Friday, July 31, 2020

American Sign Language for Beginners: Learn Signing Essentials in 30 Days

American Sign Language for Beginners is a beginner's tutorial guide to ASL by Rochelle Barlow. Released 28th July by Callisto on their Rockridge Press imprint, it's 192 pages (for the print copy) and available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book is currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free.

This is a great 30 day tutorial for learning ASL either independently or as part of a classroom. I liked the easy to follow layout of the book and the accessible language. The introduction covers the author's personal history with ASL as well as the origins and use of signing. The introduction also gives a good breakdown of hand position and posture for signing as well as the "five parameters" (handshape, palm orientation, location, movement, and non-manual markers).

The following chapters are laid out in daily tutorials covering individual words and phrases and leading to more complex and nuanced sentences and contextual signaling as well as verb tenses, sentence structure, and questions. The author has also included a solid resources and links list for further reading. The photography in the tutorials is clear and understandable.

This is a very well done book and would make a good resource for self-learners as well as classroom settings.

Five stars

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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