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American Sign Language: 

Book Spotlight:
"Signing Naturally" by Lentz, Mikos, and Smith

Excerpt: "A Brief History of ASL"

"ASL was developed by American Deaf people to communicate with each other and has existed as long as there have been Deaf Americans.
Standardization was begun in 1817 when Laurent Clerc and Thomas H. Gallaudet established the first school for the Deaf in the U.S. Students afterwards spread the use of ASL to other parts of the U.S. and Canada.
Traditionally, the language has been passed from one generation to the next in the residential school environment, especially through dormitory life.
Even when signs were not permitted in the classroom, the children of Deaf parents, as well as Deaf teachers and staff, would secretly pass on the language to other students.
ASL is now used by approximately one-half million Deaf people in the U.S. and Canada.
Since the late 1800's, Deaf people have been discouraged from using ASL. Many well-meaning but misguided educators, believing that the only way for deaf people to fit into the hearing world is through speech and lipreading, have insisted that deaf children try to learn to speak English. Some have even gone so far as to tie down deaf children's hands to prevent them from signing.
Despite these and other attempts to discourage signing, ASL continues to be the preferred language of the Deaf Community. Far from seeing the use of a sign as a handicap, Deaf people regard ASL as their natural language which reflects their cultural values and keeps their traditions and heritage alive."
--Source:  Signing Naturally, Lentz, Mikos, and Smith, DawnSign Press 1988, San Diego, California

Ordering information:

Signing Naturally Level 2 Student DVD and Workbook
8 1/2 x 11 Paperback Workbook includes 700 Signs & Key Phrases
Author: Ella Mae Lentz, Ken Mikos, and Cheri Smith
Length: 192-page Workbook; One 230-minute DVD

This continuation of the Signing Naturally series has added features such as Language in Action, more advanced vocabulary, and more conversational dialogues. Student DVD & Workbook -- Level 2 also includes noted ASL artists performing handshape stories, cheers and songs, poetry, storytelling, and legends. Now learning the advanced grammatical uses of ASL, students see how sign movements can be modified to change meaning; how and when facial expressions occur; and how body, head, and eye movements are used in phrasing and agreement.

The 13-17 Units include signing lessons on: Locating Things Around the House, Complaining, Making Suggestions and Requests, Exchanging Personal Information: Life Events, Describing and Identifying Things, Talking About the Weekend.

Item Number: 1326
ISBN: 1-58121-131-7
Price: $69.95

Order Direct from:
6130 Nancy Ridge Drive
San Diego, CA 92121-3223
Phone (858) 625-0600
Fax (858) 625-2336
online bookstore:

Signing Naturally Level 3 Student DVD and Workbook
Includes: 256-page 8 1/2 x 11 Paperback Workbook, 135-minute Student DVD (includes Signing Stories)
Author: Ken Mikos, Cheri Smith, and Ella Mae Lentz
Length: 256-page Workbook, 135-minute DVD

Students who have mastered Level 2 should be ready for the next challenge: Signing Naturally -- Level 3, the newest in the Signing Naturally series, the most widely used curriculum in the United States and Canada. Master teachers Ken Mikos, Ella Mae Lentz, and Cherie Smith developed and tested these new tools and techniques in the classroom.

Through challenging exercises in the student workbook and DVD, students will learn to build language skills such as: Expanded student discourse, Advanced ASL structure and vocabulary, Role-shift variations, Formal storytelling, Formal/Informal presentations.

The Level 3 student DVD also contains Signing Stories, which showcases a variety of signers in eight separate narratives. Watching this DVD again and again will improve students' receptive skills--and increase confidence.

The Signing Naturally series provides students with the cultural awareness and signing skills needed to interact effectively in the Deaf community. With Level 3, the most advanced classroom materials for studying ASL are now available.

Item Number: 1336
ISBN: 1-58121-135-X
Price: $79.95

Order Direct from:
6130 Nancy Ridge Drive
San Diego, CA 92121-3223
Phone (858) 625-0600
Fax (858) 625-2336
online bookstore:

Further readings:

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