My general topic I have chosen for Brief 2 is “Comparing various differences between New Zealand Sign Language and American Sign Language”. The reason behind choosing this topic, was that whenever I tell people what I am at university studying, they assume that every country has the same Sign Language, instead of there being unique Sign Languages to all countries. It is also a goal of mine to one day in the future to be able to fluently communicate in American Sign Language as well as New Zealand Sign Language.
– What will your digital asset consist of?
My ePortfolio will consist, of video clips of myself signing, a written reflective blog, photos, academic and informal styled writing.
– How is it related to your current or future programme of study?
Currently I am studying a Bachelors degree in Interpreting: New Zealand Sign Language and English. My focus for this blog, relates to the differences in Sign Languages throughout the world. The reason for choosing New Zealand Sign Language and American Sign Language is the vast difference between the two.
– What is the aim of your asset? What skill(s) do you aim to develop/improve?
I hope to improve not only my signing skills but also my ability to remember and produce the signs correctly. Starting this degree I did not know much about Sign Language in general or its history, and through the completion of this blog, I hope to have a better understanding which will assist in my degree. Improving my reflective skills will also be helpful for future tasks which may require reflection of some kind.
Week 1/2- History of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL)
– Before beginning the process of comparing NZSL and ASL, understanding the history is an important aspect of NZSL and the New Zealand Deaf community. I am preparing to use two weeks to complete this because the history surrounding NZSL is influenced greatly by the history of the Deaf community and how they have developed together. Including the major events in NZSL history will be the main priority with going into depth on them but also how these events have evolved from one another.
Week 3/4- History of American Sign Language (ASL)
As with above , I will take two weeks to fully understand the history of ASL. The difference between how I am going to investigate the history, is more based upon, ASL and not about the Deaf community. This is due to the fact that America is a larger country than New Zealand and that there is too much information surrounding both the American Deaf community and ASL. Again I will look more in depth on the major historical aspects and briefly mention the continuity throughout history.
Week 5- Differences in basic signs
This is going to be a video based post, involving basic signs from both ASL and NZSL. Included in this video will be subtitles for those who do not understand Sign Language. The list of words I will compare, will contain a mixture of signs I already knew and haven’t learnt yet. In this video I will include an important difference, which is the alphabets used in both languages. Accompanying this video will be a written reflection on how this has impacted my knowledge of Sign Language and other aspects surround the application of this newly obtained information.
Week 6- Similarities between signs
One of the first things you learn when beginning the learning process of NZSL is how different or similar NZSL is to the other sign languages around the world. We are taught to understand that BSL (British Sign Language), AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language), and NZSL are very similar due to their origin, also how different ASL, LSF (French Sign Language), ISL (Irish Sign Language), DGS (German Sign Language) are to BSL, AUSLAN, NZSL.
Week 7- Influences of ASL, in NZSL
Due to the difference is size of the Deaf communities in America and New Zealand and the technological advances in travel over the past 50 years, it is influence ASL has had on NZSL and how certain have integrated into NZSL.