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How To Learn Sign Language

Listing or Ranking Technique | ASL – American Sign Language


Hello ASL THAT! ASL is a visual language where we see the expression, right? You would want the information to be presented visually, clearly, and easily understood. ASL has features that help organize the information clearly and visually. One of these is called the Listing/Ranking Technique. You would use your hands to tell a list of items. Your dominant hand would be the hand you use to write, eat, or shoot a basketball. Among other tasks. That is also the hand you would use to spell and sign most of the time. The other hand, the weak hand would stay as a placeholder. Depending on how many items are on the list that you need to tell. 3 things, 2 things, 4 things, or 5 things. The number of fingers need to match the number of items you are telling. For more than 5 things, I will explain how to do that later. You see this handshape, it is important that you point at the list with your index finger, not with other handshapes like this. Then when you point at your other hand, you would then tell what it is and so forth. For three items, you would point to your thumb, tell what it is, then do the same for other two things left on the list. For 2 things, you could do this. For 3 things, don’t start with your middle finger. Start with the thumb then go in that order. The same goes for 4 things. And 5 things. Okay? For more than 5 things like 6, 7, 8, or 9 things, what do we do? We have different ways for these numbers of items. Like for example, you could do this, and then when you reach item #6, just point it below the hand to create an imaginary placeholder for the 6th item. Same for 7th item below it. You also could do it this way, list the items, and then when you reach the 6th item, change your non-dominant hand to number 6, then point at it. Do the same for 7, 8, etc. Or you could do it this way, list the items, then for number 6, you could use your dominant hand to sign 6th, then tell what it is. Same for 7th, and 8th items. We have different ways for that. Remember to use your dominant hand to spell or sign items, and use the non-dominant hand to become the placeholder for the list of items. It is important that when you list items, the non-dominant hand stays there. Not like this, where you drop the non-dominant hand, and bring it back up when listing items again. Doing that repeatedly can cause distractions or confusion. I encourage you to keep the non-dominant hand steady in one place so it is more clear. Do not do it like this. Keep the non-dominant hand steady in one place like this. That way, it is more clear. Okay? ASL THAT!

One Reply to “Listing or Ranking Technique | ASL – American Sign Language”

  • Thank you for explaining this clearly! All of your videos are amazing and very helpful!
                          -Justeen

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