Sign ASL? Sure You Can! Review

Sign ASL? Sure You Can!

Video Review by Chris Wixtrom     © 1997/2000

Sign ASL? Sure You Can!
Producer and Instructor: Dr. Michael Tuccelli (Deaf)
VHS 56 min., signed and voiced with on-screen text

Available through:
Florida First Coast Signing Video Productions
PO Box 5941, Gainesville, FL 32627-5941
URL:   E-mail:
$24.95   mail orders add $2.50 per tape for S&H, Florida residents add 7% sales tax

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's an ASL Phenomenon! Who can leap high learning blocks in a single bound? Who can fly through complicated grammar lessons faster than a speeding bullet? Who can pack power courses into little video lessons? It's the Man of Sign, Dr. Mike Tuccelli! This amazing teacher from the planet Deaf is empowered with an excellent vision, and possesses remarkable instructional strength. Dr. Mike Tuccelli fights a never-ending battle for true ASL and just-plain low-priced learning materials!

I'm serious, folks. I've done my time sitting at the feet of tremendous Deaf ASL teachers and top-notch interpreter trainers. I've stayed up late studying long instructional videos until my eyes crossed. I've pored over sign language and interpreting books till the pages fall out in my fingers. But I've never seen anything like this video! With Sign ASL? Sure, You Can! - in a mere 56 minutes - Dr. Mike Tuccelli teaches an overview of the principles of ASL and takes the learner from point zero to enlightenment. He claims that experienced English-style signers who have been signing for over 15 years have seen the light of ASL interpreting via this video. I believe it. Like an enthusiastic tour guide in love with his territory, Dr. Tuccelli takes the viewer on a whirlwind trek through the landscape of ASL linguistics, stopping briefly at points of interest to provide simple, clear commentary and to call attention to unique features of the language. Walking learners from sign parameters to pronouns, duration to negation, and number incorporation to facial expression, this man makes it easy to see the difficult structure of a complex visual language. As I watched the tape, my six-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter stopped in for a look, then eagerly showed me that they could sign like the man on the video. Size modulations, rhetorical questions, emphasis and imperatives - they got it! And you will, too, if you get this tape.

Don't worry - it won't break your budget. Though it's truly a treasure, you can pick it up at a bargain-basement price. That's due to Dr. Tuccelli's secret formula: professional instruction by way of amateur technology nets power courses for pennies. Well, practically. (This video sells for $24.95.) Tuccelli's video offerings vary in technical quality. He describes them as "classroom quality" in contrast to "broadcast quality." Some of the on-screen text is pretty poor, and occasionally it sounds like there's a CB conversation competing with Tuccelli's voicing. However, the viewer can join the tour group, wave away these bothersome "bugs" and look out for learning!

Hey! Here's another newsflash. Dr. Tuccelli also offers these concentrated video courses: On Fire With Classifiers ($19.95), Coffee Break Sign Language Lessons with Dr. Sign ($19.95), Receptive Number Practice with Dr. Sign ($19.95), Conceptual Accuracy in Idioms ($29.95), Conceptual Accuracy in Religious Signing ($19.95), Deaf Culture ($19.95), Slow Fingerspelling ($15. 00), Fast Fingerspelling ($25.00), I Can Sign My ABC's: Sign Language for Young Children ($12.95, featuring seven-year-old Kate Tuccelli, a CODA-Child of Deaf Adults) and many religious videos, including Christian camp meetings, testimonies and concerts.

Dr. Tuccelli's recent release is: Sign Language Will Enhance Your Child's Intelligence ($19.95, 75 minutes.) Addressing parents of deaf and hearing babies and toddlers, Dr. Tuccelli presents research supporting sign instruction for all young children, then commences a one-hour sign session to help get parents going. Although he voices and signs English-style ("contact sign") during the descriptive portions of this video, he makes distinctions between ASL and English signs, takes the time to communicate a couple of ASL principles, and provides demonstrations of ASL sentences.

Something powerful just blew inland from Florida's coast: a storm of learning material that will sweep you out of a slump and put you down in front of your VCR for some head-spinning speed-lessons in American Sign Language and Deaf Culture. Catch the wave!

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