyone’s head or was like ASL 101 at Deaf Inc. in Allston. I finally refused to play the games. Enough, already.
We do have one certified Signed English interpreter in our class so the range is incredible – from zero knowledge to 32 years of interpreting work. That being said, the terp can’t understand the rapid-fire ASL signing and almost nothing is explained. I understand the concept – it is almost like shocking someone into focusing, which is great if you’ve got anything at all to hang your hat on. If you don’t it is like being a Martian being air-dropped into Manhattan at rush hour. It isn’t effective. I’m too good a teacher to buy off on this. My students learn and pass high stakes tests. This is low stakes and what it may do is put the beginners off coming back and maybe even some of the intermediate folks. I don’t know who thought this one up – apparently they had separate classes before – but they should give the “bath salts” back and get focused on reality again.
I am not the least bit sure this immersion will do anything to enhance my ability to sign. Receptive skills will increase again, yes. Expressive skills, probably; not. Hard to be expressive when you’re not signing. And charades and pictionary games don’t do it. I’ll be looking forward to classes with Ron starting soon.
I love relaxing into sign. I love knowing that my ACoA meeting will be signed starting the 11th of July and then I will have 3 signed 12 step meetings. With 1 meetup a week that makes 4 times a week – maybe 12 hours total of ASL. But, mostly listening. So I need to find out how to include more signing for me. That’s the next challenge.