Just got done with the last course for my Masters degree. I will get my Masters in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. Whoo! I have learned tons and look forward to making some changes in the upcoming school year, both at the high school and university where I teach.
I also have two kids, one going into 1st grade and the other into kindergarten... school year begins, whew. A whirlwind! Many students in places where ASL is offered will begin learning the language. Many will come into the classroom thinking ASL is easy because humans gesture naturally. Some will quit, most will persevere. It will be frustrating to begin because most do not realize that even though ASL is a 'foreign' language in its natural country, it is the modality that is different.
Modality is how language or communication is delivered. In this case, we will focus on language modality. We know that there are two different ways to communicate a language - one is spoken and the other is signed (there are more ways). One uses the ears and the other uses the eyes. Many students who take French, Spanish or German learn a different language in the same modality - spoken (L2M1). Those who take ASL end up learning two different manners of one language - one being 'foreign' and the other using the eyes-hands mode (L2M2).
This is not to discourage you but to bring you some understanding as the new school year comes (or already has started) and you take ASL, regardless personal choices made in taking the courses.
Good luck and enjoy learning ASL.
Here are several links to peruse to help you be ready for the classes:
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.