I studied American Sign Language when I was in high school with some friends, and I also studied sign language for a year when I got to the university. I love sign language! I love the beauty of the motion. I love the grammar! And I always talk with my hands as I’m speaking. Sign language feels so natural to me. An ASL children’s dictionary would be a great addition to my home library.
When I saw a chance to review the Gallaudet Children’s Dictionary of American Sign Language on netgalley.com, I jumped at the chance to review it. As the title states, it is geared toward children, and I must say I simply love the way it has been set up. It is a bright, engaging, and helpful dictionary.
Keep reading for my review or check out my mini-review vlog on my Facebook page.
Book of the Day: Gallaudet Children's Dictionary of American Sign Language. I love it! Get it here: http://amzn.to/1Ok7aI6 (afflink)
Posted by Line Upon Line Learning on Thursday, January 14, 2016
For each word chosen to be included in the dictionary, the word is in bold on the left side of the page and the synonyms for that word if included are listed smaller underneath it. The page then has an illustration to describe the word and a sketch of a child signing it. There is an extensive introduction and details about how American Sign Language works as a language (i.e., grammar notes!) to help parents who may have purchased in hopes of teaching ASL to a non-verbal child.
My daughter, who is almost 4 years old, loved flipping through the pages. She too loves sign language. We began to watch Baby Signing Time and Signing Time when she was quite young. Given the fact that I talk with my hands and sign language is so natural when talking to a non-verbal child, I’ll have to say she’s been imitating and signing along with me her whole life! She loved finding pictures that appealed to hear and asking what the sign was.
One thing I noticed in just few minutes of reviewing this book with my daughter was that my daughter was learning synonyms and making connections. This is also a great book for learning context and vocabulary to those not even interested in learning ASL for practical use!
The digital review copy of the ASL Dictionary was beautiful on my tablet: bright colors, bright and clear pictures, and also easy to understand hand sketches for the signs. But because I was so interested in this book, I also found a physical copy so I could see how it appeared in hardback format. It is even more beautiful in real life. The cover is designed with a hologram on the top that changes as you move the book. Perfect for a language that has such obvious motion. The pages in the book are full, and because the pictures and pages are so colorful, it is delightful to look through.
Finally, the extra special bonus is that there is a DVD-ROM that one can put in the computer to see people actually signing these words. That is, if the pictures don’t seem clear enough. The pictures are very clear, but let’s face it, seeing a person signing is always the best choice for learning ASL!
The Gallaudet Children’s Dictionary of American Sign Language is an absolutely excellent reference for parents who are seeking to learn sign language to teach children, whether those children are autistic, deaf, or nonverbal for any reason. It would be great for the teacher seeking a resource for her students to use. And as a mom of children who enjoy sign language and as a person who knows sign language in general, I look forward to adding this to my home library, so that my children can browse through it and enjoy learning new signs.
I really enjoyed The Gallaudet ASL Children’s Dictionary and I highly recommend it to anybody who is interested in finding such a dictionary!
Note: I received a digital review copy of the text from the publisher for review consideration.