8 Easy Ways to Learn Sign Language
Updated: Apr 20
Sign Language is a wonderful communication tool. It increases cognitive ability, improves reading and learning- especially for kids, expands expressive skills and allows for understanding of the hearing impaired. Knowing now that it is a good idea to learn sign language, there is no need to wonder how…
Here are some 'mostly' free and easy ways to get started:
1) Watch YouTube videos. There are many many options. A good one for learning 100 basic signs is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ianCxd71xIo. Also, “Laura Berg Life” has quite a few, here is an example. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8IP4CQ9PsU
2) The Internet. You can look up virtually anything on this online ASL dictionary site: https://www.signasl.org/ and ASL Pro is another avenue: http://www.aslpro.com/
3) Get a tutor. A number of years ago my daughter and I were offered free private tutoring from a Jehovah Witness, (this is part of their calling). She was a lovely woman, professional and non intrusive. I feel it is important to mention we are not Jehovah Witnesses ourselves nor am I promoting their message. After a search on the JV sign language site, I was unable to locate a tutor link, not sure. You may need to hire a tutor (NOT Free) elsewhere, as there are agencies offering this service from $10-$30 per hour such as: https://www.wyzant.com/ and https://www.heytutor.com/. You can also try a local tutoring agency in your area.
4) Download an app. Here are some free suggestions - GraceSigns: https://www.gracesigns.org/our-apps. Marlee Signs, ASL Coach and Sign Language for Beginners. Watch out for In-App-Purchases that some apps sneak in.
5) Take a course. ASL classes are sometimes offered through your local library, community center or college (possibly free, possibly not) or try an online course such as: http://www.signlanguage101.com/. Just be careful of hidden costs.
6) Buy a book or borrow one from the library. This was how we started. Books are a terrific reference and you can view the pictures over and over and practice at will. Although books are one dimensional, here are a few that I would recommend: “Signing Made Easy (A Complete Program for Learning Sign Language. Includes Sentence Drills and Exercises…”) by Rod Butterworth and Mickey Flodin; “Learn American Sign Language” by James W. Guido and/or “American Sign Language For Dummies” by Adan R. Penilla II and Angela Lee Taylor.
7) Use Flashcards. Buy a collection such as: “Barron’s Flashcards of American Sign Language” by Geoffrey S. Poor, or be creative and make your own.
8) Watch DVDs. You can purchase them or some libraries have them available to borrow from their collection. An excellent choice for children is the “Signing Time” series. They have multiple DVDs available.
However you learn, enjoy the process, you will be well rewarded in the joy of knowing another language and being able to communicate with others through the beauty of sign language.
Questions or Comments: https://www.gracesigns.org/contact