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Used by as many as 500,000 people in the United States and Canada alone, American Sign Language (ASL) is the main form of sign language used by Deaf communities. ASL also forms the foundation of many sign language dialects used around the world, including parts of Southeast Asia and West Africa.
In addition to Deaf individuals, those who use American Sign Language include parents, children, or other family members of Deaf people; teachers working with students who are nonverbal; and, even parents of infants who want to communicate with their babies before their little ones are able to use spoken language.
Wednesday, September 22nd
Although Start ASL is not the least expensive program on the market for learning American Sign Language, the amount of resources provided to students make it well worth the investment. From three levels of language learning, to access to one-on-one tutoring if needed. And, they offer an impressive number of lessons at no charge, for those who want to study ASL for free. Start ASL is the most comprehensive way to learn American Sign Language online. They are our top pick for ASL programs.
Sign It ASL is a comprehensive program for students wanting to become fluent in American Sign Language. They have hours of lessons on a wide range of topics and practice tests and quizzes to reinforce learning. Different packages are available depending on your skill level and how many lessons you want to access. Families with children 36 months or younger that have hearing loss are eligible to get Sign It ASL for free. This is an amazing place to turn if you're serious about putting in the time to study!
Rocket Languages quickly teaches students beginner to intermediate American Sign Language and includes almost 100 hours of instruction in its Level 1 program. As the most affordable product in our review, Rocket Languages is a great choice for learning basic ASL on a budget.
ASL Deafined isn't the flashiest platform, but it has everything a beginner would need to start grasping the basics of American Sign Language. For just $36/year you'll have full access to hundreds of video lessons, quizzes, grammar tips, and progress tracking. Whether you're a beginner or at interpreter-level, ASL Deafined has helpful material for you. This is a fabulous place to turn if you're looking for an inexpensive way to improve your ASL knowledge.
If you want to learn ASL without depending on an internet connection, you should consider Learn and Master Sign Language. You'll get 49 hours of instruction delivered on 25 DVDs, on topics ranging from ASL Grammar to Sign Language for Daily Activities. Be aware that there is no opportunity to ask questions or interact with other learners while using this program, as the Student Support Discussion Board seemed to have been discontinued at the time of our review.
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.
You may be surprised to learn that American Sign Language has its own structure, rather than being a word-for-word translation of spoken English. For example, the phrase "The father loves his child" would typically use just the signs for "father", "love", and "child". And, just like any other language, ASL can have an "accent" based on the region or culture of the signer, with variations of hand position and facial expression.
In the past, aspiring students of American Sign Language would have to find a Deaf community willing to teach them to sign, take a class at a local community college (if offered), or struggle with books and antiquated DVD lessons in order to learn ASL. However, today's modern tools make it easy to learn fluent American Sign Language at home or even on-the-go, with online courses and up-to-date video lessons.
Are you ready to find the right American Sign Language lessons for you? As you consider the ASL programs on the market, keep the following criteria in mind:
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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