You Can Sign
Review by Margaret Klotz
You Can Sign
A three VHS videotape series
Produced by Sign Enhancers
Volume 1: 1 hr 22 min
Volume 2: 1 hr 55 min
Volume 3: 2 hr
ASL, voice-over, closed captions
Finally, a beginners' video series that shows ASL used in a natural context! You will meet the four members of the Bravo family. The narrator provides key vocabulary and then you are invited to glimpse a day in the life of the Bravo family. After each of the four lessons, the narrator provides grammatical information pertinent to the lesson. Following is a practice session to reinforce the key vocabulary. Lastly, the narrator tells a short story using the new vocabulary. The four lessons provided in Volume 1 are: Morning Routines, Breakfast & Dining, Household Signs and Food Signs. Pairing the introduction of key vocabulary with immediate, meaningful reinforcement creates a relaxing and enjoyable setting for the sign language student. The students are encouraged to watch the tape with voice interpretation, and to mute the volume at key instructional points. This type of flexibility allows the tapes to be used by people who have never seen sign language before and by beginning students.
You Can Sign: Volume 2 follows the same format. The four lessons presented in this videotape are: Fingerspelling & Colors, School Signs, Numbers at School, and Money & Banking. Cultural information is beautifully integrated with the vignettes, giving clear explanations for natural differences in sign production.
You Can Sign: Volume 3 contains the following four lessons: Nature & Sports, Health & Medicine, Work-related Signs, and Clothing & Shopping. Used in succession with the first two volumes in the series, this tape rounds out a complete ASL experience. The increased difficulty of language in each succeeding lesson is finally at a fluid, natural level of communication.
For the new student to be able to view ASL - as it is used in context - is invaluable. The producer was able to make a clear instructional video without compromising the ASL presented. This series is so versatile that it would be great to use at home without the aid of an instructor, which is particularly helpful to families with a Deaf child. I would highly recommend this series.