Letter from Emilie: Series Two
It has been a busy summer and fall for us and we are pleased to announce the completion of 13 new episodes of Signing Time for public television and DVD release. We are calling these newest episodes “Series Two.” Some of you have already seen a few of these episodes on television and many of you already own the first three volumes now available on DVD (Nice to Meet You, Happy Birthday to You and Move and Groove). We have enjoyed your feedback. It is always exciting to hear your heartwarming success stories.
Signing Time Series Two is full of the music and fun that you have come to expect, and differs from “Series One” (the first 13 volumes) in a few key ways. As opposed to offering more of the same, we wanted to think outside the box and explore new ways of teaching children with a range of needs and abilities. We deeply value listening to your feedback and are continuously looking for innovative ways to keep Signing Time fresh, entertaining and effective. Most of the content for Series Two was generated from your suggestions and questions. Thank you for your input!
Series Two includes the following viewer-requested themes and signs:
- Household chores
- Rooms and furniture found in most houses
- Meeting someone new
- Question words
- Counting and numbers, including ordinal numbers (first, second, third…etc.)
- More colors
- Days of the week
- Seasons and holidays
- ABC and fingerspelling practice
- Plural versions of some common signs
Here are some of the ways Series Two differs from Series One:
Key Difference 1: One episode-specific theme song
In Series Two, each episode is built around a single theme, and features one theme-re
lated song (or two songs, in some instances). The format of the new shows is as follows: a few signs are taught, followed by a verse of the song that features those signs; then a few more signs are introduced, followed by the next segment of the song, and so on. With this approach, viewers can master the song and the signs in bite-sized pieces and follow along from scene to scene as other signs are introduced by Alex, Leah and Hopkins.
Key Difference 2: Multiple levels of vocabulary building
In Series Two, there are fewer ‘featured signs’ (signs that are explicitly taught by Rachel). Throughout various learning segments, you will notice many signs that will likely be picked up after multiple viewings. We refer to these as ‘contextual signs.’ Though they are not taught explicitly, repetitive exposure allows children to learn them easily. Rather than signing everything that is sung or spoken, Rachel signs key words and phrases intended to make the featured and contextual signs more accessible to our younger viewers, while still challenging them. Additionally, most of the DVDs have more signs in the ‘special feature’ segments. In the near future, lists of both featured and contextual signs will be available at www.signingtime.com.
Key Difference 3: Learning Modules
Learning Modules are segments within an episode that reinforce either the theme or signs being taught, and provide the opportunity to practice other skills within a signing framework.
There are five categories of Learning Modules: Counting Time, Game Time, ABC Time, Moving/Hopping Time and Story Time. Each module has a theme song, which acts as a cue to the viewer of what activity will be taking place.
We sincerely hope your family will continue to enjoy expanding their sign language vocabulary with Signing Time Series Two. Thanks again for your feedback and support!