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How to Learn Sign Language

Sign language uses manual communication and body language to convey meaning and is used not only amongst deaf people, but also by people who can hear but cannot physically speak.  This involves combining hand shapes, movement of hands, arms or body as well as facial expressions that helps people express their feelings and thoughts.

Learning sign language is incredibly easy to learn thanks to the internet. Currently there are numerous ways of learning how to sign using various online available resources as well as mobile apps.

Check the following recommendations on how to learn the American Sign Language (ASL):

#1 Web Resources

A great way to start learning how to sign is though freely accessible websites. Check out the following available web resources that can help you learn ASL in no time:

  • ASL Pro: it offers great puzzles and fingerspelling practices as well as video dictionaries on how to sign specific words.
  • Start ASL: it offers dictionaries, workbooks, quizzes and an alphabet to help you learn the sign language. It also provides information on the history of ASL and deaf culture.   
  • Curious: it allows you to choose from a range of sign language courses starting with ASL course for beginners and ASL course for families. In order to be able to use it, you should sign in with your Facebook account or email. On the page, you can watch several helpful videos and if you are willing to pay a little more you can have access to features such as quizzes and lessons.
  • Lifeprint: it is basically an online ASL university that offers free ASL lessons, dictionaries, jokes, ASL wallpapers as well as fingerspelling practice and learning tools.

#2 Mobile Apps

Now you have the opportunity to practice your sign language skills whenever you are using the following apps on your smartphone or tablet:

  • ASL Coach: it is a free iOS app that helps you familiarise yourself with the ASL alphabet.
  • ASL Fingerspelling: it is an iOS app that costs $3.99 available from Lifeprint that helps you improve your fingerspelling technique.
  • Marlee Signs: it is a free app for iOS users which offers video lessons and fingerspelling practice.
  • ASL American Sign Language: it is a free Android app that helps you learn the ASL alphabet using fingerspelling flash cards.

#3 YouTube Videos

The quickest way to learn sign language is though watching tutorial videos. Visit YouTube and search for ASL and there you have it; a list of videos offering sign language tutoring for you to choose from. Start from the basics as a beginner and learn the alphabet, common greeting phrases and numbers, and then move on to the next video as your skills improve until you become expert at it. Check out these YouTube channels on sign language and find the ones that can help you the most. Also, it might be worth visiting Dr. Bill VicarsMy Smart Hands and Teach Me Sign Language.   

If you are interested in learning sign language, begin with taking advantage of resources that are available online, whether these include freely accessible resources, videos or apps!

Are you familiar with any other ways of learning sign language? If yes, leave your comments in the section below.

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