By Sangmin Lee
As part of the class, the ASL class requires you to attend two deaf social gatherings at the Columbia Mall in the semester. People from the deaf community and the students attend to have a conversation together. Elrod said the deaf community is really nice, and they would help her if she were struggling. Besides the conversation events, the deaf community has bowling and dancing events. They play volleyball or softball, and they invite the students to participate. “The deaf people are very patient and welcoming to students who want to learn,” White said.
According to students, there are some differences between learning ASL and spoken foreign language. Elrod said that with Spanish, you have to conjugate verbs a lot, and there are many different words. On the other hand, if you have some phonology with ASL, you can have a conversation with someone. Elrod said the sentence structure in both languages is almost the same. She said the sentence structure is backward from English in Spanish and ASL. White, who is also taking a Japanese language class, said that the movement of the hands in ASL makes it easier for her to remember than in Japanese where you’re memorizing words by saying them. In difficulty, however, they're pretty evenly matched, as grammar is difficult in both languages.
White gave a comment for students who want to take the ASL course. “They shouldn't come in expecting it to be easy. To be honest, that's how I came in viewing it. It's actually very hard and takes a lot of practice,” White said. Even though the ASL course doesn’t seem to be easy, students who take this course describe it positively. Elrod said “I learned a lot. At first I knew the alphabet when I went to the class. By the end of the class, I could have full conversation with someone who is deaf. I would suggest you to take it. It’s a lot of fun.”
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The American manual alphabet