For one of my classes this semester, I had to give a speech on a passion I have. I chose to speak about ASL, which was slightly ironic since i was talking about a silent language in a speech class!
I was able to incorporate sign language into my speech as a visual aid by signing to the lyrics of a song I like and associate with ASL, “The Sound of Silence”. I enjoyed practicing the portion of the song I used in my speech and hope to learn to do the entire song soon.
I was grateful for the opportunity to inform people in my class about the importance of ASL and how few hearing people actually take time to learn the language. It was a wonderful experience.
I had to videotape my speech for another class assignment, and so I was able to capture the signing and the speech and turn it into a video to post here so that other people can have a chance to hear my speech as well.
I have recently discovered that signing along to Christmas carols is a fun way to improve my signing speed, as well as my ASL grammar. Since the songs are familiar, I can anticipate which words are going to be needed next, and then remember how those signs are formed in time to use them.
Keeping up with the tempo and speed of the song forces me to sign quickly, and also to think of the signs quickly. My fingerspelling and recall have both improved with practicing dialogue set to music.
Learning to sign an entire song as accurately as possible also encourages me to learn more signs so that I can reproduce most of the song’s lyrics. It is also great practice for deciding when to substitute a sign for an English word that is not an exact translation but a close approximation.
Signing to music is a fun way to practice because not only am I learning new signs and becoming more fluent in the ones I already know, but I can also enjoy some of my favorite music while practicing.