We have a campaign to keep ASL in schools which is awesome for people who are up for a challenge and an enjoyment for those who teach ASL such as me. Those who learn ASL to communicate with their friends or family members who are deaf do appreciate learning ASL. A challenge placed is a challenge taken.
However, it does not give the right or privilege for someone who is a signer (at any level) to assume that they can teach. Countless videos are posted viral when someone decides to 'teach' ASL. For those who preserve ASL as its natural form, we often find errors. Errors abound. As many as the fishes are in the sea. As many rabbits can give birth to bunnies.
Why do students think that they can post videos teaching ASL? Most often they do not check their work, just like any student that writes a paper does not check his or her work resulting in a zero on their papers. How many errors do the videos get until we do something about it? We have become so sensitive to 'hurting other people's feelings' that we cannot say something?
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. ~Theodore Roosevelt
What do we do to preserve the language and let it evolve naturally? It is a language that hearing people (non-native/natural) are learning but they are reaping the benefits by sharing their information on videos with signs that are incorrect. Sometimes videos are posted that are a part of class, which needs to be changed to 'private'.
Students and presumed teachers - please watch the video below.
When was asked to teach ASL at a college, deaf yes, but someone with a Bachelor's Degree, which is rare in our community, I told them No. I know ASL yes but it did not mean that I could teach it. Second time, no. Third time, sheesh, ok! I have learned a lot over the years and still am and always will be learning. Students - you are still learning, it does not mean you can teach it and post videos online about ASL, especially without permission of your teacher or deaf person. Thank you for trying, tho.
People who have given us their complete confidence believe that they have a right to ours. The inference is false, a gift confers no rights. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
To Be Whole
Currently I am an ASL teacher at a local college and at an high school. I received my Masters in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. At home, I am an activist within the community, Northwest Indiana. My son is in first grade and my daughter goes to E.C.L.I.P.S.E. ASL Preschool. Change begins with you and change is effective with a team.