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Monday, January 24th
Gallaudet University is one of the most well-known universities for the deaf community and is located in Washington D.C. They offer both online and in-person courses for those working toward either a bachelors, masters, or doctorate degree. Their website features a free crash course on the basics of vocabulary and conversation. You can't track progress or learn based on your current knowledge of ASL, so there are definitely better options if you want to fully immerse yourself in learning American Sign Language. However, if you need a fast refresher on a lot of basic words, this is a risk-free resource to use.
No surprises here: The ASL App delivers sign language lessons through your smartphone. Whether you've got Android or iOs, you can access a decent amount of free content before deciding if you want to pay for specific topics or a one-off fee of $9.99 to get everything. Unfortunately, you'll find as many one-star reviews for this platform as five-star ones (in the hundreds): if it works for you, great, but because this app tends to be unreliable and may not be getting updated regularly, we suggest looking at other options for ASL before spending money here.
Whether you're interested in connecting with people in the Deaf community, trying to communicate with a non-verbal child, or facing hearing loss yourself, you're in good company. It's estimated that over 500,000 people in the US and Canada use American Sign Language (ASL).
If you're hoping to learn to sign, it's important to choose lessons that teach not just the signs themselves but also about Deaf culture and the differences between ASL and English. (It surprises many people when they learn that they don't correspond in a 1:1 fashion. In fact, ASL often uses a completely different word order, and facial expressions are a critical component of using ASL fluently.
Sign language lessons that include different instructors can help you see that individuals often have their own unique way of signing - just like someone from the South has a spoken accent that's very distinct from a New Yorker. Going back to the question of where to learn ASL, it might be possible to find classes nearby at a community college or even a library. Will they fit your schedule? Your budget?
Maybe, maybe not. Fortunately, there are many providers of sign language lessons online that let you study at your own pace, any time of day or night. (And hey, unlike other language lessons, you don't have to worry about disturbing people as you practice ASL in a quiet public place!)
What should you look for as you choose where to take sign language lessons through the internet? Here are some suggestions that can help you narrow down the options:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Sign Language lessons available today. We hope these reviews help you open new doors of communication as you learn to sign fluently in ASL right away!
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