Sweet Czech food vocabulary:
a huge thanks goes to broskvovyledovycaj!
there’s an awesome czech bakery outside of waco, tx and i miss it sooooo much
#DidYouKnow #Deaf #DeafAwareness #education #SignLanguage #advocacy #NMSCares
This is actually sadly relevant. I had a lecture this summer about sign languages and Deaf culture and when I was finished, one hearing girl from the audience stayed behind to ask me some more question.
She asked me: “And your parents use sign language, right?” Like it was the most obvious thing in the world and why is she even asking this, of course my parents must know sign language.
"No… They don’t, actually."
"And how do you communicate, then?"
"But… isn’t that complicated for you?"
"It is, sometimes."
"They probably didn’t have time for it…" she said. And I haven’t the heart to tell her that my father was offered sign language courses several times, that I offered to teach them some signs and that they always refused.
But I did told her: “It is not that rare. Most of deaf people I know have hearing parents who don’t sign.”
It’s the sad truth. People are willing to pay for surgeries to “repair” their children, but they are not willing to learn something to communicate with them.
i’d like to add onto this with my own personal experience, too. i was born hearing, but as soon as i was diagnosed as HoH, my parents didn’t do anything to learn ASL. they were quick to put me in classes, but they wouldn’t when i suggested to them that they take the classes with me so that we could learn.
i’ve tried to teach my mom how to sign numerous times, but she always says that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” to which i tell her that she can learn, she just doesn’t want to. which is true. neither of my parents want to learn how to sign, but they want me to be able to hear perfectly so they don’t have to repeat themselves.
little do they know that their frustration with me not being able to hear them would be solved if they would just learn how to sign. maybe signing something to me once instead of repeating themselves four times and then getting mad would be more beneficial.
I’m absolutely shocked at this, it’s never crossed my mind that many parents wouldn’t even try to meet their hard of hearing kids halfway.
I would be shocked but honestly this is just disheartening. Knowing my parents and how they are with my disabilities I can imagine a lot would be like this.
This very good piece about Cognitive Development in Deaf Children (Rachel Mayberry, McGill) talks about the large numbers of deaf & HoH children whose families do not learn sign.
It also discusses children who are not taught to sign until almost adolescence (as a ‘last resort’ when it becomes clear that they severely lack communication skills otherwise) and the further reaching implications of lacking accessible linguistic input from a young age.
I recommend giving it a read if you are interested in knowing more!
Linguists are definitely on the side of signing to deaf and hard of hearing children as soon as caregivers realize that they’re deaf/HoH: a recent policy paper by Humphries et al. points out that having a strong foundation in a sign language makes it easier to learn a spoken language, rather than just not having any solid first language at all, and describes some of the steps that they’ve taken to make the public and especially parents aware of this.
Here’s the abstract, but the full text is here and very much worth sharing:
Parents of small deaf children need guidance on constructing home and school environments that affect normal language acquisition. They often turn to physicians and spiritual leaders and, increasingly, the internet. These sources can be underinformed about crucial issues, such as matters of brain plasticity connected to the risk of linguistic deprivation, and delay or disruption in the development of cognitive skills interwoven with linguistic ability.
We have formed a team of specialists in education, linguistics, pediatric medicine, and psychology, and at times specialists in theology and in law have joined our group. We argue that deaf children should be taught a sign language in the early years. This does not preclude oral-aural training and assistive technology. With a strong first language (a sign language), the child can become bilingual (with the written form of the ambient spoken language and, perhaps, the spoken form), accruing the benefits of bilingualism.
We have published in medical journals, addressing primary care physicians, in a journal with a spiritual-leader readership, and in a health-law journal. Articles in progress address medical educators and practitioners. Team members present findings at conferences, work on lobbying and legislative efforts with the National Association of the Deaf, and spread the word at conferences of target audiences. We share our work in Word format, so that anyone can easily appropriate it for our common interests. One of our articles has been downloaded over 27,000 times (as of April 2014), and we are asked to consult with committees in other countries as they draft national policies.
Bilingualism: it’s something that kids are totally capable of, although it’s hard to realize this if you’re a monolingual adult.
The only signs you ever need to know.
Finnish language was originally a game where you take a word and then you try to add as much conjugations as possible. The game was born when the winter was too fucking cold to do anything and people sat around a fire trying to stay warm and not die. Since Finnish winter is 8 months long people eventually got bored, and came up with this game.
This is Duolingo, a language-learning website/app that deserves some serious recognition. It offers over 10 languages for English speakers, as well as courses for non-English speakers around the world, and they’re in the process of adding more.
But wait, I don’t want to do any more schoolwork! Not to worry little one, Duolingo is actually more like a game. You can compete with friends, and earn “lingots” (which are basically Duolingo money) to buy power-ups, extra activities, and bonus skills - like Flirting.
I’m already taking a language, what do I need this for?
It’s not really a secret that most school language courses (in America, anyway) suck and only teach you to speak the language at about a third grader’s level. Which is why Duolingo is so freaking awesome.
Teachers can’t give every student individualized attention, but Duolingo can. If you’re not learning the way you want to or as much as you want to in the classroom, Duolingo is a really great resource. It’s easy, tailored to you, and really effective.
Duolingo tracks your progress and reminds you when you haven’t studied for a while or need a refresher on something. Already semi-fluent in a language? No problem, just take a shortcut to more advanced subjects or test out of the lesson.
The lessons start with the basics (he, she, hello, thank you, etc) and move up to harder stuff. Duolingo focuses on vocabulary first, so you can learn the language and then the grammar that goes with it - much simpler than the system most schools use. It also tracks the number of words you’ve learned and how well you know them.
And you don’t even have to write out the flashcards!
Duolingo is perfect for reviewing everything you forgot over the summer or giving you the extra help you need. And if you’re trying to learn a language on your own, it’s fantastic - you don’t have to create your own lessons. Whether you’re trying to learn your second, third, or fifth language, I seriously recommend Duolingo.
Okay, what else?
Duolingo also has discussion boards, where you can ask for help with a hard lesson, make new friends, watch for updates, and share your achievements.
Even better is the Immersion feature. It won’t send you to Spain or France, but it’s pretty awesome. Duolingo takes real articles from the internet, which users translate. You can translate articles from your native language into the language you’re learning or vice versa, which gives you more experience and makes the Internet more universal.
You can suggest new languages and track Duolingo’s progress in creating new courses. Bilinguals (older than 13) can help to create these courses. Duolingo has a long list of courses that can be contributed to, like Punjabi, Hebrew, and Vietnamese. Oh, and Dothraki, Klingon, Sindarin, and Esperanto.
And the best part? IT’S COMPLETELY FREE.
If you love languages or just want to pass French class this year, USE DUOLINGO. Download the app and practice a language while you wait for the bus instead of playing Angry Birds!
Coolest app I’ve ever downloaded.
This is my little brother, reading my Hawkeye issue #19. He is hearing impaired and is currently using/learning sign language as his primary means of communication. He spent his entire lunchtime pouring over this comic, so excited about his language being in one of my books! And a superhero book!
mattfractionblog, thank you for this.
(We have the entire Signing Time series too, and our lives would be poorer without it! Such a blessing.)
Hawkeye #19 was well worth the wait. I thought nothing would ever top Pizza Dog.
#19 is mostly in sign language with very little subtitles showing just how awesome the medium of comics can be.
I can freshen up your german for you, süsse Sebchen…
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