This week I decided to critique a video on sign language for kids. I ended up finding a video that focused more on babies than toddlers but I figured the signs are the same right? I ended up finding this video to critique. I have to admit that this video was not one of my favorites on sign language. That being said, it did have some good aspects to it.
As far as how well I feel the story worked, I would have to give it about a seventy five percent. I say that because it did have some good points, it had not only someone talking and explaining things to the viewer but also did the hand sign close up and included the word in text. My biggest issue is with the signs themselves because I am pretty certain a couple of them were not real signs. I am thinking that perhaps it is being seen as a simplified version so that little ones can form the sign however I personally feel that the sign should be shown correctly and if the child modifies it naturally then that is fine.
There was definitely project planning that went into this video which is evidenced by the text being included in the video as well as frankly the fact that the person speaking seems to be saying a script. The video has obviously been edited and has several clips smashes together. It gives the impression that she filmed possibly several clips and then put only the most successful ones or that perhaps she memorized her lines in smaller increments. Either way, it was effective because what she is saying is clear and easy to understand.
Regarding the research done prior to creating this video I am on the fence. I’m not sure if her modified signs are generally excepted or something she made up to make it easier. For example when she signs the word “help” she does so by having her fist tilted to the side and falling down on an open hand. My understanding of the sign is that you need to have your thumb up when doing it. So was it omitted to make it easier or a mistake? To find out more I referenced other children signing videos and found this one. You can see that they are showing how to sign the word “help” the way that I remembered it. I am still not certain if this was simply a modification though.
The flow of the video was done very well in my opinion. The woman gets right to the point with each word and gives you all of the information you need for each one briefly and clearly. I know that when I look for a video to explain how to do something the last thing I want to locate is a video that is 20 minutes long to explain something that could easily have been explained in less than 3 minutes!
Lastly, I wanted to discuss the sense of audience. I was a little surprised that a sign language video had the majority of its explanation done through speaking. Then I had a bit of a duh moment though because if a parent was deaf chances are that they already know the basics! What are your feelings on that?