I attended the first meeting of the new ASL club on my campus last night, and really enjoyed being able to spend time with other people and practice my signing in a group. I found a practice partner and we hope to have a meal and ASL conversation with the deaf students teaching the class soon.
Having a partner to practice with will help me improve both my own signing and my comprehension of others’ signs. Learning on my own has been successful so far, but I will be able to build confidence in my skills by using my signs in actual conversations.
I am looking forward to becoming more connected to the people on my campus who sign through this club. It is often difficult to find people to learn from because ASL is not often used outside of classroom interpretation, since the majority of students do not sign and those who are learning or Deaf usually communicate in other ways.
One of the Deaf students who taught our group last night said that it is difficult for him to find people on campus to sign with. He and his sister, who is also Deaf, have found an off-campus Deaf Bible study to attend, and meet with other Deaf people in the area at restaurants to have ASL conversations.
I hope that those of us who are learning ASL will be able to communicate with the Deaf students on campus fluently in their own language soon, and be able to be a part of the amazing community that sign language is such an integral part of.