Intro to ASL and the Alphabet A-L

ASL Alphabet
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Slide 1: Tekstslide
American Sign Language9th Grade

In deze les zitten 35 slides, met interactieve quizzen, tekstslides en 3 videos.

Onderdelen in deze les

ASL Alphabet

Slide 1 - Tekstslide

  • Understand the importance of the ASL Alphabet
  • 5 parameters of ASL
  •  Understand when we use it
  • What is American Sign Language
  • Learn letters A-L
  • Practice signing letters A-L

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What is ASL

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What is American Sign Language
American Sign Language or ASL as it’s popularly called by its acronym (ASL), is a fascinating language and many people have started to see its value and purpose outside the Deaf community. It is a visual language formed by organized hand gestures, body movements, and facial expressions. Learning ASL won’t just create meaningful relationships but will provide more job opportunities, as it’s becoming increasingly essential in many workplaces. Its growing popularity highlights the demand for non-verbal communication that enriches confidence in communicating with people in everyday scenarios. The ASL alphabet (a.k.a fingerspelling) is one of the easier challenges when learning sign language and it’s a sign language basic necessary to know in order to succeed.
Note: ASL uses only one hand to form the letters in the alphabet.

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Do you think every country uses American Sign Language?

Slide 5 - Poll


Sign language is not a universal language and varies in different countries and this is mostly influenced by the native language and culture of the country. One would assume that with American Sign Language and British Sign Language (BSL) the alphabet would be the same since both countries speak English, however, this is not true. The American Sign Language alphabet and British Sign Language alphabet are completely different. In ASL fingerspelling is one-handed while in BSL it is two-handed with the exception of the letter C. They both have their pros and cons. With BSL it’s easier to identify the letter but this also means that you need both hands to be free. With ASL you can fingerspell while holding your cup of coffee. There is also the Australian Sign Language (AUSLAN) and the alphabets are quite similar to the BSL.

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Slide 7 - Video

What makes up an ASL sign
The 5 parameters of ASL

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Slide 9 - Video

ASL Alphabet/Fingerspelling

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Slide 11 - Woordweb

Why and when we use the alphabet.
Question: What is fingerspelling?

Answer: Fingerspelling is the process of spelling out words by using hand shapes that correspond to the letters of the word. A set of hand shapes used to spell words is know as a "manual alphabet."
There are many different manual alphabets throughout the world. American Sign Language uses the ASL Manual Alphabet. You may also see the ASL Manual Alphabet referred to as the American Sign Language Fingerspelled Alphabet.
The American Fingerspelled Alphabet consists of 22 handshapes that--when held in certain positions and/or are produced with certain movements-- represent the 26 letters of the American alphabet.

Slide 12 - Tekstslide

Question: When should you use fingerspelling?
Answer: There are lots of times when fingerspelling is used. The typical "these things are spelled" list includes such items as:

- people's names
- places
- titles
- organizations
- brands 

Slide 13 - Tekstslide

Keeping your hand steady will call for less confusion and more conversation. A shaky or nervous hand could have an impact on the integrity of your sign. Your signs are easier to read when your hand is not shaking. In sign language, your hand is your face talking. If you’re struggling to keep a steady hand, try placing your other hand under your elbow to stabilize your hand. Don’t get too used to having that elbow there, though! Should you begin learning more about ASL, many phrases will require both hands!

Slide 14 - Tekstslide

Imagine you’re sitting at a table having a discussion but you’re not hearing that discussion. All you can focus on is the person nodding their head up and down with every syllable. After a while, you might start to get nauseous just from watching them!
This can happen very easily when fingerspelling with the sign language alphabet. When you’re switching between letters, it’s really important to keep your whole arm steady so the person reading your signs doesn’t have to make that bouncing motion with their eyes.

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Slow and steady wins the race, remember? Try not to speed through a word, the person reading your hands need time to process!
Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask a Hard of hearing person to slow down! It’s similar to going to a foreign country and speaking their language which you haven’t quite perfected yet. Most Deaf or Hard of hearing individuals will be understanding and appreciate your attempt at communicating with them, even if it does take a tad longer.

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4. Pick a dominant hand (the hand you write with). This is essential when signing to reduce confusion for you and the person you are signing to.

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Like with anything new you learn, repetition helps us to recall and remember what we have learned. Similarly, with the ASL alphabet, it’s important to practice fingerspelling. You can start practicing with small letter words and as you build your confidence you can move your way up to longer words or even sentences. You can make the experience interactive by practicing fingerspelling with a friend. You spell out the word and they have to guess what it is – provided they know the ASL alphabet too.

Slide 18 - Tekstslide

What is your dominant hand?
I use both

Slide 19 - Poll

Slide 20 - Video

Letters A-L
  1. First, watch me 
  2. Then we will sign them together
  3. Finally, you will sign them with your group 

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Partner Practice
  • No talking
  • Your partner will sign a letter in ASL
  • Write the letter on your whiteboard 
  • Switch 

Slide 34 - Tekstslide

ASL alphabet Blooket
Exit ticket

Slide 35 - Tekstslide