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Private interactive video-based training:
Also see: Online ASL Study Groups
QUESTION: An ASL learner writes:
"Hi, my name is ██████. I'm Hearing, age 23, and know quite a bit of sign language but need practice signing. How can I do zoom lessons with you?
Thank you for your time.
Hello. Nice to meet you :)
I'm not seeking new Zoom clients at this time.
For those who wish to be placed on a waiting list, my rate for one-on-one is $120 per half hour, billable in 5 hour increments.
Why so high? I have a terminal degree in my field (doctorate in Deaf Education) and 30 years of experience plus I prefer to use my time building free resources for the world to use rather than doing work that only benefits one person.
If you would like you are welcome to inform me how much your budget allows for Deaf mentoring and I can refer you to one of my friends or associates.
- Dr. V.
William G. Vicars Ed.D.
To: Dr. Bill Vicars
Sent: Fri, May 14, 20██ 3:31 pm
Subject: My class
I am currently teaching a high school introductory ASL class in ████████████. I start each day with one-on-one assessments of my students, five at a time. Rather than leave the rest of the class on their own, I play ASL review videos for them on Youtube, and you seem to show up quite often. Firstly, THANK YOU for all of your hard work, and for helping me with my class!!! Secondly, my students have told me that they would love to meet you on Teams or Zoom. I don't know if this is at all possible, but I told them that I would ask.
So, here I am, asking. Are you available to pop in, virtually, to our class some time? I would very much appreciate it, and they would love to meet you!
Please let me know, either way, and I will pass your answer along.
Thanks very much!
████████ Secondary School
Dear Mr. ██████ and your obviously awesome ASL class,
I love teaching ASL to anyone, anywhere. However, if I spend an hour doing the logistics and email ping-pong to set up a Zoom meeting for an individual student or individual class that is an hour that I could have invested building curriculum or doing a video that would / could be viewed by thousands of users via my youtube channel or the Lifeprint website. So instead of doing the Zoom thing I'm going to share a few tips or ideas below on how to learn ASL using ASLU resources.
William G. Vicars Ed.D.
Do you do private tutoring?
While I very much enjoy teaching anyone pretty much anywhere / anytime -- doing one-on-one tutoring takes time away from scalable / cloneable projects that can be posted for thousands to see and enjoy (instead of just one person benefiting).
Or in other words: If I spend time tutoring a beginner I benefit only that one person.
If I spend that same half-hour building a video or online resource (covering a new or advanced topic) and post it publicly -- it has the potential to help many people -- ranging from several thousand to (in the case of some of my more popular videos) millions of viewers.
So, any one-on-one work I do lately is typically to cover new topics and/or passion projects that I can post to my channel. (Meaning the person being tutored has to be willing to be seen online.)
The challenge lately is that Zoom-based training typically results in video with a (relatively low) 1280 by 720 resolution, occasional lags, and black bars on the top and bottom of the screen. For example, see this "baby signing" project I did using Zoom: https://youtu.be/VisY6UFd3J8
It turned out "okay" -- but not as high of quality that I would like.
So I've put one-on-one tutoring is low on my priority list while I seek recording software that allows at a distance instruction of at least 1080p and control over the "box" sizing of the participants, plus (ideally) a floating box for PowerPoint slides. I'm sure I'll find some sort of good software eventually -- or maybe work out a system whereby the tutee would simultaneously record in 1080p (or higher) and then later upload that video to my Dropbox then I'd use something like Adobe Premier to crop and stitch it together with my local 1080p recording. Seems like a lot of work though and this pandemic won't last forever.
For "now" I recommend you look over the hints and tips I'll paste below.
See item number 2 which is a link to my master playlist. Once you access the playlist jump down to whichever video best matches your current level of signing ability and go through the list from there.
Plus feel free to let me know if you want to be on the list of potential "signing assistants" for future one-on-one videos for my channel after I've found a better recording approach.
- Dr. Bill
How to use ASL University to learn sign language for free:
1. Visit https://Lifeprint.com and become familiar with the ASL University website.
2. Bookmark the official ASLU YouTube master playlist:
3. For quick reviews (to prevent memory extinction) bookmark the "Signs" channel playlist page:
https://www.youtube.com/c/Lifeprint-signs/playlists or more specifically: https://www.youtube.com/c/Lifeprint-signs/playlists?view=50&sort=dd&shelf_id=1
4. If you use a desktop or laptop computer you can look up signs using this page: https://www.lifeprint.com/search.htm
5. If you use a mobile device you can look up signs using this page:
6. If you can't find a sign after using the search options at Lifeprint.com then consider applying to join the Lifeprint-ASLU Facebook group and asking your question there. See:
7. Go through the ASLU Lessons for free:
How do I get a private lesson with you, or are you not doing those anymore because of the Corona virus?
I'm generally not doing any new one-on-one work until the pandemic is over -- and even then any one-on-one work will typically only be to cover new topics or work on passion projects. (By passion projects I mean projects that I personally feel excited and passionate about.)
Zoom-based training typically results in low video quality of 1280 by 720 resolution and occasional video lags as well as other issues that do not allow for creation of videos that I would want to use in future products or projects.
On a personal level, instead of trading my time for money doing one-on-one tutoring -- I would rather invest an hour building curriculum or web pages that I can give away free that will be of benefit to society
While I very much enjoy teaching anyone pretty much anywhere / anytime -- doing one-on-one tutoring takes time away from scalable / cloneable projects that can be posted for thousands to see and enjoy (instead of just one person).
If I spend time tutoring a beginner I benefit only that one person. If I spend that same half-hour building a video or online resource (covering a new or advanced topic) and post it publicly -- it has the potential to help many people -- ranging from several thousand to (in the case of some of my more popular videos) millions of viewers.
Oh sure, there is a price-point at which I can become as excited about trading my time for money as I can about working on passion projects -- but that price point is commensurate with what you would expect charged by someone with a doctorate degree, decades of experience, and lots of fun projects competing for available time.
If a person has the funds to do so and is seriously interested in hiring me away from such projects they are welcome to bid for my time. My email address can be found on my contact page (listed in the information below).
- Dr. Bill
I was wondering if you offered any paid personal lessons or one on one teachings via skype, zoom, or any other video chat platforms?
[Names may be changed to respect the person's privacy]
Hello and thank you for your interest. While I very much enjoy teaching anyone / anywhere / anytime -- the simple fact is doing one-on-one tutoring is not a "highest and best" use of my time. It takes time away from scalable / cloneable (or "clonable" = able to be cloned) projects that can be posted for thousands to see and benefit.
If I spend a half hour with a beginner I benefit only that one person. If I spend that same half-hour building a video or online resource (covering an advanced topic I haven't already covered) and post it publicly -- it has the potential to help many people -- ranging from several thousand to (in the case of some of my more popular videos) millions.
However, I certainly do understand the desire for personal connection, interaction, and feedback. I have set up a private Facebook group for ASLU students to connect with each other for practice or to ask questions. The group is at:
Note: To be accepted into the group you must read and agree to the rules. You must also answer two questions. If you apply and don't answer the questions the moderators delete your application. The rules help insure the group is of high quality.
You can even ask the group to refer you to Deaf tutors who enjoy tutoring others one-on-one (for a reasonable sum).
Occasionally I do semi-private 3-day hyper-immersions for groups of 8 to 10 at a cost of $███.00 per participant -- however the stars and my schedule have to align just right. I do have one of those semi-scheduled for January (2021-- but chances are it will be "cancelled" due to the ongoing pandemic -- will see). I do keep an interest list though for those times when I host such immersions. More info at: https://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/topics/hyper-immersion-(asl-immersion).htm
Warm regards to you,
- Dr. Bill
I would like to know what your fee is for a 15 minute session? Just conversation to help me with my skills.
At this time I am generally unavailable for one-on-one training sessions either in-person or via video chat.
I prefer to use my time to build resources for ASL University that can / will reach an audience of thousands rather than an audience of "one."
When I do one-on-one training it is generally as part of a hyper-immersion lasting one-week at a tuition of $█,███.00 (For information regarding hyper-immersions, see: https://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/topics/hyper-immersion-(asl-immersion).htm
However, in regard to one-on-one signing practice -- I do have advanced interns who are available to practice signing with you at a price of $40 per half-hour with a minimum 5-hour up-front $400 payment and a once-a-week (or more) schedule. If the signing practice assistant (SPA) misses a session they owe you that session plus an additional free session. If you miss a session you lose that session. (That way the participants have "skin in the game" and don't cancel whenever they feel like it).
If you would like to proceed with one-on-one practice via ASLU you may email me at billvicars (at) AOL (dot) com and include:
First name / Last name
1st preferred availability meeting time:
2nd preferred availability meeting time:
3rd preferred availability meeting time:
[For example: Mondays at 10:00AM]
Plus any other details you feel might be helpful to the process.
After you email me your availability, go to https://paypal.me/lifeprint and submit a $100 deposit (since I hate wasting my time setting up tutoring and then the tutee bails). Then within two weeks I'll either link you up with a tutor or I'll refund your $100.
Ways to support the ASL University channel:
1. Click the "thumb up" (like) icon on videos at https://YouTube.com/billvicars
2. Click the "subscribe" button at https://YouTube.com/billvicars (if you haven't done so yet)
3. Click the "Share" link and share the videos.
4. Visit the "ASLU" bookstore at https://www.lifeprint.com/bookstore/bookstore.htm (feel free to suggest new products that you would like to see).
5. Buy some ASL University "official" clothing at: ASLU gear: https://teespring.com/stores/aslu
6. Subscribe to the ASLU subscription site: http://asl.tc
(For information see: https://lifeprint.com/asltc/ )
7. Donate via: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=64QMBRBXQSV6G
8. For other donation options, see: https://www.Lifeprint.com/donate.htm If you have any friends who might be in a position to do so you might want to consider inviting them to donate -- thus supporting Deaf children and the promotion of free sign language resources via Lifeprint.com
* Want to help support ASL University? It's easy: DONATE (Thanks!)
* Another way to help is to buy something from Dr. Bill's "Bookstore."
* Want even more ASL resources? Visit the "ASL Training Center!" (Subscription Extension of ASLU)
* Also check out Dr. Bill's channel: www.youtube.com/billvicars
You can learn American Sign Language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University ™
ASL resources by Lifeprint.com © Dr. William Vicars