A New Way of Experiencing American Sign Language and English
Acting or ASL?Some may wonder. Are our stories filled with mime and gesture, or is it really ASL? Why does ASL Tales look different than other books with ASL DVDs?Honestly, when we printed our first books, we weren't sure either. The storytellers were told to tell the tales as they would with non-ASL fluent children. The result was delightful, easy to understand, ASL-rich text that engages ASL users and non-signers. We now know this is a feature of ASL called constructed action.
Action Scripts as a Learning ToolThe research clearly points to the essential link between reading and visualizing. ASL offers the ideal combination of visualizing practice with decoding written text.Using the detailed descriptions* of what happens on each page of the book, parents and educators can help students discover the implicit meaning in the English text.All readers create their own pictures, and our ASL videos are the pictures created by our ASL performers and consultants. Children, after exploring how much detail they can discover in our ASL version, can practice discovering their own visual version of these stories.
Sample Script: Princess and the PeaEnglishHe traveled North. But the Princess he found did not like warm weather.ASL (note: signed words are in caps):40The prince goes up NORTH:42He goes there and gets cold.:45He looks for a princess and sees her going by, being pulled by an animal (we know this is a polar bear because of the art).:49He follows her, runs after her, and says "hi".:52Pinky uses a gesture to show that the Prince is in love:53The Princess responds like she's not interested, while holding the reins of the bear,:54The prince asks her to come HOME WITH him:57She answers, "no, I like it here where it's cold.":59The prince tells the audience that he's disappointed.