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American Sign Language:  "fight"


The sign for: FIGHT



A teacher of the Deaf writes:

I am working with Deaf students at school. Some students do not understand when I discuss with them. For example, I said, "fight against slavery." The students think that I mean to physically harm slavery. They think that I want to beat slavery up with my fists, but I do not mean that. I believe that slavery should not be continued and I am marching for people to be free from slavery. If you have experiences in working with children in the past, maybe you can share the phrases of how teachers should say to students when teaching them for your lifeprint website. The phrases depend on the context in reading.
- Kasey

Dear Kasey,
The issue isn't in the sign for fight, but the fact that the Deaf students you teach have not yet learned that the sign "fight" can mean more than hitting with your fists.
There is a myth going around out there that each ASL sign has only one meaning.  Many signs have more than one meaning.
For example: The sign "HEARING-culturally" can also mean "PUBLIC" when combined with the sign "school."
The sign NICE can mean "clean."  The sign WORK can be used to mean "indeed," etc.
So, teach your students that there are many ways to fight for something.
You might want to explain to your students that in this instance you mean: STUBBORN, WORK WORK WORK, SUPPORT, DISSOLVE STOP SLAVE.
Or you could also use a rhetorical question:  I MARCH WHY? I WANT SLAVERY STOP.
Dr. Bill


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