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American Sign Language Green Books, A Teacher's Resource Text on Grammar and Culture (Green Book Series) New edition Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0930323844
ISBN-10: 093032384X
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Frequently Bought Together

  • American Sign Language Green Books, A Teacher's Resource Text on Grammar and Culture (Green Book Series)
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  • Linguistics of American Sign Language, 5th Ed.: An Introduction
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  • Introduction to American Deaf Culture (Professional Perspectives On Deafness: Evidence and Applications)
Total price: $150.68
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charlotte Baker-Shenk is a consultant on ASL linguistics and empowerment. She lives in Mt. Ranier, MD.

Charlotte Baker-Shenk is a consultant on ASL linguistics and empowerment. She lives in Mt. Rainier, MD.

Dennis Cokely is Director of the American Sign Language Program at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.
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Product Details

  • Series: Green Book Series
  • Paperback: 469 pages
  • Publisher: Gallaudet University Press; New edition edition (April 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 093032384X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0930323844
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

This book is designed for a teacher as part of the "Green Books" American Sign Language series; however, it is a very useful guide to ASL Grammar and Culture for anyone studying American Sign Language seriously (I, myself, am not a teacher, but have a copy of the book).
I was introduced to the book when I first began learning sign language, and it was very confusing to me. I would have benefited, at the time, much better from an ASL dictionary or simpler sign book. My recommendation to those of you who have just begun learning (or would like to learn) ASL would be NOT to buy this book just YET! Start with something less daunting and sophisticated (after all, it is designed for those already familiar with ASL and preparing a class curriculum).
What the book will give you is an excellent explanation of the sociolinguistic nature of American Sign Language--something you typically will not receive from a ASL Dictionary. For example: how sentences are structured, topicilization, rhetorical questions, relative clauses, expression of time, pronominalization, subject and object usage, the use of classifiers, locatives ... to name a few.
All in all, this is a terrifically detailed, well researched, informative and valuable book; yet, not for a beginning student.
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I went through an interpreter training program in the early 1980's, and this book was considered our 'bible' for the entire program. It is not meant as a stand-alone for learning ASL, but as an adjunct when taking classes on ASL or enrolled in an interpreter preparation program. Even though it was written many years ago, the content is still salient today and is an important resource on my bookshelf. As a practicing interpreter for 25 years, I frequently look at chapters when I am mentoring someone or forget how to explain something in particular. The information on Deaf culture is especially valuable as well.
The technical nature of the book is akin to explaining the linguistical nature of a spoken language, something critical to anyone learning ASL as a second language. I still see it used in programs today as a means of supplementing classroom lecture information. Only individuals serious about in-depth learning of American Sign Language will appreciate and benefit from this book. It is not fluff; learning the linguistic nature of ANY language requires dedication and time, and this applies to ASL as well. You cannot learn any language from a book, you learn it from associating with native users of that language. This book is excellent to use for the linguistic and theoretical basis for what you see and use when conversing with native users. You will not be disappointed if you use this in conjunction with classes and conversing with Deaf individuals whose native language is ASL. I highly recommend this book. It gives you a well-rounded education in the grammar of ASL in one handy reference. Forget 12 years of taking English classes from 1st. grade until you graduated high school. If you use this book as it is intended, it gives you all that information and more.
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If you're looking at this book, you've probably already studied ASL to some degree and are looking to further develop your signing and/or teaching skills. You surely know that there is a large selection of introductory books on very basic signs, a number of available dictionaries - some barely adequate and some quite good, and a small number of dense, academic works that delve into various aspects of the linguistics of ASL. To me, at least, there seems to be a conspicuous gap: a scant few books go into any depth describing and teaching real-world ASL grammar.

The popular "Learning American Sign Language" skims the surface, and "Grammar, Gesture and Meaning in American Sign Language" goes into substantial depth, but reading this book produced the big "Ah ha!" moment for me. It's not glamorous, not cutting edge, but it doesn't have to be. Instead, it is well structured, includes an appropriate amount of pictures, illustrations, diagrams, etc. to break down the structure of a visual language into manageable pieces so that they can be understood and reassembled into expressions with real meaning and color. The book is on point and useful from the start.

Life is a journey, not a destination, but all the same, I wish I would have just found this book first - at the beginning of my search. I'll bet that you won't be disappointed with this one.
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The preface to this book clearly states that it is part of a package yet none of the listings specifically state that the DVD is not included. It sounds like you're getting a great deal until you get to class, find out you need the video (as I did)and have to buy it from the school bookstore at an outrageous price because you have to have it. Of course after that I started poking around online and the only site I found that sold them separately was the publisher, Signmedia. So I feel that these listings are misleading because even though the ISBN numbers matched, it was not the same product. I would urge anyone that needs these for class to go to the Signmedia website and compare the cost of buying the set from them to the cost of a used book here and a new DVD from there.

Hopefully others will benefit from my mistake.

P.S. This review is only about the WAY it's listed, the book I bought was in fine shape and is a good product so I have no issues there.
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