Unit Two Vocabulary Getting Started Asking for help Using WH-signs and Facial Expressions Classroom Signs Engaging in Basic Conversation Days of the Week Activities
to GIVE GIVE is a directional sign. This means I-GIVE-YOU. If you change the movement toward yourself it becomes YOU-GIVE-ME. You can also sign with both hands to GIVE-EACH-OTHER or TRADE.
to HELP/HELP-ME Help is a directional sign. When using HELP as a general sign the movement is straight up. For HELP-ME the movement is toward your body. For the sign HELP-YOU simply move the sign toward the other person. You will learn many more directional signs later.
NEED If you raise your eyebrows this sign becomes SHOULD. When you change the movement to one strong downward movement the sign becomes MUST.
SURE The sign for SURE is also the same sign as TRUE and REALLY. Your facial expressions will change depending on which meaning you want to convey.
The WH Face When asking a question it is important to use the appropriate facial expression or what is know as the WH-Face. Facial expressions are essential in American Sign Language and you must learn feel comfortable with them. Not only do they show emotions, as you learned in Unit 1, but they are also used when asking a question, asking for clarification, and to show intensity of a sign.
Notice the use of the WH-Face in the following examples asking for clarification.
NOT This is also the sign for DON’T.
YOU’RE WELCOME You will also see the sign (two thumbs up) for YOU’RE WELCOME.
ASL is NOT just making gestures in the air. Natural gesture that is also a sign
HOME The sign for HOME began as EAT/SLEEP as home is where you eat and sleep. Over time the sign evolved to maintaining the same handshape in both positions.
to WALK Here the flat hands represent two feet taking steps forward. With this sign the fingers represent the two legs as they walk .
READ Not only can the fingers represent legs, but they also represent the eyes. Here, two eyes read the page.
to CORRECT/to GRADE When signing this with a bigger movement, the sign becomes to CANCEL.
STUDENT The sign for student is LEARN + the agent marker, which represents a person. Can you see how the sign brings the information off the page and into the head?
TEACHER Here you see that the information is coming out of the head to be given away to others (the sign for TEACH) and the agent marker is added to make it a person.
to be WRONG/ERROR The sign for MISTAKE is very similar to the sign for WRONG. Instead of just touching the chin, the sign twists from right to left.
The question mark can be added to the end of a sentence for emphasis along with the WH face, especially when a WH question word is not being used. Just as we saw that HELP is a directional sign, ASK is a directional sign as well. See how the movement changes direction depending on who is asking whom.
to EAT/FOOD Although FOOD and EAT are interchangeable signs, often you will see them as a noun/verb pair. We will learn about these later. What does this mean? To-eat Food Well… for a verb (EAT) you sign one big movement and for a noun (FOOD) you sign it twice with a smaller controlled movement.
to be HUNGRY Cool Information: The sign for WISH is the exact same sign as HUNGRY!
RESTAURANT CAFETERIA is signed the same way but with a “C” handshape. NAPKIN is singed with a “flat O” handshape.
Days of the week can be signed toward or away from the body depending on the signs preceding or following. For example: LAST MONDAY you would sign facing the body. But, MONDAY YOU DO-DO WHAT? You would sing facing away from the body.
Again, facing towards or away from the body. If the sign preceding the week day is already facing the body, you sign the day of the week facing you. If the sign before or after the day of the week is facing away from the body you sign the weekday facing away from you.
Another example would be: YOU-ALL WEDNESDAY TAKE TEST. Wednesday would be signed facing forward because YOU-ALL is a forward facing sign.
Alternate signs for Thursday. Most commonly used.
FRIDAY I GO STORE Signed facing since I will be facing myself. FRIDAY HE ABSENT Signed facing away from self since HE is facing away from myself.