Taking ASL is like taking dance, language, communication, & anthropology

So much goes into learning ASL, and so much can come out of it! I hope that this diagram and these words will help give students a greater respect for the complexity in store for them as they embark upon learning ASL.

ASL is Multidisciplinary

I put this diagram together on Popplet to impress upon my students how many skills it takes to learn ASL– and how many skills they can develop by learning it. Like dance, ASL involves coordination, movement, and space; like any language (foreign, world, modern, spoken), ASL involves grammar and vocabulary; like communication, ASL involves conversation and structure; like anthropology, ASL involves culture and diversity.

There are also several connections that are shared by ASL and at least two other disciplines (I colored these magenta): like communication and dance, an ASL course involves structure, articulation, memorization, rehearsal, partner work, and audience; like language and communication, an ASL course involves conversation; like anthropology and dance, an ASL course involves culture.

So much goes into learning ASL, and so much can come out of it! I hope that this diagram and these words will help give students a greater respect for the complexity in store for them as they embark upon learning ASL.

ASL is Multidisciplinary

Author: Daniel Greene

I facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing people, and I teach people American Sign Language (ASL) and interpreting. Apart from doing the work I love, my greatest joys are family & friends, entertainment, food, photography, and travel.

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