Introducing “Basic American Sign Language” [resource]
Here at ReachTheDeaf.com, one of our goals is to equip you with the resources you need as you establish and grow local church Deaf ministries. We are happy to introduce our first resource to fulfill our goal, “Basic American Sign Language.”
“Basic American Sign Language” is a 16 lesson beginner American Sign Language curriculum I developed for my church because I needed a Sign Language curriculum geared towards a short-term class. I was responsible to teach a 15 week beginner class. However, there are very few Sign Language programs available for that format. Rather than teaching haphazardly without a goal (that never works out well for me), I set out to work with the people in my Deaf ministry to make our own lessons!
We wanted to make a curriculum that gave the students the tools they needed to converse with the Deaf as soon as possible. We eliminated all unnecessary vocabulary and focused on integrating the vocabulary and ASL features needed to converse with the Deaf. We eliminated everything from colors to the days of the week in favor of emphasizing signs needed to talk with Deaf people on a casual level. Our result was “Basic American Sign Language.”
We wanted to make a curriculum that gave the students the tools they needed to converse with the Deaf as soon as possible.
What separates “Basic American Sign Language” from other lessons?
- Short term. Sometimes we do not have the option to teach a class indefinitely. We made “Basic American Sign Language” to fit perfectly into a short-term or rolling class format. In my church, we have used it in both scenarios with success.
- Shorter lessons. One thing you will notice about “Basic American Sign Language” is that the lessons are very short. We eliminated as much information and vocabulary as we could while still teaching students how to communicate with the Deaf. This allows the teacher to focus on reviewing and emphasizing the material in each lesson.
- The goal. While making this curriculum, one of our fundamental principles was that no class will be enough for a person to gain fluency in ASL. Therefore, we made a curriculum with the end goal being that the person is able to talk with a Deaf person and figure out how to sign words that they do not know as quickly as possible.
- The cost. We know that most churches don’t have money sitting around to spend on resources to teach Sign Language, so we are offering “Basic American Sign Language” for free! All we ask is your e-mail address so we can send you the download link and updates when we post new content to ReachTheDeaf.com. (You can always unsubscribe if you like.)
How can you get “Basic American Sign Language?”
Fill out the form below with your first name and your email address, and click “Get Updates.” We’ll send the curriculum straight to you!
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We hope that “Basic American Sign Language,” along with the other resources on this site, will help and encourage you to prepare people in your church to sign and serve God in your Deaf ministry!
Have you downloaded “Basic American Sign Language”? What did you think? You can leave us a comment here!