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You are HERE >>  Languages : American Sign Language (ASL)

American Sign Language for the Deaf  Lesson 5, "I can..."
By Elaine Ernst Schneider
April 2, 2001, rev. Sept/03
I in American Sign Language
can in A.S.L.
I signed using ASL
I (SE)


work, worked
sign, signing

Sign Description of Action
can Hold "a" hands in front of the chest area, thumbs pointing upward. Move both hands down firmly together, stopping at the waist.

cook Place the palm side of the right hand in the upturned palm of the left hand. Then turn the right hand over, resting the back side of the right hand in the left palm. Note: the sign is to suggest turning food over in a frying pan, for example, flipping a pancake.

I (ASL) Point to self, mid chest.

I (SE) Touch the "i" hand to the center of the chest.

learn Gently touch the fingers of the right "and" hand to the left upturned palm. Move the right hand to the forehead, as if transferring information from the hand to the brain.

read Move a right "v" hand downward across a left open palm.

sign Using "d" hands, rotate in a circular motion toward the body. Hands should not be parallel - keep one hand up when the other is down and vice versa.

sing Wave right flat hand in the crook of the left arm.

study With right open fingers pointing toward the open palm of the left hand (left palm facing right, fingers closed), wiggle fingers slightly. Note: Some signers also move the right hand back and forth a short distance from the left hand, to indicate pouring over the same material again and again.

teach Hold closed hands, palms facing outward and fingers touching thumbs,  in front of the body, leaving about six inches between hands. Open and close hands twice to indicate the imparting of information.

work Tap the right "s" hand on the back of the left "s" hand.


To review the differences between ASL and SE (Signed English) , click here.

Continue to Lesson 6 - "I will..." Click Here

Submitted by:  © Elaine Ernst Schneider  is a freelance writer and a teacher. She has been writing since high school and has published articles, songs, and children's work. Presently, Elaine is a curriculum author for Group Publishing and also writes the City Songs column for ezine.  Send your feedback to Elaine
- I just found your site and material.  Thanks for the simplicity and easy to read figures. I'm trying to share Signing with my 5th graders.
Sincerely,  Sue N 
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