I am over the 10 day stage and tomorrow I’ll have over 50 signs to remember! Keeping all 47 current signs is starting to be challenging. Not only is the difficulty coming from the large number of signs in a short period but also in how the signs are becoming more and more difficult.

Compared to the first day with signs like eat and drink to today’s of funny and know are so much harder as they aren’t as obvious.  After three days of practicing them they seem to be so much easier to recall but the day after initially learning them is always so hard! Today I have had to remind myself what “better” was from yesterday – this seems to be happening more as the vast array or words I am trying to remember in a short time increases. I have after all managed to learn and remember 47 new words in BSL in only 11 days – this is not something that was possible in the past when I have tried to learn a language.

I think that I have managed this impressive feat due to a mix of how I have challenged myself to learn 4 each day, be tested by BF on all these words regularly and using flashsticks dotted around the flat to remind me every so often. It seems to be working, I have passed all of BF’s tests so far (other than occasional disagreements over the paper vs video version of the sign). My favourite sign has to be bread – those that know me will know just how much I love eating and making bread! Currently the bread post it sits on the food processor and makes me giggle whenever I go in the kitchen. I know BF’s is between “good” and “difficult” due to a joke we have running between the two of us.

I must say that despite having the difficulty increasing that this is still a thrilling challenge – each day has its own challenges of what the new words will be. Tomorrow I will have over 50 signs under my belt in 12 days. It is a fantastic feeling and it makes me feel so proud each time I pass BF’s tests.

Flashsticks have been so useful but there is a flaw in using the post it notes around the flat – me. I am never great at deciding where to put things and this goes with post its too. I still can’t decide where to put about 8 of my previously learned words so they are above the mirror in my office. It is things like “bad” and “0” – where would you put the word bad in a flat?  Most words have an obvious place but I still need to work out where these few oddities should live. I can’t wait until the app is updated – it will be interesting to see how different it is from the current one.

I can’t wait now until tomorrow and having 50 words under my belt! I can’t believe that this key milestone is coming around so quickly – I never thought that it would be this easy, fun and challenging all at once.

Have you got any tips for learning new signs? Or a new language? Have you used flashsticks before – what do you think of them? Where do you think I should put the “bad” post it note? Leave a comment below as I would love to hear from you!

A month of learning BSL on blue background with hand gestures

 


Annabelle

Annabelle has lived in Exeter, Bournemouth and London but now live in Brighton as a freelancer. With a love of baking, sewing and social media, she is now starting her own blog.

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