Independent Learning Project

When I had first learned that I would have to find an independent learning project I groaned. I have had to do one for a pervious class and I struggle with keeping up with it. We would be encouraged to find something that interested us and we would be put on a deadline for a topic and I would just come up with one on the spot. I also struggled with finding a topic for this independent learning project. I thought a bit of Netflix might inspire my decision. I had decided to continue watching an interesting TV series I had started a couple weeks ago called Switched at Birth. This series surrounds the lives of two teenage girls and their families as they had discovered that the two girls were in fact switched in the hospital in which they were both born. During their first meeting one family discovers that their biological daughter is actually deaf. It was interesting to see how the family adapted to having a deaf child and how they communicated. Throughout the season the family had learned ASL so they could get to know their biological daughter. I would watch the show and it would amaze me how fast they could move their hands and also be able to understand what the other person was saying. After watching a couple episodes I Googled how to learn sign language and began learning. The language had always fascinated me and always interested me. I remember going to school with a deaf kid but I never really knew him. He was not oral, as the girl in the TV was. I would see him with his sister at football games and they would be communicating through ASL and I would watch them sometimes. He was a fairly popular kid with many friends, and everyone knew him because he was deaf. He also had an interpreter throughout school that would help him throughout classes and school assemblies; she was not only an interpreter but also a mentor to him. I had watched my first video on sign language and had learned the basic beginning signs. I learned how to sign things about family, food, clothes, animals, etc. The video was only 25 minutes long but it had gone quick for how much was learned. I plan to devote two hours out of the week to learning ASL and I may also research how to language was developed. I feel like this would be fun project and learning a new language can be fun.  The picture below is the sign for friend.


Photo CC-By r.a olea



10 thoughts on “Independent Learning Project

  1. Cool project! I think that sign language is so intriguing and would be worth learning. Have you had any difficulties learning through video? I think it would present problems that may not arise as quickly if you were learning in an actual class.


    1. Learning through the video is sometimes hard because I can’t change my perspective. I sometimes get confused as to where the placement of the fingers actually are because they are hidden from the camera. Other than that I would say it is going pretty well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. At the daycare I currently work at, we have a deaf child. At first, I found ASL complicated and struggled with the memorization. The motions and skills slowly grew in my memory until I could communicate in full sentences with the child. This is a wonderful tool to teach every child. In the infant room, they teach the babies the words milk, more, please, eat, mother, father, and play. This is a great communication skill to allow interaction on a different level. I cannot wait to continue to read about your progress. Do you think this should be considered another language considering it is a form of communication?


  3. Liz,
    I think this is a great Independent Learning Project! My roommate’s mom taught ASL in a school a few years back, so she taught her daughter some. Now if we are in a situation where I can’t hear her well she just signs what she wanted to tell me and we can communicate that way, even though we both are not hearing impaired or deaf. I too, had a classmate a few grades below me who was deaf. It was hard to know how to interact with her since I didn’t know much sign language. I think ASL is a great thing to know and that everyone should be taught this. Great post!


  4. I appreciate how ABC Family (I suppose it is Freeform now) tackles difficult social issues on their shows. I’ve never watched Switched at Birth or The Fosters, but I do watch Pretty Little Liars so I know a little about the shows through commercials. I think you have chosen an awesome independent learning project. I hope the farther you get into learning ASL the easier it will be to keep up with the posts for this class!


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