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American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreting Resources

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A Basic Course in American Sign Language A Basic Course
in American Sign Language

by Tom Humphries, Carol Padden
& Terrence J. O'Rourke
illustrated by Frank A. Paul

Second Edition

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Review:

I was given A Basic Course in American Sign Language when I first began learning the language--what seems like--quite a few years ago; I found it very helpful, educational and pragmatic and would recommend it to anyone learning ASL. It serves as an excellent starting point for the beginner (and perhaps intermediate) ASL student.

The book is divided up into 22 lessons, each of which addresses a particular grammatical or linguistic aspect of the language with lessons and examples and vocabulary. For example, the first chapter begins with personal pronouns, a lesson on basic sentence structure and a selection of vocabulary; the second chapter moves onto possessives; the third descriptive adjectives; and so on.

While this book does not contain as comprehensive a vocabulary listing as some dedicated ASL dictionaries, it does provide good insight on ASL sentence structure--which most ASL dictionaries lack. Unlike other books on ASL which provide merely sentence formation/structure, with no vocabulary, A Basic Course in American Sign Language is an excellent one-stop purchase for the beginning ASL student or enthusiast.

--by Damon Timm

 

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