Hi! Welcome to Lifeprint (LP).
I'm Bill Vicars. Nice to meet you.
● Dr. Bill's ASL fingerspelling practice app is now available
optimized for your IPhone or IPAD:
● Over 75 ASL study
tools are available for your Android Smartphone. Visit
Hello ASL Heroes! I'm glad you are here! You
can learn ASL! You've picked a great topic to be
studying. Signing is useful skill that can open up for you
a new world of relationships and understanding.
I've been teaching American Sign Language for over 20 years and I am passionate about it.
I'm Deaf (HoH), my wife is d/Deaf, I hold a doctorate in Deaf
Education / Deaf Studies. This is my life.
What you are learning here is important. Knowing sign language
will enable you to meet and interact with a whole new group of
people. It will also allow you to communicate with your baby
many months earlier than the typical non-signing parent! Learning to
sign even improves your brain!
(Acquiring a second language is linked to neurological
development and helps keep your mind alert and
strong as you age.)
I feel you, as my student, deserve my very best efforts on your
behalf. It is my goal to deliver a convenient, enjoyable, learning experience that goes beyond the status quo
and empowers you via a forensic system, breakthrough
methodologies, and a re-engineered approach that saves you time
& effort while providing maximum results.
I designed this
communication-focused curriculum for my own in-person college ASL classes and
put it online to make it easy for my students to access. I
decided to open the material up to the world for free since
there are many parents of Deaf children who NEED to learn how to
sign but may live too far from a traditional classroom.
Now people have the opportunity to study from almost
anywhere via mobile learning, but I started this approach over
15 YEARS ago -- way before it became the new normal.
(You can self-study for free or take it as an actual course for
$483, see here for more details. Many
college students use this site as an easy way to support what
they are learning in thier local ASL classes.)
ASL is a visual gestural
language. That means it is a language that is expressed through the
hands and face and is perceived through the eyes. It isn't just waving your
hands in the air. If you furrow your eyebrows, tilt your head, glance in a
certain direction, twist your body a certain way, puff your cheek, or any
number of other "inflections" --you are adding or changing meaning in ASL. A
"visual gestural" language carries just as much information as any spoken
language. There is much more to learning American Sign Language than just
memorizing signs. ASL has its own grammar, culture, history, terminology and
other unique characteristics. It takes time and effort to become a "skilled
signer." But you have to start somewhere if you are going to get
anywhere--so dive in and enjoy.
- Dr. Bill
I have a perfectly
healthy 2 year old that refuses to talk. We have a vocabulary of
124 signs (most of what are on the 100 signs page). We constantly
go through the "What's the sign for ..." and pull up the
bookmark of your web page. If you actually have time to read
this email can you answer a question...We need a bigger list of
signs, would you recommend me going through the lessons or are
you working on a "more signs" page of maybe 100 to 200 of the most
commonly used signs? ...
The main series of lessons in the ASL
University Curriculum are based on research I did into what are the most
common concepts used in everyday communication. I compiled lists of
concepts from concordance research based on a language database
hundreds of thousands of language samples. Then I took the concepts
that appeared the most
frequently and translated those concepts into their equivalent ASL counterparts and
included them in the lessons moving from most
frequently used to less frequently used.
Thus, going through the lessons sequentially starting with lesson 1 allows
you to reach communicative competence in sign language very quickly--and it is based on
second language acquisition research (mixed with a couple decades of real
world ASL teaching experience).
p.s. Another very real and important part of the Lifeprint ASL curriculum project is that
of being able to use the "magic" of the internet to provide a high quality
sign language curriculum to those who need it the most but are often least able to
afford it. (See the Guyana link below.)
p.p.s. That cartoon sums up my philosophy regarding curriculum. Students
shouldn't have to pay outrageous amounts of money just to learn sign
language. -Dr. Bill
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