Humorous moments in sign language class

Teachers, assistants, volunteers or models, and students have their fun moments in sign language classes. Here are some stories.

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UGLY in and out of context

A student, in ASL 111 at a university, raised her hand and naively asked (oblivious to this context), BEAUTIFUL OPPOSITE SIGN WHAT? I responded UGLY.

The students chuckled, imagining something. In this context, we were talking about family members in photographs that the students shared with one another, using vocabulary such as BEAUTIFUL, LOOK-ALIKE (resemble), TALL, WHEN, WHERE, OCCASION/EVENT WHAT, CUTE, OLD, LOOK-YOUNG, etc. Now you get the picture. (2015)

Four senses and...

During an activity in a sign language interpreting class, each Deaf/ASL model had to repeat an interesting fact about human anatomy in his/her own ASL expression after reading an assigned card.

When it came to my turn to tell in ASL, it turned out that my assigned fact was quite a "cliche". I forewarned the students (of course in ASL), "It's not an interesting one and you all know this one. Anyway, humans have five senses: sight, touch, taste, smell and...umm."

At this odd moment, my hands struggled, "um... what?" Ok, I repeated, "sight, taste, smell, touch and... um... what? Come on..." I struggled again with this unusual mental block. The hearing students and Deaf models quickly helped out, "HEARING" and, quite interesting, "DEAF". -- Jolanta, April 12, 2001.

The Tallest

One of my students was a volleyball player and was the tallest person in the class, even in the whole ASL courses I've ever taught over the past years. Really very tall. During our first test of the course, students sat in the rows (more likely columns). The tallest student sat in the very back of the line. It didn't matter as she could see me all over the students in front of her. What the students weren't informed what I typically do during quizzes, tests, and exams was that I always stood on the chair for everyone to see me clearly. As I stood up on the chair, the tallest kid burst into a laugh. I looked at her like "what was funny?", standing tall. As she tried to explain but decided to gesture 'never mind'. Realizing in all sudden I was taller than her, I got it with a laugh. -- Jolanta, 2016/17(?).

Related posts: Humor: students' journey in ASL class, Humor: ASL teachers in ASL class.

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