The Sign Family

No, this isn’t some mediocre sit-com about a middle class family called the Signs. This is week four of my learning project. This week I learned how to communicate family and directions using ASL.

This week I was able to get my younger brother in on the action. He was very curious as to what each member of the family was in sign language and incorporated it into conversation. Although his enthusiasm only lasted half a day before he had better things – a.k.a video games, it was encouraging none-the-less.


In order to learn this week’s task I turned once again to good ol’ YouTube. I used a mix of two channels this week to learn how to sign different family members. First I used ASL That and the video was called “Family Signs in ASL – American Sign Language”. This taught me basic family terms that were used for the majority of the my video below.

After learning the signs from that video I felt like there should be more. Modern families are filled with more than just two parents and distanced relatives. I wanted to see how to sign step-siblings and parents, half-siblings, foster children/parents… I think you get my point.


That is when I discovered the YouTube channel AASD Accessable Materials Project with a simple video titled “ASL: Family Signs”. The signs were done at a slow pace and incorporated a variety of family members that I had been searching for.

Now that I had deemed my hands practiced enough to sign family members, I moved on to directions. After searching on YouTube and nothing coming up I turned to Pinterest. Although I could find some individual signs on Pinterest which I’ve collected into one board for ideas and reference, I couldn’t find a complete list of words that didn’t require an obscene amount of money to access.

Out of sheer desperation I searched google translate for ASL. To my surprise I discovered an amazing website that was quickly added to my toolbar called Spread The Sign. This life changing tool allows me to search any word in any language and be shown a video demonstration on how to properly sign it. I highly recommend this tool and I will continue to use it in my future.

Another source I used to inspire myself was a TED Talk that popped up in my Facebook feed. I was pleasantly surprised to find it. Watching Christine Sun Kim sign about the beauty of music was what truly inspired me to practice my sign this week. Go check out her TED called “The Enchanting Music of Sign”.

Take a look at my ASL video for this week below.


Leave a comment if you have ideas for other categories of words I should learn to sign.

A Basic Girl Learning Basic ASL

File:American Sign Language ASL.svg
via Google

As I entered week three of my #learningproject I began to feel more confident in my signing. My fingers were cooperating, my brain was able to remember the patterns, and I enjoyed learning the phrases because they felt easily applicable to real life situations. I really enjoyed doing phrases, even if the syntax is completely different than written and spoken English, and cannot wait to expand into sentence structure much later in my signing journey.

This week I branched off of apps and turned exclusively to YouTube. I found that copying the movements of real people instead of pictures with confusing arrows was much more beneficial to my learning. After exploring YouTube’s plethora of videos to teach me basic ASL (who knew there were so many people wanting to teach me basic ASL!), I settled on the channel Ashley Clark Fry and used two of her beginner ASL videos: “25 Basic ASL Signs For Beginners” and “25 Basic ASL Signs For Beginners Part 2”.

On top of my feelings of achievement in signing, I am also feeling more and more accomplished in video editing. I now have a rhythm down and am doing significantly less googling for answers. One of my goals for the Learning Project was to become familiar with the process of filming, editing, and posting. I feel that as I gain more experience I feel more confidence in my abilities.

Here is my latest video for learning basic ASL:


Join me next week when I showcase my learning of family and directions.

Back in Kindergarten

I feel as if I am back in kindergarten. When was the last time I sang the alphabet? And when was the last time I had trouble counting to twenty? Oh yea, this week! Although I had previously learned much of the alphabet doing it all at once proved to be very difficult and time consuming. Counting was even harder. Sometimes I feel like my fingers just aren’t made for sign language because I definitely suffered a finger cramp or two trying to learn this week’s ASL.

Image result for asl alphabet
via google

Luckily I had some help via the internet. In the beginning I simply googled pictures of the alphabet in ASL. At 6:30 a.m on the bus I could be seen struggling very hard flashing what could be interpreted as gang sings while staring intensely at my phone.

Once the pictures from the chart were ingrained into my brain I found the funnest app for learning the ASL alphabet – ASL word search. Who doesn’t like a word search? I found that by incorporating learning into a fun app on my phone it made learning very easy. Quickly I became very good a recognizing words in correlation to the letter spelling.

Image of a completed word search from the app ASL word search

Next I began learning how to count. This was a bit more difficult as it did not match the way my fingers normally communicate numbers. I am used to using both hands to represent anything above five, but sticking with a single hand was what I needed to do. I found a phenomenal YouTube channel that catered to my goal. The clear and concise video sans audio got right to the point and allowed me to follow along easily. I have a feeling that I will be using the channel ASL THAT in the future.


This concludes this weeks ASL update. I made a video to showcase my learning, follow me at Hayley Hodson to keep updated on each of my videos. I hope to see you all next week as I learn some common ASL phrases.


What is ASL?

ASL stands for American Sign Language. it is a language of its own that a deaf or hearing impaired person may use to communicate. I have had encounters with learning ASL before, but never to this extent that I am committing to learning it. In church I learned songs in sign language, but never truly understood that the formation that my hands were moving were the equivalent to the words being sung verbally.

In the last year I have found myself becoming more and more interested in communication – both verbal and non-verbal. I enjoy learning about body language, different spoken languages such as English which is my first language French which I am currently working on learning, and of course Sign Language and even Braille. My hope for the future is to become multilingual in English, French, and Sign Language.

I realize that I have a long way to go before I meet that goal. What better way to begin my journey in Sign Language than to learn it intensively over a 10 week period for class. I’m not planning on becoming a master of the language by April, but I hope to build a foundation that I can continue to work from after the assignment is complete.

I will be making weekly videos to showcase my progress in learning ASL. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep up to date and learn along with me Hayley Hodson