Learning a new language like an American Sign Language presents special challenges and rewards to the learner. Learning ASL takes different skills and requires different methods of instruction than other learning orally spoken languages. Let’s take an example that ASL cannot be taught through audio. It requires either live instruction or video and very least it takes still images which are typically not much effective.
Learning ASL requires the learner to have their hands free to practice signing but if we talk about other language learning, you need to dedicate a time and place to listen intently and speak out loud.
There are plenty of apps and websites available for learning new languages. But very few of them offer American Sign Language (ASL) alongside the other languages that English speakers typically study. In this article we have mentioned the ways to help anyone who wants to learn ASL.
1. Learn ASL Online
Like many things these days, learning is also possible from home online. There are plenty of resources, like YouTube or BSL Zone where learners can watch videos with sign language.
Any form of video is a great way to watch and the learner can replay it as many times as the learner wants in the comfort of their own home. It is the best affordable option for self-learners.
Top YouTube American Sign Language (ASL) –
2. SignSchool App
SignSchool is a free online sign language class that steps through the basics. It starts with how to spell your name and then moves the learner through lessons that progress in difficulty.
There are three levels to pick between Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. If the aspirant is already knowledgeable then low level can be skipped. Besides the lessons, there is also a fingerspelling game and the sign of the day.
SignSchool App Download Links –
3. Sign BSL app
It is a British Sign Language Dictionary app. If the learner doesn’t know how to sign a word, he can search for it on the app so it is a great resource. There are also great apps for ASL learners. The language learning platform, Drops, released ASL on their Scripts app in conjunction with the United Nations’ International Day of Sign Languages The app teaches learners how to read and write alphabets and character-based language systems.
Drops’ ASL offering on Scripts is free for 5 minutes a day, allowing anyone with the Scripts app the ability to quickly learn the ASL alphabet. By associating illustrations of the signs to their meanings and testing users through fun, 5-minute games, Drops is bringing their acclaimed learning approach to an even broader audience and leveraging its global, multi-million user base to bring global awareness and access to ASL.
4. Read a Book
Not everybody is a fan of online learning, there are plenty of books available at bookshops and libraries. There are varieties from Sign Language dictionaries, books for children, step by step learning and so much more.
There is no doubt that it is more difficult to learn from, as the movements for the signs are not as obvious to see, in contrast to watching a video. But you will never forget what you have learned from yourself.
5. Web resources
If the learner is not interested in YouTube, the internet also offers a lot of resources for those looking to learn sign language, including quizzes, courses, and more.
ASL Pro: You should not befool yourself with the old school site. ASL Pro is a free tool with a wealth of quizzes, fingerspelling practices, and a super detailed dictionary complete with video examples for learning how to sign hundreds of words.
Start ASL: This online resource offers a variety of courses for those interested in learning sign language. There’s a free three-level course that offers workbooks and activities, along with fingerspelling lessons. If you are looking for more advanced ASL learning, the site also offers additional paid courses, both online and office, created and taught by professional ASL instructors.
SignASL.org: This online ASL Dictionary is the perfect place to search for words and phrases and learn their corresponding signs. Simply type in a term and the site will show you a selection of ASL videos and resources from trusted websites to choose from.
6. Sign It ASL App
Sign It ASL is the most engaging ASL learning app. Each lesson contains a short storyline which is built around a theme. It is like an episode of a series that the learner watches unfolds in sign language. There are many teaching sections and quizzes in between the scenes.
At the end of each lesson, Sign It gives you bonus content, such as interviews with the team behind the site and special guests. Sign It ASL explains topics very nicely specially about ASL gloss, indexing, non manual markers and other important concepts.
This learning site has a diverse cast of characters that can see a variety of people signing and pick up on how they do it differently. In the same way, learners can hear different accents or word choices in other languages. The time duration of lessons is between 45 and 60 minutes.
The site also recommends repeating them two or three times. The cost for buying all 15 lessons costs 119.99 dollars and you get access to them and the ASL dictionary on the site for life. There is also a group access option for all the lessons for 299.99 dollars. If the learner is not sure about committing then there is an option of buying just five lessons at a time for 49.99 dollars. Families with a deaf or hard of hearing child younger than 36 months can apply to get Sign It ASL for free.
For learning the American science language, the learner must have a strong determination. You have various ways to learn like taking a sign language class, learning by watching videos, by joining a sign language group, deaf club or visit a deaf café., taking an online course, hiring a private, qualified sign language tutor, watching and mimicking interpreters, using an app, reading a book and watching a video or DVD related to ASL. You can choose any of the available options according to your preference to learn American Sign Language quickly.