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How can I focus more when learning American Sign Language?

by Jane
(United States)

I am deaf and am having trouble focusing when learning American Sign Language. How can I have better focus during my learning sessions?

Answer:

The calmer you are, the more ‘spare capacity’ you have for just about anything! You will learn much more effectively when you are relaxed. The more anxious or stressed you are, the less likely it is that you can concentrate and/or retain what you have learned.

You may well have experienced that feeling of going absolutely blank, just when you needed, for example, to remember someone’s name, sound ‘coherent’ during a job interview or remember what you had learned for a test or exam!

The more ‘emotional’ or stressed we are as human beings, the less we are able to ‘think straight’. That is the way our brain evolved - many moons ago, when we were living among wild animals, it was important to act without thinking to give us the best opportunity for survival.

These days we rarely find ourselves in a position where survival means the difference between becoming lunch and having lunch. However, we still live with a brain that makes it difficult to read, write, think, talk and learn effectively when we are stressed - for whatever reason.

So, for you to make the most of what is available on this site and to use your time effectively, you will want to be in the best mental state for learning effectively.

We've heard that hypnosis is hugely helpful in calming an anxious mind. Therefore we are delighted to have come across the following article about hypnosis for people who are deaf or hard of hearing:

Hypnosis for the Deaf

Not only will it help with learning, but if you have any other personal problems at all, you are very likely to find trustworthy resources to help you overcome whatever stands in the way of you learning American Sign Language.

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