You are on page 1of 5

2. INTERPRETATIVE STAGE Párrafo introductorio What is ASL: American Sign Language?

According to the NAD organization1 American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language. “With signing, the brain processes linguistic information through the eyes”. The shape, placement, and movement of the hands, as well as facial expressions and body movements, all play important parts in conveying information. “Sign language is not a universal language -- each country has its own sign language, and regions have dialects, much like the many languages spoken all over the world. Like any spoken language, ASL is a language with its own unique rules of grammar and syntax. Like all languages, ASL is a living language that grows and changes over time” ASL is used predominantly in the United States and in many parts of Canada. ASL is accepted by many high schools, colleges, and universities in fulfillment of modern and “foreign” language academic degree requirements across the United States. Why teaching EFL using ASL? Each country has its own sign language and sometimes signs are similar between two or more countries but in order to not create confusions it will be used the American Sign Language as the center of the teaching-learning process due to English is the language that is taught. ASL has being used recently as an experiment based on different theories about the multimodal learning and this theories talk about the use of two forms of learning to reinforce the response of the brain to evoke a word.


supported in signs. etc.When we are trying to teach English as a foreign language to young learners we found a lot of problems to involve them only with grammar and flashcards. Others have seen learners (especially young ones) spontaneously reproducing the gesture when saying the word. Using ASL helps to have stronger foundations avoiding the process of making up new signs. Many of them have noticed that learners can retrieve a word easily when the teacher produces the gesture associated with the lexical item during the lesson before them. many second language teachers who use gestures as a teaching strategy declare that they help learners in the process of memorising the second language lexicon. teacher have to use another strategies to engage this kids like songs. Engelkamp & Zimmer (1985) demonstrated that the . signs are easy to learn. Cohen & Otterbein. Students enjoy learning something that is unusual. The effect of gestures on memorisation is thus something witnessed by many but hardly explored on a systematic and empirical basis. gestures. stories. Teacher does not have to be an expert in ASL to use it.3) “research in cognitive psychology has highlighted the effect of enactment and of the motor modality on memorization. Recall of enacted action phrases has been found to be superior to recall of action phrases without enactment (Engelkamp & Cohen. There are a lot of internet resources to learn new vocabulary as it be needed. “Indeed. 1991. ASL is very descriptive. and acts to complete the teaching-learning process that allows anchoring word directly in their brains. This method allows shy students to interact more than in a regular English class. But we as teachers could use new tactics that help to students to better learn a language. realia.” (p. 1992).

” (p. and active in class from beginning to end. . it makes the trace richer.5) “students presented with illustrative gestures recalled more sentences than the others. 14) “this study has shown that gesturing enables children to memorize vocabulary better in L2. They learn ASL attached to the new English word.” (p. showing tha t gestures . or more distinctive. p.” (p. relaxed.” (p. enactment adds something to the memory trace of the event.leave an even richer trace in memory.” (p.16) “This study goes one step further.8) “It appears that when gestures are re-produced and act as a motor modality.16) “The groups who used ASL were more recall of enacted sentences is superior to the recall of spoken sentences and to the recall of visually imaged sentences.5) “Thus. So the sign is only related to the English word and NOT to the word in native language.” (p.5) “Experiments by Cohen & Otterbein (1992) have demonstrated that adult subjects exposed to sentences illustrated by pantomimic gestures1i remembered significantly more sentences than subjects who did not see the gestures and subjects who saw non-pantomimic gestures.” (p.” “they started to use the signs by themselves to help remember the new words learned as if they had an ORAL INSTANT FLASH CARD build in INSIDE THEM. easy and descriptive in signing the word that is expressed.a motor modality .” “They showed high self esteem in their English skills” “. they have a stronger impact on memorisation than pictures (a visual modality).ASL is clear. and consequently easier to find at recall. as they get physically involved in their learning. comfortable.4.

They learn the sign language first because it is fun to do and easy and the sign DRAGS along the English world almost automatically. these strategies point to young EFL learners of primary school but it could be used at any level: . It is also a method of communication.” http://genkienglish. such as English and Japanese. and other body movements as the means of communication. facial. Can you imagine putting a dictionary in your students brains? This act almost likes that! ” “ASL make the more shy students also participate!” “My kids also understood that the ASL signs belongs to a word with a meaning and not to a fancy choreography of one song. as between speakers of different languages..” “This single lesson is part of a series of lessons that I constructed to get students more engaged and interactive in the EFL speaking class. -By themselves they started using the ASL as an Oral Instant Flash Card. movements. especially among deaf people. but instructs students to use both signs and spoken English to express ideas and to negotiate meaning. It introduces American Sign Language (ASL) as a tool for non-verbal Sign Language is a language that uses a system of How to teach EFL using ASL? ASL (American Sign Language) has multiple possibilities to work in English class because this language involves different gestures. http://jalt-publications. and signs that allow students to act every word.

Université de Provence. Learning through signs. so they could act a sign accompanied by the spoken word. weather. Teaching verbs. Learning through visual BIBLIOGRAPHY Tellier. celebrations. Marion. France. adjectives and nouns in order to keep it simple to maintain the interest of the students in class. The effect of gestures on second language memorisation by young children.consulted on . for example: Feelings. children are very visual and kinesthetic. Laboratoire Parole et Langage. . Teaching new vocabulary by group depending on the subject. seasons. months. environment. etc. www.Use ASL in EFL class to enhance vocabulary. places.