One of the best ways to learn a language is in immersion, the process of teaching a new language in which that language is the medium of instruction. The closer an Interpretation Studies student can get to surrounding themselves with ASL, the better their fluency will be with the language. This means spending time with native and fluent ASL friends or family, socializing in and outside of the classroom, and doing everything you can to learn about the culture, grammar, facial expressions and more.
One way to experience a bit of immersion is in consuming media in the language you want to learn – reading books and magazines, watching movies or television shows.
William Woods regularly shows films in American Sign Language on campus for LEAD events and around Fulton. Deaf film companies such as Rustic Lantern or ASL films are constantly producing films in ASL with English subtitles.
Recently, William Woods showed Lake Windfall, by Rustic Lantern. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, five main characters – Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing – “realize how critical effective communication is to our collective survival,” the synopsis says.
Another good watch is Legend of the Mountain Man by ASL films. This is a more family-friendly film about three siblings sent to stay on their grandparents’ ranch for the summer, and how they discover family history and reconcile relationships.
William Woods bachelor’s degree in Interpretation Studies is not only about classroom instruction – which is based on immersion learning – but also about getting involved in the community and participating in events like film viewings or Deaf City. Check online for upcoming film showings, or talk to your professors if there is one you have in mind to show.