In a message dated 10/5/2008 5:51:54 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
an ASL student writes:
Dear Dr. Bill,
I am taking an ASL 2 class.
I am concerned because I generally understand signing, but for
whatever reason I have a difficult time when someone is finger
spelling to me. A lot of the time when someone is finger
spelling to me I cannot link the letters together because some
people sign words differently or inaccurately. My teacher has
probably noticed a confused look on my face on more than one
occasion. I have spent quite a bit of time on your web site and
I have been practicing with the fingerspelling quizzes and they
seem to help.
Do you have any other suggestions?
Here are some links for you:
Fingerspelling Wallpaper: ABC's
You indicate you've been using my fingerspelling quizzes. Does
that include the http://asl.ms/
My suggestions are:
* Download and install one of the fingerspelling wallpapers onto
your desktop or laptop computer.
* Download and install the fingerspelling font.
If you ever have to read online material for any of your
classes, I encourage you to copy and paste that material into a
word processing document and change the font to the Gallaudet
fingerspelling font. Increase the font size until you can read
it easily. Then read the material as fingerspelling.
* If you need to create flash cards for some other class, use
the fingerspelling font to create the flash cards and study from
them. That way you will get the benefit of improving your
receptive fingerspelling skills as well as studying for your
* Teach a friend how to fingerspell and then go on a
"fingerspelling date." During that date ONLYcommunicate with
each other by fingerspelling.
If you've got a few extra bucks, go here:
and buy the download
version of my "Fingerseek" manual then print some fingerseeks
and do them for practice.
* Constantly fingerspell whenever and wherever you are able.
Fingerspell your thoughts as you walk from class to class.
Fingerspell between bites of food. Fingerspell as you rinse off
in the shower. Fingerspell your prayers before going to bed.
Fingerspell labels on food items while you shop.
* Most importantly, since you are a Hearing person, make sure
you develop the ability to spell words while sounding them out
as they would be pronounced in English. Then when you are
reading fingerspelling strive to sound out the letters as you
read them. Instead of trying to "name" the letters one by one,
instead you can pronounce them in your mind and then let your
brain "hear" the sounds of the letters and recognize the word
that it "heard."