ASL Immersion: VA-VA?
Formal ASL instruction is simply not enough. Students often go a length of time, at the collegiate level, between semesters and long periods during summer months without using ASL or having any contact on a cultural level. ASL immersion is a construct that helps bridge the gap and ready students to ease back into an academic signing environment. The purpose of this workshop is to focus on the development of an ASL immersion environment, have discussions and demonstrate appropriate activities that target specific ASL skills and how to incorporate linguistic diversity such as exposure to Black ASL. ASL immersion is often focused upon the concept of “Deaf world” or “Reverse World.” This workshop aims frame ASL immersion as a way to build ASL skills in order to increase ASL expressive and receptive skills of the students rather than, as simply a way to get them signing again.
Dr. Small is ASLTA certified and an assistant professor at the St. Catherine University in the ASL & Interpreting Department. He is an avid ASL teacher, presenter and English to ASL sight translator. He has multiple interest in language acquisition, Deaf literacy, Deaf education, ASL education and many other topics for which he never seems to have enough time for. He has recently, as of May 2018, completed and successfully defended his dissertation titled “The Relationship Between the Implicit Theories of Intelligence and Reading Theory of Preservice Teachers in Master’s Level Deaf Education Preparation Programs.” You can often find Dr. Small roaming around his university campus in his variety of bowties when he has them on during down times or walking to classes. When not teaching or researching, he is monkeying around with his family who consist of his wife Kristin and two sons Connor and Jay (effectively known as tornadoes!)
Hunta hails from New York City. He has attended four different Deaf schools and graduated from Lexington School for the Deaf. He has a degree in Culinary Arts from Arts Institute International Minnesota. He is currently furthering his education with a Master’s in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. He loves cooking Jamaican food. He has several years of work experience as an outreach specialist for a VRS company. He is on the Board of Directors for Family Tree Clinic. He works tirelessly in advocacy and for social justice causes, including for HEARD (Helping Educate and Advance Rights of Deaf). He has worked as an ASL teacher, tutor, sign model, Deaf interpreter, and sign language specialist.