Sunday, October 31, 2010

From The Trenches

I've been teaching Simultaneous English to ASL this semester. I have twelve students and this is what I can say about all of them:

1. They have learned to trust me, to trust that what I tell them is what I truly believe will work.

2. They are willing to make changes in how they think about language, culture and interpreting.

3. They all want to "convey the message faithfully."

4. They are all making progress.

Now here's what I can say about me as the instructor.

1. I do not have enough time in class (1 hour, 15 minutes, twice a week) to instruct, then model, then have them practice. I leave classes wanting to have done more,

2. I owe part of any success I am having to for providing my students with a virtual language community.

3. I owe another part of any success I am having to iTunes and the free podcasts they offer, which provides unlimited numbers of source material on a variety of subjects. (In particular, TedTalk video podcasts.)

4. I finally got them to stop signing "HAPPEN" "WILL" and "HAVE" in every sentence.

It's a daunting task to teach this class. As much as it is on them to "do the work" so it is on me to "guide the work."

I pray I am on the right track.