Learning about Cultural Competency and Formal Register in ASL in “Gallaudet SBG’s Open Letter to Alexander Graham Bell Association”

SBG Open letter to AGBDeveloped by Mark Halley

Competencies Addressed:  Cultural Comptency, Register

Time Required for Activity: 15 mins

Objective: 

To learn about cultural competency and formal register use in ASL by watching an ASL text.

In this video, student leaders of the Gallaudet University Student Body Government (SBG) offer an open letter to the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Prediction

You will watch a video in which three student leaders from the Gallaudet University Student Body Government (SBG) offer an open letter to the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Their letter is in response to comments made by AG Bell president Meredith Sugar. You can read her comments here: https://www.agbell.org/in-the-news/response-nyle-dimarco/. What are your personal reactions to Ms. Sugar’s comments? After reading the comments, predict how they might be taken by students at Gallaudet University. Consider how the SBG leaders may respond to her comments.

Watch the Video

Watch the video in its entirety. Be sure to turn off the captions. While watching the video, also consider the language style used by each signer. How would you describe their level of register? What linguistic features cue you into this?

Check Your Work

Did you correctly predict how the students would respond to Ms. Sugar’s letter? Did they say anything that surprised you?
You may have noticed that the speakers used a formal level of register, reflective of an open letter. Here are some of the linguistic features that indicate their formal register:

  • 0:03 – Using the honorific I-AM sign
  • 0:25 – Clear sentence boundaries (e.g., hands lowered)
  • 1:11 – Limited facial expressions (e.g., when signing WOW)
  • 1:50 – Two-handed signs (e.g, INSPIRE)
  • 1:55 – Using the honorific YOU sign
Watch the video again to ensure you understand everything. You may have missed some things the first time through, such as rapidly fingerspelled terms. If you still can’t understand something in the video, consider turning on the captions or reading the video transcript.

By | 2017-11-01T19:32:22+00:00 November 1st, 2017|Activity, Interpreter, Intermediate, Cultural Competency, 30 mins|Comments Off on Learning about Cultural Competency and Formal Register in ASL in “Gallaudet SBG’s Open Letter to Alexander Graham Bell Association”