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1 Week American Sign Language Challenge (Oct 2017)

Welcome back!

Last month, I got really focused on a difficult goal I set myself for Japanese. I completely forgot about this challenge. :O Fortunately, each new challenge is a chance to start fresh, from wherever we are in our studies.

I'll be doing one ASL lesson each day, from the Youtube channel Bill Vicars ASL 1 playlist. You're invited to join me. If you prefer to do lessons from a different source than I have, feel free to do so!

To join, just leave a comment with your week's chart and update it daily as shown below. Begin the chart list with the day your started. Set your own goals or borrow mine. After completing your goal for the day, edit your comment and paste this ✔️ next to the accomplished goal.

For absolute beginners: See resources I've posted below my daily goal chart.

My Goal: 1 Lesson per day.

Tuesday: Lesson 4, Video ✔️
Wednesday: Lesson 5, Video ✔️
Thursday: Lesson 6, Video ✔️
Friday: Lesson 8, Video ✔️
Saturday: SignSchool Lesson 1 ✔️
Sunday: SignSchool Lesson 2 ✔️
Monday: SignSchool Lesson 3 ✔️
Tuesday: SignSchool Lesson 4 ✔️

Study resources:

For absolute beginners: Start by building some early confidence: First 100 Signs
Also available:
- Introduction to fingerspelling and chart, (Enlarged chart).
- Learning tool
- Practice tool
In addition to:
- Facial expressions: Basic, essential expressions
- Eyebrows for Yes/No
- Eyebrows for Wh Questions
- Eyebrows for Rhetorical questions

The Bill Vicars, corresponds with the website LifePrint, which offers many free ASL resources. Unlike the Youtube channel, the website offers cultural insights and vocabulary lists that link to a video of each sign on the list. However, the Youtube channel has more videos than the website. This is why I recommend using both.

One strategy I've used was to copy and paste the LifePrint vocab lists into an Evernote list on my computer. I downloaded the Evernote app (free version) onto my phone. Then, I sync the computer list with the phone app. When I'm riding the bus or waiting for an appointment, I can open the list on my phone and try to remember each of the signs. If I get stuck, I just click the word and a video showing me the sign pops up.

Caution: When learning ASL through online resources, check the credentials of the person who has created the resource. The internet is full of low and bad quality ASL tips, lessons, and music videos created by beginners and even people who are using SE and SEE labeled as ASL. These are completely different languages! One reason I like Life Print and the Bill Vicars Youtube channel is because the creator, Dr. Vicars, has a Ph.D in Deaf Education and is himself part of the Deaf community.

Hand Care Don't tense your hand like the student in the lessons I'm doing. (She is a beginner too.) Stay completely relaxed. If a sign causes your hand to hurt or cranks your wrist at an odd angle, don't do it as crisply as shown in the chart and the student in the video. Relax, relax, relax. Pain and discomfort are bad.

October 3, 2017



Strangely enough, I have independently been doing LifePrint lessons (a friend told me about it) starting about a week ago and I am loving it. I started off just with this Tinycards deck and now am learning from Mr. Vicars. Still a beginner, to be sure, but glad to find out now that it's recommended by a Duo mod!

I'd like to partake of the challenge, but I would prefer to go at a bit of an easier pace, as I am slower than some to grasp things. I'll probably split the lessons in half, like this:

  • ✔️ Tuesday: first half of Lesson 3
  • ✔️ Wednesday: third quarter of Lesson 3
  • ✔️ Thursday: finish Lesson 3
  • ✔️ Friday: first half of Lesson 4
  • ✔️ Saturday: Weekend break
  • ✔️ Sunday: Weekend break
  • X Monday: Finish Lesson 4 ( ran out of time =( )
  • and so on. I'll update this through the week, and if I am not up to much, then I will split some lessons into thirds.

Thanks for the suggestion, certainly a good idea! =)


I'm really excited to read that! Yes, I very highly recommend Dr. Vicars.

As for your pace, this is meant to be a challenge as opposed to a competition. So, whatever pace folks feel best suits the time and energy they have available is the recommended pace. :)


I just finished the last day of my challenge. Today was difficult. I'm doing three challenges. One for Japanese, one for ASL, and one for exercise (with a friend). Without these challenges, I think I wouldn't have accomplished my goals for today. So, thank you all for joining me this week!

I have decided to extend this challenge for another week for anyone who is interested. It's not an XP challenge, so, after thinking about it, I think posting it more than once a month will be ok. I will either post the next installment of the ASL challenge tomorrow or the next day. I hope you'll join me when I do. ^_^


The content of this challenge overlaps nicely with my review of what I studied from the previous challenge, so I'm in. Thank you ^_^

Tuesday: Lesson 4, Video 4 ✔️

Wednesday: Lesson 5, Video 5 ✔️

Thursday: Lesson 6, Video 6 ✔️ (barely made it)

Friday: Lesson 7, Video 7 ✔️

Saturday: Lesson 8, Video 8 (1/3) ✔️ (another ギリギリ day)

Sunday: Lesson 8, Video 8 (1/3)+(2/3) ✔️

Monday: Lesson 8, Video 8 (1/3)+(2/3)+(3/3) ✔️

I worked at a slower pace than in the previous challenge, and I think a retained information better too. Thank you very much, Usagiboy. I'm looking forward to the next challenge.


Okay, I've been eyeing this post for two days, so I'll just go ahead and commit. :)

I'm very much a beginner and I'm slow to assimilate the signs, so I'm just aiming to get three lessons done by the end of the challenge.

Lesson 1 ✔️
Lesson 2 ✔️
Lesson 3 ✔️

Thanks for posting this, Usagi! I'm always really interested in your ASL posts, so it's fun to participate in a challenge.


Welcome aboard KateVinee!

I created this challenge especially hoping to encourage people with little to no prior ASL experience to check it out. I plan to run this challenge at least once a month to provide ongoing motivation for those who do. So, I'm very happy you decided to go ahead and join us. :D


I'm so excited to hear this is going to be an ongoing thing! :D


Everyone keeps asking about ASL being on Duolingo. https://www.signschool.com/ is like Duolingo in some ways and it is a free way to learn ASL. The signers in the videos are Deaf or interpreters. It's set up in levels, there are games, ASL stories, and a dictionary with over 4,000 words and phrases collected. They also include regional variations of the signs. The website gives you the in-depth lessons. You can download the dictionary on your phone.


This is the first I've read about them. I just signed up for a beta account. I'm looking forward to checking it out. Thanks! :)


Session 2 of this challenge is up! https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24822669

I'd like to do this once a week, but, I think we would be more likely to suffer attrition. So, I'm thinking of running it twice a month instead, since once a week just isn't enough for me. Feedback is more than welcome!


Thank you for this opportunity. Is there any way to make ASL available through Duolingo?


It would require several changes and for users to have access to more technology. I don't know what all of it would entail. At least cameras and movement tracking, plus the Incubator would need to have a design that allows course contributors to build the courses themselves. And Duolingo would have to decide on which dialect.

Upvoting this discussion wouldn't hurt. :)


It would require several changes and for users to have access to more technology. I don't know what all of it would entail. At least cameras and movement tracking.

It may not need to be that sophisticated, but what you said made me think of how a duolingo-based ASL course should look like, and I already have few possible strategies in mind. I'll need to organize my ideas first, and I would also need to consult an expert to see if my ideas are applicable, so I think I'll address the topic later or in a separate discussion.


I'm looking forward reading your ideas. While your planning, keep in mind the interactive aspect. Right now, we enter data and get feedback on whether or not we've done something right. For ASL, Duolingo would need a way to "see" if they are reproducing the signs, non-manual signals, and the grammar to a certain degree of satisfaction. That's where I think the technology aspect will come into play.

If you would, put a copy of your ideas in the ASL is possible on Duolingo discussion? If Duolingo ever does move in the direction of created sign language courses, they will likely stop by that discussion at some point. Thanks! :)


Roger that. My ideas are currently at the gif level, but I will try to consult people of better knowledge about the topic.


3rd day in (for me). How is everyone doing?


Barely made it on time on Thursday (actually, I started the lesson close to midnight, so the lesson started on Thursday, but the daily goal was achieved on Friday). I redeemed myself today, but I think I'll take only part of Lesson 8 tomorrow, because it's a new lesson for me.


I think I made it with an hour or less left to go last night. This has certainly been a challenge for me this week. I'm glad I've got support ^_^


I got to practice ASL in live conversation. I met up with my friend who is a fluent signer and we didn't use any English. We were planning to meet up It was the first time I've ever seen her sign "fart". I was so surprised. haha. So, she insisted I read a passage in the book she was reading. It's written by someone in senate who was also a comedy writer for SNL. (I don't recall their name.) It was a very funny passage about bean feasts.

Anyhow, I accidentally did number 8 instead of 7 yesterday. :P
It was a hard one. Not the content itself, but I was in the park with my friend and these other people we didn't know sat down and kept talking to me. I'm actually not sure if I made it through the entire video lesson. I think we got up early because they just kept collecting more and more people into their group and were really destracting. But I did make it through the vocab list for it. So, with all of the practice, I decided to go ahead and mark my day complete. Today, I'll go back and do 7.

How's it going for all of you?


I've updated my goal today. I'm going to take a detour to check out the SignSchool (in beta) lessons. :)


What's the level of their Lesson 1 compared to Professor Vicars's?


Much more basic. It starts with "what's your name" and "how are you" and learning to fingerspell your name, the alphabet, and a sentence. I like that it offers me the chance to use my web came so I can see myself signing this stuff. It's below my current level of signing. But, I told my friend I would check it out and get back to them. :)


Yeah, the basic modules are really for people who don't know any ASL. I did learn some new signs from them though. Now I'm about to start the intermediate modules. That's where the start offering grammar modules too.


BTW you can test out of modules too if you already know the signs. :)


I decided to take them all in case people have questions later. So far, I'm really liking it. Thank you for the recommendation. :D

If lingot giving wasn't acting so glitchy for me, I'd totally donate a pile to you. :'(

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