Monday, April 23, 2012
From now until Sunday, April 22nd, Dragonfly Designs has created a special offer in honor of Earth Day! Sign up for a group Jewelry Making Class and we'll donate 20% of the cost back to your school or organization! We offer classes is beginners jewelry making, Design Your Line, jewelry making in Spanish, French, Mandarin and more! This is a great opportunity for your school or group to fundraise in style, learn a new skill and have fun.
It's time to get beading!
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Something really exciting happened to me at the Girl Scout Design Your Line class. There were two foreign exchange students from Japan staying with the family. They were to participate in the class but the host Mom warned me that they did not know any English and there was no one in the house who knew Japanese. I wasn't about to leave these girls out of the loop so I communicated with adapted sign language and it worked so well I was floored. They did not know sign language but the signs for necklace, bracelet and earrings are all very intuitive. I would sign "bracelet," then "earrings," and then a sign that indicated "which?" or "choose?" They got it right away. The sign for "cut" is also intuitive.
They made more jewelry pieces than the English-speaking girls and even learned to use some of the tools. By the end of the class, they were completely comfortable with the equipment, the tools, asking for help and so on.
This further bolsters my ideas about non-verbal art teaching, but also just makes me so excited about the possibilities for communicating with anyone, regardless of their language background. These signs have been helping me work with the little ones too, who may not have the best language skills yet. I am not suggesting that everyone use sign, but this experience proved to me that we must reach deep in our tool boxes a to use ALL of our communication skills, speaking, writing, gesture, facial expression and even mime. There are so many ways to make yourself understood, and being understood and crossing language barriers is a hugely gratifying and rewarding experience.
I was so proud of the whole group, but especially the way the two Japanese girls seemed to blossom when they saw that I was going to communicate with them directly and not through Google translate or by speaking English at them loudly and slowly. They became so excited when the language barriers came crashing down. Dynamic communication is key.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Learn more or sign up for a Design Your Line class here!