Sign Language

Sign Language
Dates 4/13-5/11
Wednesdays 10:30am-11:30am
All ages!
Tuition: $60 Drop Ins: $15 per class

This course is designed to give students a starting point in learning A.S. L.. We will start with some basic history of the origins and development of this independent language. Each class will introduce basic vocabulary including
family groups, animals, colors, clothing, etc. Students will learn to finger spell the manual alphabet and counting. Most importantly, students will express emotions and intent through acquiring and creating phrases with which
to communicate with each other. We will sign a song.

The focus will be on the joy of signing . Each student will be expected to prepare and learn lessons thoroughly through daily practice, so that competency can be achieved.


About the Instructor:
Lydia Adams Davis is a musician, entertainer and educator who graduated summa cum laude with a Masters Degree in Deaf and Hard of Hearing from Hunter College and Gallaudet University. She has conducted ASL workshops, residencies and performances in New York City through Arts in Education programs with Young Audiences. Lydia, a new teacher to our area, brings decades of experience and a passion for teaching (Riverdale Country School, Berkeley-Carroll Street and Bank Street School).

Inspired by signers at folk festivals Lydia took on Deaf Education for her masters Degree. Lydia was totally immersed in signing at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. where not a word is spoken.


There will be a short assignment after each class that will be due at the beginning of class the next week.


There will be short review of the homework each student will share with the class. This is a 5 week course which will not include tests.

Classroom Policy:

During class there will be interactive signing, music and fun. We will always review and practice content of the ongoing lessons.

Week 1: History, Manual alphabet & Concepts of ASL
We will learn the alphabet and spell our names. Participants will invent “name signs”or ASL “visual tags”. I will sign and tell “The Lunch Song.” The syntax of ASL is very different from English. It is basically subject first, with intent or qualifier, action following after. Students will acquire the use of “markers” to punctuate the basic communication.. Colors and pronouns will be learned. Feelings, and adjectives introduced.

Week 2: Beginning phrases, counting, weather, foods, homes and habitats.
All “verbs” as we know them show intent. Pronouns combined with signs that express feelings. The humorous song,” I like bananas, coconuts and grapes” will be the vehicle used to increase a basic vocabulary of nouns , action words, and categories. We will select a song to learn to sign. Cold Hot chilly, and similar states will be learned. Animals will engage with creating homes in their natural habitats, while experiencing weather events, hunting their food, and interacting with each other . We will begin to learn the song and practice signing numbers. What utensils are in our human kitchen? What foods do we like to eat? Draw a scene to describe in ASL.

Week 3: Create a skit from what we have learned so far 
I will say, “imagine your self as truly deaf! Take your friends to a world you create with the nouns, verbs and concepts you know or would like to learn today!” Place yourself at a supermarket, or asking directions. Nouns of places will be taught: school, library, etc. Continue with the song, and learn ways to connect phrases together. All we have learned can be linked into a short, expressive skit. When we seek a word or concept we can finger spell it! Illustrations are encouraged.

Assign parts and work out your song and/or skit with your classmates!