7 Good Resources to Learn English Sign Language (2022)

Language learning is beneficial for your brain and enhances your communication skills.

Not only that, but it is also a great skill to have if you or any of your friends or family members are deaf or have a hearing impairment.

You know how hard things are for these people when trying to communicate with other people. It’s frustrating if you can’t hear or talk partially or fully, and in this case, lip-reading might also be a challenging task, which could take years to get a hang of it.

But, there is a reliable solution for it – Sign language.

And the best thing, you can now learn it within the comforts of your home through online sign language courses.

In this article, I will discuss some of the resources to learn sign language so that you can communicate effectively with people with hard hearing or deafness.

So, let’s start!

What is sign language?

Sign language comprises non-verbal communication methods using various hand gestures and movements that convey a message between two people. It has its vocabulary, grammar, dialects, and slang words of its own.

Sign language is a visual language different from spoken languages and designed to help people who are deaf or hearing impairments. Sign language speakers use their body, hands, face, and eyes fluently during communication.

Types of Sign Language

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There’s no universal sign language; it varies from region to region. In fact, there are about 138-300 types of sign language people use across the globe.

However, many countries with a commonly spoken language might not have the same sign language. For example, English has 4 types of sign languages:

(Video) 25 ASL Signs You Need to Know | ASL Basics | American Sign Language for Beginners

  • American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Australian Sign Language (Auslan)
  • British Sign Language (BSL)
  • New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL)

Over 500k people in the US use ASL; it uses a single hand for gestures and movements. On the other hand, British, Australian, & New Zealand’s sign language or BANZSL uses two hands.

Other types of sign languages are Chinese Sign Language (CSL), French Sign Language (FSL), Japanese Sign Language (JSL), Arabic Sign Language, Spanish Sign Language (LSE), Mexican Sign Language (LSM), Ukrainian Sign Language (USL), Plains Sign Talk of North American Indigenous people, and many more.

Note: In this article, we are going to talk about resources for ASL and BSL only.

Sign Language Basics

  • Learning the alphabets
  • Mastering grammar
  • Communicating with hands
  • Improving comprehension
  • Increasing the vocabulary
  • Fingerspelling to spell words through hand movements

Benefits of learning sign language

  • Learning sign language stimulates your brain and enhances its activity, cognition, communication skills, listening skills, creative thinking, memory, functionality, mental rotation skills, spatial awareness, and more.
  • A study conducted at the University of Sheffield says that sign language learners have better reaction time and peripheral vision.
  • It helps you communicate with babies whose cognitive development can be enhanced by showing basic signs.
  • Sign language learning can help you communicate with animals or your pets if they are deaf while improving your bond with them.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that interpreters and translators’ employment is likely to increase by 20% by the end of 2029. Hence, it opens the door to interesting job opportunities across different sectors, both in government and private.
  • Sign language introduces you to different cultures, communities, countries, alongside the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, to understand their difficulties, thoughts and build new relationships with them.

Who should learn Sign language?

  • Deaf and people with hearing impairments
  • Parents to deaf or hard-of-hearing children
  • Professionals such as educators who may have deaf or hard-of-hearing students
  • First responders; due to hearing loss in the older adults
  • Service providers like counselors, social workers, medical professionals, and psychologists
  • Athletes who may need to communicate with people having deafness or hearing impairments or are themselves having these difficulties

Where should you learn Sign Language?

Traditionally, people learn sign language from books with pictures conveying signs and gestures. They also hire tutors, which can be a costly deal. Students can also learn from their school teachers if you are lucky to have one who is proficient in sign language.

In certain cases, parents with such difficulties or have children with these difficulties also teach sign language to their children.

But what if your situation is different from all these cases, or you want to learn it the other way. No issues; you can join an online class.

In an online sign language learning class, they will teach you different techniques to master the skill. It includes videos, games, quizzes, puzzles, diagrams, fun activities, and exercises to learn the language interactively.

Finally, let’s explore some good resources to learn sign language no matter why you need to learn it.

SignLanguage101

The first one on the list is SignLanguage101 which provides comprehensive sign language learning courses. They teach you online:

  • Level 1 ASL course
  • Level 2 ASL course
  • Complete ASL course (Level 1 & 2)

Apart from this, they also offer FREE videos for ASL levels 1 & 2. There are 20 lessons divided into small lectures with exercises and activities for additional practice.

7 Good Resources to Learn English Sign Language (2)

Both the ASL Level 1 & 2 are self-paced and structured so that you can complete them in ten weeks. However, you can take longer than that if you need. The complete ASL course is available at an affordable cost of $37.5. It teaches you 1400+ vocabularies that you can start using right away.

(Video) 100 ASL Signs in 5 Minutes!

The video instruction stretches to more than 8 hours to get a clear, detailed idea. They help you enhance your learning with 100+ worksheets and exciting activities. Besides, this online course includes 50 receptive questions you can practice and 100 fingerspelling tasks.

You can learn ASL based on your schedule, plus they track your learning progress as well. It is suitable for ages 10-100 years, and the overall learning atmosphere is fun and unintimidating. After the online ASL course completion, you will earn a certificate to display wherever you want.

The ASL App

Since 2015, The ASL App has been teaching conversational online ASL. They quickly teach essential ASL phrases and signs with 2,000+ videos and have designed the app to make the entire learning process accessible, easy, and fun.

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The ASL App has simple navigation and useful features, so you don’t have trouble using it. Download the app via Google Play or Apple Store to learn ASL and communicate and collaborate with people more.

Lingvano

Start bridging gaps and communicate easily using ASL that you can easily learn on Lingvano. They aim to make sign learning fast and easy with bit-sized interactive video sessions. It will boost your real-time communications by teaching you the skills you require for it to happen.

For this, you don’t have to spend too much time on it, just 10 minutes per day is sufficient to fuel your learning. The course includes useful and interactive dialogues to help you make that first communication.

7 Good Resources to Learn English Sign Language (4)

You can use their vocabulary trainer that reinforces your memory while retaining the skills you acquired for the longest possible time. Interestingly, you also get an ASL dictionary while finding a specific sentence or sign.

Not only this, but Lingvano also provides you with a Sign Mirror to refine your sign execution and gain that confidence while having real-time conversations.

Furthermore, Lingvano is available for use on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, so you can learn ASL whenever and wherever you want in this world. Both Android and iPhone users can download the app on their smartphones, where they constantly sync your ASL learning progress.

British-sign.co.uk

Learn British Sign Language at home from British.sign.co.uk. This online sign course is a CPD-certified service that you can access on mobile, tablet, laptop, or desktop.

They make BSL learning fun, flexible, and easy with their unique methods and comprehensive introduction to anybody interested in learning it. Not to mention, you can study BSL at your convenient time and pace.

(Video) Learn How to Sign the Phrase Good Job

From beginners, school students, and staff to people revising Level 1, anyone can take up the course. In addition, the course is available for staff training in retail, medical, education, childcare, etc., and people participating in the DofE award.

7 Good Resources to Learn English Sign Language (5)

The course structure comprises 10 lessons: numbers, fingerspelling, Deaf Awareness intro, relationships, family, hobbies, descriptions, time, days, months, seasons, money, food, drinks, emotions, animals, conversations, and clothing.

In addition to this, you get a special vocabulary for medical, education, transportation, home settings, etc. At the end of every lesson, they take an assessment that covers small-size BSL videos plus Q&A. With these interactive activities, you can measure and track your progress while finding areas that need improvements.

Upon scoring 85% or more on each assessment for every lesson and final, you will receive a completion certificate accredited by CPD. They also allow you to retake the assessments multiple times at no additional cost. The course is accessible for one year and designed for approximately 16-20 hours with 1.5-2 hours of effort every week.

Besides, they offer both individual rates as well as group rates for the course. Their pricing structure is unique – “Pay What You Can” instead of a fixed amount. It implies that you have the option to decide how much you can pay for yourself or your group (a minimum of £3 or around $4 per person).

BSLCourses

No matter what your goal or current BSL level is, you can learn it online from BSCourses at your pace. They offer lots of courses ranging from the complete beginner course to a professional interpreter course. They provide a total of 13 online courses, including:

  • Level 1 BSL
  • Level 2 BSL
  • Level 3 BSL
  • Level 6 BSL
  • BSL Coaching Intermediate
  • BSL Coaching Advanced
  • Signature awards in Levels 1, 2, 3, and 6.
  • Deaf Awareness Training
7 Good Resources to Learn English Sign Language (6)

The courses can help you search for a flexible way of learning and/or wanting to interact with a friend or family member who is deaf or has hearing impairments. It also gives you a perfect head start if you want to pursue a career dedicated to working with those people.

Join any courses if you want to gain professional experience in this field or grab recognized certifications. In addition to this, the course has lots of quizzes, tutorials, and interactive sessions that you can enjoy learning.

Complete the exciting quizzes, test your BSL skills, knowledge, and performance with images and videos, and unlock more classes. BSLCourses also provides expert tips and feedback via webcam throughout the course so you can move to the next class without any doubt.

YouTube

A YouTube channel goes by the name of Bill Vicars to help you learn ASL through instructional videos.

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(Video) Learn Chinese Live 24/7 🔴 Chinese Words and Expressions for Everyday Life ✔

Dr. Bill Vicars runs this channel from American Sign Language University (ASLU). His videos help you with ASL levels 1, 2, 3, and 4, along with medical sign language, Sign language linguistics, and more.

He has covered topics like numbers from 1-10, polite phrases and greetings, pronouns, 100 basic signs, fingerspells, classifiers, depicting signing, and more.

ASL

ASL American Sign Language is an app, and it is available for Apple and Android devices. Its developer is Saeed Bashir and has 4.5 stars in the App Store. This app makes your learning journey convenient and enjoyable. It is completely FREE and does not compromise your privacy or irritate you with extra permissions.

The app covers topics like ASL history, alphabets, numbers from 1-100, common vocabulary, and conversational phrases. Furthermore, it includes 100 basic signs featuring videos for family signs, time signs, place signs, and more.

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The learning environment gets more interactive with ASL word-picture matching games, ASL number-picture matching games, along with figures and facts on ASL. You also get feedback on this app to enhance your learning.

Moreover, they constantly improve the app by introducing new updates while allowing you to submit suggestions. The app is compatible with iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone and supports two languages – English and Spanish.

More features of this app, which is completely FREE, are:

(Video) Learn Sign Language: Lesson 01 (ASL)

  • High privacy and security
  • ASL history
  • Alphabets
  • Numbers from 1-100
  • Typical phrases and vocabulary
  • 250+ basic signs featuring video
  • Games, facts, and figures

Conclusion

Sign language learning is fun, interactive, and beneficial for your brain. It also helps you establish a better connection with people with hearing impairments or deafness. Whether you are someone who wants to communicate with your child, pet, students, or anyone in need, you can take up an online course.

Happy Learning!

FAQs

How can I learn English in sign language? ›

What are the 5 strategies of learning ASL? ›

Match
  • What are the 5 strategies for learning ASL. -Build a language community. ...
  • Build a language community. Don't miss class.
  • Minimize reliance on English. Leave your voice outside the door.
  • Focus on meaning rather than individual signs. ...
  • Focus on signers face, not on the hands. ...
  • Show you understand the signer.

What is the best program to learn sign language? ›

The 7 Best Online Sign Language Classes of 2022
  • Best Overall: Gallaudet University.
  • Best Budget: American Sign Language University.
  • Best for Beginners: ASL Meredith.
  • Best for Families: Sign It! ASL.
  • Best for School Credit: Start ASL.
  • Best for One-on-One Lessons: SignOn Connect.
  • Best for Vocabulary: ASLDeafined.
13 Sept 2022

Can I self study sign language? ›

All in all, it is not really possible to teach yourself ASL. If you want to start holding meaningful conversations in ASL, you will need formal instruction and practice. However, it is possible to learn basics like the ASL alphabet to get a head start.

What are the 7 strategies that promote learning? ›

Here are seven strategies that have a positive impact:
  • Having compassion and empathy. ...
  • Creating a secure and dependable structure. ...
  • Ramping up the positive. ...
  • Supporting academic risk. ...
  • Teaching active listening. ...
  • Embedding strategy instruction. ...
  • Building collaborative relationships.

What is the first thing to learn in sign language? ›

Sign Language Alphabet

Learning to sign the alphabet (known as the manual alphabet) is usually the first place to begin.

How long does it take to become ASL fluent? ›

Overall, it can take several years of regular study and practice to become fluent in sign language. It may take from three months to three years to learn sign language. Moreover, it's all about your learning goal setting, and it all depends on your end goal.

Where is the best place to learn ASL for free? ›

Lifeprint.com (ASLU)

Lifeprint.com, also called ASL University or ASLU, is a wonderful free resource for ASL learners that has fantastic lessons for beginners.

How do you memorize ASL quickly? ›

Tips to Help You Learn ASL Fast
  1. 1) Start With the Basics.
  2. 2) Learn From a Fluent ASL Speaker.
  3. 3) Sign Up to Learn ASL With a Private Tutor.
  4. 4) Practice ALL the Time.
  5. 5) Get Real-World Practice.
  6. 6) Refer to Books.
  7. 7) Look for ASL Apps.
  8. 8) Keep a Notebook on Hand.
8 Oct 2021

What are the four strategies for learning ASL? ›

Strategies for Learning ASL
  • Focus on the signer's face, not on their hands!
  • Strategies for Learning.
  • Focus on meaning rather than individual signs.
  • Leave English, and your voice, outside the classroom!
  • Building a Langauge Community.
  • Show that you understand the signer.

What app helps you learn ASL? ›

SignSchool. This free app works for those wanting to learn American Sign Language or develop their ASL vocabulary. Choose from a diverse group of signers and dialects in the dictionary and reinforce your learning with multiple-choice games. Set the daily reminder to learn a new sign every day.

Is ASL the hardest language to learn? ›

Sign language is one of the easiest languages to learn. So many of the signs are commonplace gestures. Children pick up on the signs quickly and are eager to use them. The fact that it is easy helps encourage the learning.

Is it better to learn ASL online or in person? ›

Most D/deaf have had bad experiences with online interpreters and prefers in person interpreters. In-person interpreters is much easier because the interpreter is there with you to interpret the conversation.

Can duolingo teach me ASL? ›

Duolingo doesn't have ASL available. But there are plenty of other apps that do. Rocket Languages is another well-known language app that offers a complete ASL course. There are also some excellent apps that were specifically made to teach ASL like Pocket Sign and Lingvano.

What's the easiest language to learn? ›

15 of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers - ranked
  • Frisian. Frisian is thought to be one of the languages most closely related to English, and therefore also the easiest for English-speakers to pick up. ...
  • Dutch. ...
  • Norwegian. ...
  • Spanish. ...
  • Portuguese. ...
  • Italian. ...
  • French. ...
  • Swedish.
24 Oct 2021

Is there a universal sign language? ›

There is no universal sign language. Different sign languages are used in different countries or regions. For example, British Sign Language (BSL) is a different language from ASL, and Americans who know ASL may not understand BSL. Some countries adopt features of ASL in their sign languages.

How many signs are in ASL? ›

According to my studies, there are about 10,000 distinct signs in American Sign Language. Comparatively there are about 200,000 words in the English language (including ~30,000 words that are obsolete). This number for ASL is not counting gestures, classifiers, compound signs, lexicalized signs etc.

What is the 7 step lesson plan? ›

The Madeline Hunter "seven step lesson plan." The basic lesson plan outline given above contains the so-called "Hunter direct instructio·n lesson plan elements:" 1) objectives; 2) standards·, 3) anticipatory set, 4) teaching [input, modeling, and check for understanding], 5) guided practice, 6) closure, and 7) ...

What are the 7s in lesson plan? ›

The 7 Es stand for the following. Elicit, Engage, Explore,Explain, Elaborate, Extend and Evaluate.

Who proposed the 7 learning styles? ›

The 7 Learning Styles. Theorist Neil Fleming coined VARK as a model for learning. VARK stands for: visual, auditory, reading/writing preference, and kinesthetic.

What are the 9 teaching strategies? ›

  • Identifying Similarities and Differences. ...
  • Summarizing and Note Taking. ...
  • Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition. ...
  • Homework and Practice. ...
  • Nonlinguistic Representations. ...
  • Cooperative Learning. ...
  • Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback. ...
  • Generating and Testing Hypotheses.

What is the six 6 effective learning strategy? ›

Specifically, six key learning strategies from cognitive research can be applied to education: spaced practice, interleaving, elaborative interrogation, concrete examples, dual coding, and retrieval practice.

What are the 3 instructional materials? ›

After watching this lesson, you should have a full understanding of the three most common types of instructional materials - traditional resources, graphic organizers, and teacher-made resources - and their importance to the process of teaching your students.

What are the four 4 types of instructional methods? ›

Do you know what the four types of instructional methods are? The four types are information processing, behavioral, social interaction, and personal. Within each model, several strategies can be used. Strategies determine the approach a teacher may take to achieve learning objectives.

How can I practice my sign? ›

8 Essential Tips for Signing
  1. Know the alphabet. When learning anything, it's essential to start with the basics. ...
  2. Relax your hands. Some people claim that they "talk with their hands". ...
  3. Be clear in your form. ...
  4. Practice on camera. ...
  5. Watch others. ...
  6. Use facial expressions. ...
  7. Take classes. ...
  8. Practice everywhere!

What is I love you in sign language? ›

The sign for “I love you” is a combination of the fingerspelled letter I, L and Y. Your thumb and index finger together form an L, while your little finger forms an I. In addition, your thumb and little finger is expressing a Y. So if you combine all three handshapes, you get I-L-Y for I love you.

What skills are needed for sign language? ›

4 Key Skills of a Sign Language Interpreter
  • Knowing every sign perfectly. ...
  • Exceptional observation skills. ...
  • Quick thinking. ...
  • Experience in many fields.
21 Aug 2017

Is ASL harder than spoken language? ›

It's at least as difficult. Sign languages have the same complexity and abstraction that spoken languages do. Some of the signs are iconic (i.e., they look like what they describe), but most aren't. The grammars of sign languages have syntax, morphology, phonology--- all the tricky bits of spoken languages.

Is ASL easier to learn than English? ›

As with anything new, learning a language takes time, patience, and hard work. Some have the misconseption that learning ASL is easier than learning a spoken language. This is incorrect. Experts estimate that it takes 3-4 years to become fluent in a new language on average.

How many words are in ASL? ›

About 10,000 different ASL signs exist that corresponds to English, which has about 200,000 words. How much do ASL interpreters make?

What is the hardest part about learning ASL? ›

One of the challenges people face when learning American sign language (ASL) is that it requires them to stop "thinking straight English" and rely on abstraction and other skills to communicate both dynamically and accurately.

How much does ASL cost? ›

COST-[worth / value] taps two "F" hands together twice at the tips of the thumbs and index fingers. (Which happens to be the ending position of the sign "important.") This can be used to ask: "What is that worth?" or "What is the cost of?"

Why is it hard to learn ASL? ›

Like any spoken language, ASL is a language with its own unique rules of grammar and syntax. To learn enough signs for basic communication and to sign them comfortably, can take a year or more. Some people pick up signs more slowly than others, and if that is the case with you, don't be discouraged.

How often should I practice ASL? ›

"How often should a student attend to an ASL class during the week?" According to the ASLTA article, they highly recommend three to five times a week and I absolutely agree. Let's take my example of how I learned high-advanced sign language in just three months when I was 16 years old at the Deaf school named MSSD.

How long will it take me to learn BSL? ›

Like any language, the more you are immersed in it and practise, the faster you will learn. If someone was to start a Level 1 course with Dot Sign Language with no prior knowledge of BSL, the courses are usually run over an academic year from September – June, but we sometimes run more condensed courses.

What are the 5 elements of ASL? ›

In American Sign Language (ASL), we use the 5 Parameters of ASL to describe how a sign behaves within the signer's space. The parameters are handshape, palm orientation, movement, location, and expression/non-manual signals.

What are 3 of the techniques of learning? ›

Everyone processes and learns new information in different ways. There are three main cognitive learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.

What are the 3 methods used today to teach deaf children? ›

Hence a Multisensory teaching approach involves three main teaching strategies: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.

How do you say English in sign language? ›

To sign English, hold your non-dominant hand in a fist and keep it in place. Then curve your dominant hand and tap it onto your fist a couple of times.

Is there an ASL to English translator? ›

SignAll is the only technology to successfully translate between signed and spoken languages.

What's the easiest sign language to learn? ›

People who are visual learners say ASL is easier and can easily pick up, but non visual learners find that Spanish is easier to pick up than ASL.

What are the 3 types of sign language? ›

Not a Universal Language

Interestingly, most countries that share the same spoken language do not necessarily have the same sign language as each other. English for example, has three varieties: American Sign Language (ASL), British Sign Language (BSL) and Australian Sign Language (Auslan).

Is it OK to sign ASL and speak English at the same time? ›

Simultaneous communication, SimCom, or sign supported speech (SSS) is a technique sometimes used by deaf, hard-of-hearing or hearing sign language users in which both a spoken language and a manual variant of that language (such as English and manually coded English) are used simultaneously.

What is Disney in sign language? ›

American Sign Language: "Disneyland"

Also see: Disney Signing. A traditional sign used by many Deaf in the southern California area (who actually live near Disneyland) is done by twisting a "D" on the side of your chin, twice.

What English words that are not used in ASL? ›

In addition, ASL does not use the English words “and,” “or,” “the,” “of,” and “is” to convey information. Instead, these concepts are expressed through facial expressions, role shifting, and pointing.

How long will it take to become fluent in ASL? ›

Overall, it can take several years of regular study and practice to become fluent in sign language. It may take from three months to three years to learn sign language. Moreover, it's all about your learning goal setting, and it all depends on your end goal.

What is I Love U in sign language? ›

The sign for “I love you” is a combination of the fingerspelled letter I, L and Y. Your thumb and index finger together form an L, while your little finger forms an I. In addition, your thumb and little finger is expressing a Y. So if you combine all three handshapes, you get I-L-Y for I love you.

What is the most universal sign language? ›

American Sign Language (ASL) is the most widely-used sign language around the world. Signers are spread across the USA and Canada, as well as parts of Mexico, Africa, and Asia. It developed when French Sign Language (FSL) was brought over to the USA in 1817 by Thomas Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc.

Is it better to learn BSL or ASL? ›

Should I learn the American sign language or the British sign language? You should learn the Sign Language of the community in which you live. So, if you live in America then clearly American sign language is the way to go. If you live in Britain, learn BSL.

Which is harder ASL or Spanish? ›

If your first language is English, you might still find Spanish easier to learn than ASL, since there are some cognates in common. If you're an auditory learner, you'll probably find it easier to learn Spanish than ASL, which is spoken in the visual modality.

What language is ASL closest to? ›

ASL is most closely related to French Sign Language (LSF). It has been proposed that ASL is a creole language of LSF, although ASL shows features atypical of creole languages, such as agglutinative morphology.

Is ASL worth learning? ›

Learning sign language is crucial for those who are deaf or hearing impaired, as well as their friends and family members. But, what many people may not realize is that sign language can be a valuable life skill for just about anyone to develop.

Videos

1. Learning ASL? Learn This FIRST!!! (10 Things You Need to Know About ASL)
(Learn How to Sign)
2. Basic Greetings, Manners and Phrases in BSL for Beginners
(Commanding Hands)
3. 10 Really Useful Signs in British Sign Language (BSL)
(Commanding Hands)
4. Discover Your Learning Style
(GCFLearnFree.org)
5. Your Baby Can Learn! Volume 1 Full Video
(Your Baby Can Learn!)
6. 30 Signs You Need to Know for Basic ASL Conversations
(Learn How to Sign)

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