How Well Do You Fingerspell?

Fingerspelling seems to be the hardest skill to grasp in American Sign Language.  With practice, you can master this skill.

Do you know what this says?

large fingerspelling

Tips on how to improve your receptive and expressive fingerspelling:


1.  Try and see the shape of the word.  Not individual letters

2.  Use context clues to help you determine the word.  (Remember what you are conversing about)

3.  Try and catch the first letter, some middle letters, and the last letter.  From there, you can fill in the missing letters that you did not understand.

4.  Don’t freeze up!  If you miss the fingerspelled word, you can always ask the person to repeat it.


1.  Practice…Practice…Practice.  You can practice fingerspelling while driving for example.  When you see a license plate or a sign, fingerspell it.  However, be careful while driving.  You don’t want to get into an accident.  (how would you explain that to a cop? )

2.  Make sure you have a steady hand while fingerspelling.  Avoid bouncing your letters and hand.

3.  Fingerspell smoothly and avoid jerking the letters.

4.  Make sure you form all of the letters correctly and completely.  If you are a sloppy fingerspeller, your message will be lost.  The most important thing is to communicate effectively.

The fingerspelled message says, “I hope you have a great day”  Did you get it right?  I hope so.  If not, practice…practice…practice.