A Latinx man with short black hair and a mustache and beard wears a green short sleeve shirt and stands in front of a blue mottled background signing.Video created by Gallaudet University College of Continuing Education (2000)

Build your ASL skills with classifiers and use of space by translating clips from the movie “Batman” and comparing your translation to the work of ASL Master David Rivera. The video also includes a summary of the entire movie.

This activity is part two of three segments from the original video.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Summary of “Batman” movie

Key Skills

These are some of the key skills from Taylor (207) that you can choose to focus on in this activity.

  • Major Feature | Classifiers
    • 4.3 Use accurate descriptive classifiers (111)
    • 4.4 Use accurate locative classifiers (113)
    • 4.5 Use accurate body classifiers and body part classifiers (114)
    • 4.10 Use all categories of classifiers when applicable (121)
    • 4.11 Change from one classifier to another classifier or sign accurately (122)
  • Major Feature | Space
    • 5.4 Use accurate spatial agreement (141)
    • 5.5 Restructure space accurately (145)
    • 5.7 Use as much space as the interpretation requires (149)

Time Required for Activity: 20 mins


You will:

  1. Identify key skills related to classifiers and space to practice
  2. Create representation of interaction from video clip in ASL
  3. Compare and contrast your representation with that of a master ASL storyteller
  4. Identify new skills from ASL sample and incorporate in a re-telling of the video clip


Taylor, M.(2017). Interpretation Skills:  American Sign Language to English.   Edmonton:  Interpreting Consolidated.

Step One: Prediction

In this activity, you will watch a clip from the 1989 movie “Batman.” Spend a few moments predicting what the scene might contain.  You can click here to read the Wikipedia entry of the movie to provide you with some background.

Step Two: Watch and Re-Tell in ASL

Click below to watch the scene from “Batman.”  As you watch, notice the spatial relationships between the characters and the different actions that take place.

View Scene from Movie


After watching the video, re-tell the action in ASL.  Imagine you are meeting a friend after having seen the movie and want to describe the scene to them in ASL.  Record yourself so you have documentation of your growth through this process.

Step 3: Watch ASL Master

David Rivera created an ASL recreation of this scene.  Think about what elements of your first attempt were challenging for you.  Watch carefully to see how David manages these parts.

View ASL Re-telling of Scene

Shadow ASL Version

After having watched it the first time, play it again and shadow David.  Focus on specific skills that you are working on developing.  For example, you might be working on body and body part classifiers.  Make sure you are paying special attention to how he manages to use these types of classifiers to represent the action.

Tip: It may be helpful for you to click on the Gear icon on the YouTube video menu and change the speed to .75 or .5. Click here for tutorial on how to do that.

Step Four: Re-Tell in ASL Again

Now that you have watched and shadowed David Rivera’s version, try re-telling it again.  You can review the scene if that is helpful.

View Scene from Movie


As you retell it, record yourself again and compare it to your first attempt.


  • What improvements did you see between your first and second attempt?
  • What areas do you still want to focus on as you continue your practice?