I’m teaching ASL this semester and feel inspired with the amount of learning that is going on in the classroom so far. The students seem to be excited about the work, getting over the ‘performance’ fear and really picking up the language. The goal even with developing the course over the summer was creating a strong connection to the class objectives and to the students goals. When developing the classroom design I was thinking about the things that would make the learning experience meaningful to these students who are here to get their foreign language credits. What would make them passionate about Deaf Culture, interacting with the Deaf community, begin to move their face and hands in ways they had never done before, and expand on their understandings of how form and meaning can differ with various languages.
One of the classroom approaches that I have been reading up on is the ‘flipped classroom’. What this is where a student does most of the content learning outside of class and then uses class time for higher level Blooms Taxonomy processes such as applying, analyzing, creating, etc. It’s become a lot of late nights trying to put together meaningful and engaging activities that make relate to each of the lessons but the outcomes so far have been worth it. It’s a lot of ‘hands up’ time, a strong emphasis on ASL only classroom immersion, signing modeling opportunities, and real world scenario practice. The classroom engagement and comprehension levels are impressive so far, and the students seem to be learning and enjoying the subject matter.
For those of you who have taught American Sign Language what are some strategies that you have found most successful in your classes? Have you used the ‘flipped classroom’ approach?
For people who have taken American Sign Language classes what experiences were most meaningful to you?