Congratulations, you’ve received your very own copy of How to Write American Sign Language and you’re eager to write now! Here are a few tips on getting started:
Look through the pictures
How to Write American Sign Language is full of illustrations and writing. Look at the first few pages of each chapter to get an idea of the contents.
Play games with the digibet
The digibet is the key to deciphering written ASL. Once you’ve memorized them, it is easier to figure out what sign is written on the page. Some ideas for memorizing the digibet: Create a digibet story using the handshapes, give each digit a personality (add whiskers and a tail to them, even!), print out the digibet and stick them on your fridge.
Take each chapter one at a time
Each chapter in How to Write American Sign Language has 5 pages of blank paper for you to write in. Be patient as you work on the principles in each chapter and practice writing the words. In time it comes naturally.
Find a writing buddy
This is very important, especially if you want to accelerate your fluency. Find a friend to write back and forth with — can be in-person or online! For emails, a quick way to write is to use a tablet like the iPad and a drawing app. The ASLwrite Writing Group is also a good place to post your work for feedback.
Remember your purpose for writing!
What made you order How to Write American Sign Language in the first place? Is it a desire to be fluent in ASL, a wish to preserve our cultural heritage? Hold that spark in your heart while you grow as a writer!