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You are HERE >>  Languages : American Sign Language (ASL) and Signed English (SE)
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Lesson 4: Common ASL Phrases
By Elaine Ernst Schneider
August 30, 2001

As was discussed in the first series of sign lessons, two methods of signing exist: American Sign Language and Signed English. (For an explanation and comparison, see http://www.lessontutor.com/eesASLIntro.html ) The signs for words, for the most part, are the same. It is the structuring of the sentences that sets the two systems apart. For example, the Signed English sentence "Are you hungry?" might just as easily be conveyed by the American Sign Language phrase "Hungry, you?" In this lesson, you will be introduced to some common ASL phrases.
.
.
Use right c hand and run the hand down the center of the chest in a downward motion, touching the fingertips to the body as if outlining where the esophagus lies within the chest cavity.
Point in the direction of where someone is located. If no one is there, point to an imaginary person.
.hungry
you
Are you
 hungry?


church......            .G hand pushes away from the body in front. Shoo!

.        church                                                go
.

Extend both hands forward, palms up. Move both open curved hands toward the chest several times, as if drawing in the desired object...            .Point to self.

            want                                                 me

Do you want to go
 to church with me?
.
.
 
Palms together, fingertips up, then 'open' your hands, thumbs leading, to display the contents.
.
.
.book
boring.
The book.
is boring.

Assignment: Try signing these phrases
  1. I am sick (hint: me sick)
  2. You are not eating? (hint: you eat not?)
  3. I have a new red car. (hint: new car, red, me) 


Signs
Description of Sign Action


book
You don't judge a book by its cover. Palms together, fingertips up, then 'open' your hands, thumbs leading, to display the contents.
boring
Place the index finger of the right hand on the right nostril, rotating the wrist slightly to the front.
church
Make a left "s" hand and hold it with the palm facing downward. Place a right "c" hand on the back of the left hand. Note: The sign symbolizes that the church is set on the rock.
go
"G" hand pushes away from the body in front. "Shoo!"
hungry
Use right "c" hand and run the hand down the center of the chest in a downward motion, touching the fingertips to the body as if outlining where the esophagus lies within the chest cavity.
me
Point to self, mid-chest.
want
Extend both hands forward, palms up. Move both open curved hands toward the chest several times, as if drawing in the desired object.
you
Point in the direction of where someone is located. If no one is there, point to an "imaginary" person.

Continue to Lesson 5: More ASL Phrases
 
Series 3 of our ASL lessons is available in a single, print-friendly file in our Shop@LT.
25 pages. Email or snail mail delivery options. $3.00

Submitted by:  © Elaine Ernst Schneider entered the classroom as a special education teacher in the 1970's. Since then, she has taught mainstream English Grammar, Literature, music K-12, deaf education, psychology, Algebra, creative writing, social studies, law, and science in both public and private schools. Presently, Elaine is a curriculum author for multiple educational publishers and is the managing editor of Lesson Tutor, a lesson plan website found at http://www.lessontutor.com. Her most recent books, 52 Children's Moments (Synergy Publications) and Taking Hearing Impairment to School (JayJo Books and the Guidance Channel) can be found at Amazon.com. She is currently working on a project with Pearson Prentice Hall as an author of an on-line teacher's professional development course for the Council for Exceptional Children.
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