If you’ve learnt to drive before, you’ll know that, in your test, you have to show off your skills very obviously. It’s no good to glance at your mirrors; you have to actively move your head and look into each individual one – meaningfully and purposefully.
But when you pass, you don’t necessarily carry these skills on. I’ve had my driving test for four years now, and I certainly don’t actively move my head to look in the mirrors. I look in them, but they’re much more subtle.
The deaf club is the same.
I’ll give you an example of a role shift. When learning BSL, you are told that you should physically shift your body to the side and embody a different style of signing in order to become a different signer within the story clearly. This is the same as learning to drive – obviously, showing off your skills.
But, like driving, these skills become much more subtle when applied in a more realistic setting. I saw deaf people tell intricate stories with conversations, without so much as the slightest shift in the body or any trace of a change of signing style. It was incredibly difficult to grasp, so you must be properly engaged in the story to understand.
It may be that the signer makes a fleeting point to spot where they’ve placed another person, or they use a sign name to reference them – but it is SUBTLE. But, like driving, you’ll learn to pick it up with enough practice.