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

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

What kind of slideshow presentations do you like?

Screenshot of one of my slides with a Venn diagram

I have seen and read various commentaries about slideshow presentations (PowerPoint, Keynote, watchamacallit…). Some people can’t get enough and some people can’t get too little. In the feedback I’ve gotten on the interpreting workshops I present, I’ve gotten everything from:

Loved how daniel validated participants questions and comments by responding to individuals. He used examples from a variety of settings which was helpful. Powerpoint was great.


It was not a particularly involved workshop (last year it seemed there was more participation) and was very powerpoint heavy. I could have skipped and snagged a copy of the P.P.T. notes. =(

Now, I know “there’s always someone” (you can’t please everyone), and most of my participants rate my presentations highly on “Audiovisual and supplementary study materials were an asset to this activity,” but (more…)