Friday, 30th May '03
Let Your Fingers Do The Talking!
Let me state this right from the start, so there'll be no question about it. Sign Language is great! *broad grin*
Today I had my first sign language session at the YMCA, and at first I was feeling pretty wierd. Everyone in the class was/is at least 6 years older than me. I recall stepping in and thinking "I want Zhihui...". But oh well, nothing doing. And to top it off the registration took SO long that I in spite of turning up ten minutes early, wound up late by that exact same amount of time. *sigh*
The coolest thing about this class is probably the teacher. His name is Edwin Tan and he's both deaf and mute. And I really do appreciate getting to learn under someone for whom the subject has a great significance - and not someone who just learnt it for fun or to get a certificate. What is especially impressive is how well he can communicate with us without words! It's amazing really, how he can be really really detailed about how we hold each digit, give us commands, attract our attention and even TELL JOKES just by using his hands and facial expressions. It does make it such a joy to learn.
I haven't had much of a chance to compare the YMCA teaching method with any others, but I'm quite happy with the course outline here, especially how they don't just teach sign language itself but Deaf culture as well. (note: "deaf" refers to the physical impairment, "Deaf" refers to the culture) Like what are socially acceptable ways to get attention and what are not (like never tap someone with your foor except in an emergency), how Native Sign Language (what we use in Singapore) differs from Signing Exact English or the American Sign Language... it's like seeing a whole new world.
Anyone interested to join me? Or want me to teach you something? Then I can have someone to practise with! =)
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]