Maine RID ASL Immersion Weekend

Join us for our second bi-annual ASL Immersion at beautiful Pine Tree Camp. We are offering three workshops this year. This weekend is geared toward ASL learners and practitioners. We welcome interpreters, ASL instructors, native and heritage users of ASL, those who use ASL at home and/or at work. Please note skill levels in each workshop description and feel free to contact us with any questions.

1. Advancing Conversational Skills in ASL
Presenter: Sammy Hargis
This course will provide a creative approach to advancing your skill in ASL conversation. Increase your ASL vocabulary and your competence with number systems and fingerspelling. Learn to recognize elements of facial grammar while enhancing your visual-gestural skills through use of games and ASL literature styles. Gain a deeper understanding of ASL’s essential role in Deaf culture and community. Students who have taken ASL III and above are welcome. (Geared toward beginner/intermediate level. Space is limited to 25 students.)

2. Exploring Relationships Between Semantics and Classifiers in ASL
Presenter: Andrew Bottoms
This workshop will explore relationships between semantics and classifiers in American Sign Language. Participants will have the opportunity to discover how they can take advantage of their innate abilities as they relate to body language, gesture, and facial expressions. Participants will apply these ideas to ASL Semantics and Classifiers. The goal is to break the fear typically associated with using ASL classifiers. (Geared towards intermediate/advanced level. Space is limited to 30 students.)

3. ASL Discourse Overview: Analysis and Practice
Presenter: MJ Bienvenu
This workshop will focus on ASL discourse with analysis of discourse features; e.g. organization and transition tools with improved understanding of registers in ASL. Participants will be introduced (or re-introduced) to discourse features before they view videos for identification of features. Participants will also analyze videos and work in groups to discuss their findings. They will be able to narrate their own texts for feedback and improve their discourse skills. (Advanced level. Geared towards interpreters who have been in the field 5 years or more. Space is limited to 35 students.)

Saturday 6:30 to 9:30 PM: Class Skits and Deaf Community Social
Saturday evening at ASL Immersion weekend holds a tradition of an open invitation to the Deaf community to join us at camp for stories, skits and games and a chance to enjoy one another in a total ASL environment. Light snacks are provided. Spread the word!

Our ASL Immersion Weekend is dedicated to providing a totally voice off event from the moment of arrival on Friday to departure on Sunday. Please plan to fully honor a fully visual, ASL only event during all aspects of the weekend. Thank you!

About the presenters:
Sammy Hargis: Sammy taught at Governor Baxter School for the Deaf for 33 years, teaching Graphic Arts, ASL in the Falmouth schools, Career Education and teaching in the Preschool program, later becoming its Coordinator. He graduated from Tennessee School for the Deaf in 1971, attended NTID, and earned an MA in Deaf Ed. at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Sammy is a gifted and creative teacher of ASL.

Andrew Bottoms: Fondly known as Anbo, Andrew Bottoms was raised in North Carolina and is second generation in a Deaf family. He is currently on the faculty at Boston University in the Deaf Studies program and offers ad hoc consultancy in the domain of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies instruction. He holds two Bachelor's degrees, one in American Sign Language (ASL) and the other in Deaf Studies, and a Master's degree in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. His passion and fervor toward teaching ASL parallels his values in sharing language and culture embodied by ASL. His innate aptitude and specialization lie in the sphere of ASL Literature. He prides himself on his commitment to Deaf youth and promoting linguistic access as a human right for all Deaf people. Inherent in his ideology is ensuring that Deaf children are able to navigate their identity via a community rich in ASL, Deaf literature and Deaf history. An avid jet setter, he has traveled the globe and enjoys meeting Deaf people around the world, which further advances his contributions to the field.

MJ Bienvenu: MJ is an internationally known presenter in ASL Linguistics, ASL Instruction, Deaf Culture, Interpretation, Oppression and Empowerment, and Cross Cultural Interactions. She has published ASL teaching materials (Faces of ASL and ASL Numerical Systems) and American Deaf Culture videos. MJ comes from Baton Rouge, LA. She received a BA in English (1974) and an MA in Linguistics (1983) from Gallaudet University. She earned her Ph.D. in Linguistics in 2003. Her career began in the Linguistics Research Lab at Gallaudet; she then co-directed the Bicultural Center, directed the Language and Culture Center and is currently a professor in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies at Gallaudet and serves as co-chair of the Sorenson Language and Communication Center building project.

Weekend Schedule:
Friday Oct. 12
4 - 5:30 PM Registration and check-in (no dinner provided)
6 - 9:00 PM Workshops Begin

Saturday Oct. 13
7 - 8:00 AM Breakfast
8:30 - 4:30 All Day Workshops (Lunch at noon)
5:00 - 6:00 PM Dinner
6:30 - 9:30 PM Class Skits and Deaf Community Social (light snacks provided)

Sunday Oct. 14
7 - 8:00 AM Breakfast
8:30 - 11:30 AM Workshops conclude
11:30 - 12:00 PM Check-out

Pine Tree Camp in Rome, Maine is a fully accessible camp nestled on the shore of North Pond. All overnight cabins have been recently renovated and are heated. NOTE: No dinner is provided Friday evening. Please plan ahead as there are few places to buy food in Rome. Full meals will be served Saturday morning through Sunday morning. Dietary needs will be accommodated upon prior arrangement. (Please see registration form.) Please note that while all buildings are heated, camp can be chilly in October. Please bring warm bedding and clothing.

MERID is an approved RID CMP sponsor for Continuing Education Activities. This workshop is offered for a combined total of 1.3 CEUs in the area Professional Studies at the level of Some Content Knowledge.

Download Flyer & Registration Form