Learn to Visual Preach & Teach To the Deaf
By Dr. Ted Camp
(Condensed from “Platform Signing”)
Deaf people listen with their eyes.
So, if they are not looking, they are not listening.
Since the Deaf listen with their eyes, it only stands to reason that good teaching should enter the eye gate and be seen in thoughts. Signing should not be routine and boring as reading a dull book. Don’t just use words, but change words into thoughts, pictures and stories. Visual signing is not word signing or sentence structure. It is projecting thoughts to enter the eye gate into the mind and then to the heart. Visual teaching is the art of changing words into pictures so the Deaf can visualize what is taught. Remember, one picture is worth a thousand words. Some are signing a thousand words without a picture. Visual signing uses very little spelling, but lots of gestures and imagination. As you visual sign the Deaf can see the thoughts and images in their minds. Visual signing is an art requiring you to think how you can convert words into pictures and imagination. It is the difference between reading a book or watching the movie. The late Eugene Bordean referred to it as “Story Signing.” Visual signing is seeing the story instead of sentences. The Deaf naturally sign visually as it is part of their culture. As I have often said, “If the Deaf can see it – Don’t sign it.” Your actions speak louder than your words. Examples: Show the story of David & Goliath. React facially to a bad odor. Visually show a tennis match. Let the Deaf see what you sign. An Example: Don’t think of a pink elephant driving a blue convertible with its trunk lying over the hood. Did you visualize and see the pink elephant? This shows that, with much imagination, words can be converted into images and thoughts within the mind. I learned to “visual preach” years ago, and the Deaf and hearing love it. It is an art and requires you to think much about how to do it. If I can do it so can you.
Try it. You will like it and so will the Deaf.
I Hear… I forget — I see … I understand — I do … I remember
Your actions, gestures and expressions are also Sign Language.
Much of ASL is gestures and facial expressions!
One Deaf said, “I understood every Sign but what did they say?”
Conclusion: As stated in the beginning – The key word in teaching is understanding.
If the Deaf understand and learn from you – then you must be a teacher – Amen!