Scuba divers use their hands to communicate underwater, largely out of fear that cruel swordfish will make fun of their dry-land accents. Thwart the mockery of derisive swimmers with today's Groupon: for $49, you get four introductory group sign-language classes at Signing Basics in Cambridge.
Located a short walk from the Central Square MBTA station, Signing Basics gathers students in groups of 15 to explore the nuances of meaning and movement in American Sign Language. During the course of four one-hour lessons, from 7-8 p.m., fingers will flutter and palms will dance through the alphabet as well as basic idioms and phrases, leaving the lips and vocal chords with an unsettling feeling of replaceability. Handouts, homework, and recommendations for further study facilitate learning outside of class, ensuring that students maintain a steady momentum through the class sequence. Instructors and students will agree upon a meeting time in advance. Groupon customers will receive a 10% discount on further private lessons if their initial classes pique interest, further empowering left and right hands to share their feelings with each other and gossip about ungainly feet.
SIGNING Basics' instructors help their students learn to speak without uttering a word. Through private lessons and group classes, they teach American Sign Language to students of all ages and backgrounds. Introductory lessons lead students through the basics of the sign-language alphabet and movements. Advanced classes show students how to carry conversations, enabling them to communicate effectively or correct baseball coaches' faulty “charge the mound” gestures. Instructors also offer workshops that impart basic techniques for businesses and groups.