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Emotional Imprinting as a memory aid for learning ASL:

By: Dr. Bill Vicars

"Hi Dr. Bill. Do you have a memory hint for signing "week" and "month"? Or possibly the origin? I mix them up sometimes. Thanks in advance."

Visualize your monthly calendar as if it were printed on paper and vertical as if posted on a wall.

Think of the horizontal index finger in "month" as representing different weeks going down the calendar page.
During the sign for "month" as you move the horizontal index finger in downward it represents week after week happening. Thus the downward movement of the horizontal finger is showing four weeks in a month stacked on top of each other.

Notice that the days of the week are listed horizontally and move sideways from left to right across the calendar from Sunday to Saturday. When doing the sign for "week" -- think of the (dominant hand) index finger in the sign for week as representing the days of the week progressing from left to right (if you are right hand dominant) across the palm of the non-dominant left-hand. (If you are left-handed you will however need to do a mirror image.)

If those memory hints don't work for you, then you could use "emotional imprinting" to help you remember the sign. To do this -- go to an isolated place where no one will hear you, and then pick one of the two signs (but don't do both at the same time) and imprint it via emotion. For example focus on the sign "week") then scream the word "Week!" and jump up and down like a maniac while repeating the sign WEEK.

This will cause a biochemical reaction that will strongly imprint the sign WEEK into your memory.

(It will also for the rest of your life cause you to want to jump up and down and scream like a maniac every time you do or see the sign "week" -- so use emotional imprinting techniques with caution.)




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