Sign language is one of the most widely known and used forms of communication today, and also one of the easiest to learn. However, contrary to popular belief sign language is not all the same, and like spoken language it varies from one region to the next. in today’s article, we focus on how to find the best online resources for learning American Sign Language specifically.
Most of these free ASL lesson sites offer free tutelage, and include different signing techniques that’ll make it easier for you to communicate with a loved one or anyone that signs. Most of them offer instruction in a variety of forms, including videos, printables, diagrams, puzzles, quizzes and games, all of which are designed to help you learn ASL using a gradual approach.
Some are long-term courses that require you to go through various units of learning so that you can learn ASL in its entirety, while others offer elementary training just to familiarize you with the basics. Whichever option you choose, we hope you’ll enjoy your time learning through it, because at the end of you’ll have learnt a new language that’ll open you up to a whole new world. Without further ado, check out our list of top ASL lesson sites to try out today!
1. American Sign Language Classes
The American Sign Language University (ASLU) website offers 30 lessons as well as a number guide and dictionary search to help you learn ASL more efficiently. Plus you’ll be able to test yourself along the way using a variety of search word puzzles, quizzes and even their nifty fingerspelling practice tool.
The site has a ton of sign language videos, and the lessons are marked according to their difficulty level, so that you can start at the beginner level with the simple stuff, and then increase the difficulty on a gradual basis.
Also, we suggest you make use of the First 100 Signs video when you first visit the website, as it introduces you to ASL through a combination of the most common sings that parents use with their young kids. Afterwards you can run-through some of the sentences that they provide to help you practice the signs you’ve learnt throughout the video.
2. Free Sign Language Classes by Sign Language 101
Free Sign Language offers numerous video lessons by a Doctor Byron Bridges, including basics like pronouns, ABCs, numbers, colors, direction, time, synonyms, antonyms, common phrases, gestures, body language and much more.
The good thing is that his videos are usually no longer than 20 minutes each, which makes them easy to digest and ensure that you’re still interested to put the lessons into practice afterwards. The site also uses a gradual approach to learning, starting with elementary lessons and then gradually moving onto more difficult tasks as you progress. This way, you get to build on your knowledge and each lesson leaves you feeling more confident about your ability to communicate in ASL.
3. Free Sign Language Classes by StartASL
StartASL offers a variety of resources that you can use to learn ASL from the comfort of your home free of charge. The site has three classes that contain 40 modules between them, with lessons delivered in the form of videos and a printable workbook that you can use to practically apply the lessons you’ve learnt while testing yourself along the way.
The modules are set up in terms of difficulty, starting with easier units and then building on the basics to reach more difficult levels so that you can learn more difficult signs that’ll allow you to participate in conversation and tell colourful stories. If you like, you can also learn to fingerspell so that you can perfect that aspect of ASL as well.
4. ASLPro.com Free Sign Language Classes
How ASLPro works is that it gives you a dictionary with all types of word signs, as well as a few popular religious signs and even a few conversational phrases. Each of these comes with a video tutorial that goes into more detail on the written material provided and how to actually perform the sign.
Afterwards, you can then head on to the game and quiz section to test yourself based on what you’ve learned.
5. Sign School
Sign School offers you free sign language classes that gradually take you from the basic elementary signs like learning to spell your name and greeting, to more difficult tasks like participating in full-on conversation.
The only downside to this online platform is that it doesn’t have any games or quizzes that you can take to test yourself, so you never really know how well you’re progressing.
Curious is a really easy to use ASL learning online platform where you get a large number of free video lessons that include things like simple greetings, name spelling, greetings and the like. Setup is really easy as well, and all you have to do is sign up and into the site using our existing Facebook profile or email. However, if you want to learn more than just how to say ‘hello’ in ASL, then you’ll want to sign up for their bundle offers, which typically cost between $20 to $50, and come with a more comprehensive set of features including full-on tiered lessons, quizzes and games etc.
7. The ASL App
If you’re someone who doesn’t have time to sit in front of a computer and visit a site in order to learn sign language, then the ASL App might just be for you. Through this app, you can learn to sign the alphabet, colors, numbers and other basic signs at your convenience and on the go. You get to learn at your own pace and can start and stop as required to suit your schedule. The app also features handshape exercises to help your hands get used to signing in general while accelerating your learning experience at the same time.
8. Signing Savvy
Signing Savvy is more like an online sign dictionary that you can browse through to find things like letters and words as well as free ASL lesson videos. It’s not only a learning tool but a useful collaboration platform for the broader deaf community as well, featuring a regularly updated blog on sign language, and the site is well-maintained too.
9. Hands & Voices
The Hands & Voices website is for a non-profit organisation of the same name, whose objective it is to provide support for families that have deaf children and loved ones. As such, the website offers a lot of ASL courses and training for anyone that’s interested in improving their ability to relate and communicate with those that are affected by deafness and similar hearing impairments.
10. Fun Brain
If you want your child to learn sign language from an early age, then Fun Brain is for you. This website is filled with fun and interactive games designed to make it easy and fun for kids to quickly learn ASL while they’re still young. Some of the fun activities on offer include one that requires the user to choose a correct sign from the provided options so that you can get to the next level.