Developed by Mark Halley

Competencies Addressed:  Fingerspelled Word Recognition

Time Required for Activity: 10 mins


To improve fingerspelling reception from an ASL text.

In this video, Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano is interviewed about being the president of Gallaudet University.


You will watch a video in which Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano talks about being the president of Gallaudet University. President Cordano fingerspells many terms at a rapid pace. Predict what some of those terms might be.  You can write them down, fingerspell them yourself, or simply think of them.

Watch the Video:  Watch the video in its entirety and try your best to understand it. Note that you may not understand everything she fingerspells the first time. If you do not catch a fingerspelled term, try to move on and still understand her main points. When watching the video, be sure to turn off the volume so you do not hear the English interpretation. After you have watched the video once, continue to watch it again until you are able to catch everything she fingerspelled.

Check Your Work

What strategies helped you to catch what she fingerspelled? Did context help you to discern more challenging items? For example, at 0:13, President Cordano signed “fs-F … FS-N LANGUAGE.” What term could she possibly be fingerspelling?

Now that you have watched the video, compare your understanding with the list of fingerspelled items below:

  • Native
  • Of
  • Or
  • Foreign
  • Public
  • Adapt
  • Resilient
  • Own
  • To
  • Drive
  • Native
  • They
  • Of
  • Gift
  • Be
  • Is
  • Job
  • Calling
  • It

Watch the Video Again:  Were you able to catch all the fingerspelled items on the first attempt? The second? What helped you to improve your fingerspelling reception skills? Were there any fingerspelled items you were unable to catch? What may have contributed to this?