Hello and welcome to Introduction to Sign Language!

First off, this class focuses more on the linguistics of sign language rather than being a pure language-based class. The main reason for this is that there are so many different varieties of sign languages out there, so I felt that it wouldn't really be easy to choose just one of these to focus on. I'm more familiar with South African Sign Language than American Sign Language or even Italian Sign Language for that matter, and with HOLers coming from a diverse range of countries, I thought it would be better to help give you an understanding of how sign languages function and hopefully give you a good starting point to learn your own country's sign language.

One thing not many HOLers know about me is that I have a hearing loss and wear hearing aids. While I was able to acquire speech, sign language has always been an interest of mine, so when the opportunity presented itself for me to go on a short sign language course a number of years ago, I jumped at the opportunity. I was also a linguistics major and as part of my course we did a module on sign language linguistics, which allowed me to appreciate sign languages even more.

Should you have any queries, feel free to send an email to hol.signlanguage@gmail.com.

Hope you have a great term! 

alt=“Illustration shows a man signing ‘good luck’ in New Zealand Sign Language. The index finger of his right hand is pointed towards his nose. The thumb is extended while the other fingers are curled backwards. Juxtaposed on the illustration is an arrow pointing downwards, indicating that the right hand moves downwards, with an illustration of the hand again with the index finger curled backwards along with the other fingers.”