Older children who are already speaking can use Signing Time to help learn ASL as a second (or third) language just as you would French or Spanish. ASL is also a great way to communicate across a room or during times when talking or shouting would be disruptive.
You can customize your child’s viewing experience to match age and signing proficiency: For beginning signers and younger children, watch the video one segment at a time. Pause the video and ask your child to show you the signs she learned. Later, watch the Sign Review section and sign along with Rachel.Look for opportunities to use those signs together during your daily activities.
For more experienced signers and older children, challenge your child (and yourself!) to do as many signs as you can as Rachel sings the songs on the video. Turn the video off and play the same song from the CD and see how many of the signs you can remember without watching Rachel.
Once you have learned a few signs by watching Signing Time, use them as frequently and consistently as possible. Signing doesn’t always mean being silent – practice the signs you know as you are speaking. Incorporate signing in to your daily activities. Sign the words you know. Don’t worry that you don’t know how to sign everything. Practice fingerspelling.
American Sign Language is used by millions of Deaf Americans, and learning some basic signs can empower you to inter- act with someone who is Deaf. Don’t be shy! Most individuals who are Deaf will appreciate any attempt you make to communicate in their language.
The Signing Time Music CDs have so many songs that every- one can enjoy. Play a CD and see how many signs you can re- member. Try your hands at the Silly Pizza Song and see if you can keep up with Rachel! Visit the Resources Section at www. signingtime.com to print out lyrics and learn other fun ways you can use the songs from Signing Time.
Once you have mastered the signs taught by Rachel on the video, see what other signs you can pick up from the series. There are hundreds of signs shown, though they may not be explicitly taught. See if you can learn some or all of the signs in the songs that Rachel performs. This is a challenge that may take you some time! Visit www. signingtime.com for more ideas and fun ways to use Signing Time.
There are many community resources available for learning ASL. Many junior high and high schools offer ASL as part of their language curriculum. Colleges and universities may offer ASL classes and tutoring through their continuing education department.
Volunteer at a school for the Deaf or your local Deaf Services Center. There are so many opportunities out there with a little effort you’ll find occasions to practice and learn more!