Friday, May 2, 2014

A Classifier Story

My final project for my intermediate ASL class was to create a classifier story and share it with the teacher on video. For those of you unfamiliar with American Sign Language, classifiers are "designated handshapes and/or rule-grounded body pantomime used to represent nouns and verbs" according to Brenda Liebman Aron in her article What, When and How to Use ASL Classifiers. Another resource that my professor shared with my class was Dr. Bill Vicker's lesson on classifiers from his online American Sign Language University.

For my story, I wanted to pick a scenario that was very familiar to me. I chose my experience riding in the car with my son when he was learning how to drive stick shift (manual transmission). This story is based in truth but has humor and drama added in for interest.

Within the story, I play several roles: myself, my son, the car, and another driver. There are a few ASL signs sprinkled throughout, but through my mime and facial expressions, the story should be pretty clear even if you do not know sign language. One classifier that comes at the very beginning may need explaining. When I hold up my hand with 2 fingers pointed forward, 2 curled back and my thumb pointing up in the air, that is the classifier for vehicle, in this case, a car. I would love to know what you think of the story (remember I'm still a student) and if you were able to follow it. Enjoy!

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