Home Campus Students teach and learn American Sign Language

Students teach and learn American Sign Language

Students teach and learn American Sign Language
The ASL group at BYU-I, Talking Hands Photo credit: Haley Price

Talking Hands, a BYU-Idaho group that is dedicated to learning and teaching ASL, meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Gordon B. Hinckley Building in room 286.

This week was no different, even as the weather plummeted to freezing temperatures.

The turnout was still good, though not as large as normal.

“Last week was larger,” said Joseph Jensen, a freshman studying software engineering. “We had about 27 people or so.”

Even with the smaller group, they all learned, signed and laughed together. The group encourages participants to use all of the signs they know rather than speaking, but they are free to talk and fill in the gaps. They welcome all skill levels.

“I’m so glad that we have so many different people of different backgrounds and skill levels because it’s so just nice to be in this environment with people that sign,” said Jessie Coleman, the instructor on Tuesday. “To have it be okay to make mistakes with other people who are learning.”

Learning can be hard, but they understand and help participants along the way.

“It took me so many years to just remember how to say ‘how are you?'” Coleman said. “It’s completely fine.”

The group encourages students to not be hard on themselves. It can be a lot of fun, which can help some students learn faster.

“I just like making jokes and it helps it stick in my head,” Jensen said.