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American Sign Language Classes and Courses

Learn the fundamentals of American Sign Language from basic to advanced, including finger spelling, greetings, sentence structure, grammar rules, and much more. Our online sign language classes will help you master the skills you need to become a fast and accurate signer! Plus, you’ll have the chance to ask questions, get instant feedback, and make new friends with other students at your level. Try any of these group classes and courses free for 30 days!
Fingerspelling 101: Must-Know Tips and Tricks
Fingerspelling 101: Must-Know Tips and Tricks

Fingerspelling is a vital aspect of ASL. While you do have to master the handshapes for yourself, you also have to learn how to comprehend someone else fingerspelling to you. Beginners will get all the help they need to do both effectively in this fun online ASL class!

Today at 5:00pm Learn More
How to Sign Numbers
How to Sign Numbers

This online sign language class is all about numbers! You’ll get to practice signing numbers with a fun exercise and learn how to incorporate numbers into conversation. Group activities in class will also help expand your conversational skills.

Today at 6:00pm Learn More
How to Sign About Relationships & More!
How to Sign About Relationships & More!

Add even more vocabulary to your skillset with the help of this fun group class. An expert instructor will teach the signs for different relationships, and walk you through the basics of Deaf culture so you can gain a deeper understanding of this unique language.

Today at 7:00pm Learn More
Vocabulary for the Weather, Animals, & More!
Vocabulary for the Weather, Animals, & More!

Are you ready to learn more fun topics in ASL? This interactive group class covers pets, animals, and the weather so you never run out of topics for conversation. Among other students at your level, you’ll also explore numbers one to one-million!

Tomorrow at 4:00pm Learn More
How to Sign Colors & Physical Traits
How to Sign Colors & Physical Traits

Learning the signs for colors and physical characteristics will give you so much more to talk about! This online sign language class will also help you practice using facial grammar, such as eye gazes, in ASL.

Tomorrow at 6:00pm Learn More
Essential ASL Vocabulary for Beginners
Essential ASL Vocabulary for Beginners

Beginners can benefit greatly from this online ASL class full of the essentials. You’ll learn the basics of ASL as well as vocabulary that you can use in your daily life. Practicing will fellow classmates will help prepare you for using ASL in conversation!

Saturday at 1:00pm Learn More
25 Must-Know Signs for Beginners
25 Must-Know Signs for Beginners

The 25 signs you’ll learn in this class are a great place to start on your journey to ASL fluency. Understanding these vital and basic signs will help you gain the confidence you need to begin using ASL in your daily life and converse with others!

Monday at 4:00pm Learn More
Intro to ASL Interpretation
Intro to ASL Interpretation

Sign language interpretation is an incredibly beneficial skill to have. This introductory class will teach you how to interpret what others are signing so you can explain the meaning of signs for someone else. Get ready to become more confident in your overall understanding of ASL!

Monday at 5:00pm Learn More
ASL Conversation Class - Practice Signing Live!
ASL Conversation Class - Practice Signing Live!

Practice makes perfect! These weekly classes will help you improve your conversational sign language skills with some fun practice. You’ll work with a live instructor and other students to keep a conversation going. Topics such as holidays, school, activities, hobbies, favorites, and more will give you a wid...

Monday at 6:00pm Learn More
Introduction to Deaf Culture
Introduction to Deaf Culture

Understanding Deaf culture is an essential part of learning ASL. No matter what level you’re at, this online ASL class will help you gain a deeper appreciation of Deaf culture and why it is so important. Incorporating this knowledge into your daily practice routine will help you stay motivated and excited to...

Tuesday at 7:00pm Learn More
Common ASL Signs for Around the House
Common ASL Signs for Around the House

There’s no place like home! Join this fun, online sign language class to learn useful, everyday signs for describing your house. Beginners will enjoy learning the basic signs for rooms in the house as well as objects. You’ll even discuss signs for pets and communicating with family.

Wednesday at 4:00pm Learn More
Expressing Yourself with Likes & Dislikes
Expressing Yourself with Likes & Dislikes

Knowing how to express yourself in ASL is key for any beginner. Join this class to learn the basics of discussing your likes, dislikes, and more! You’ll also have the chance to explore non-manual behaviors and their role in this interactive, online sign language class.

Wednesday at 5:00pm Learn More
Basic ASL for Beginners
Basic ASL for Beginners

Start learning one of the most beautiful languages in the world! In these weekly, online sign language classes, you’ll learn basic signs from an expert instructor to jump start your learning journey. Along the way, you’ll also experience a taste of the rich and diverse deaf culture.

Wednesday at 6:00pm Learn More
Vocabulary for Holidays & Months of the Year
Vocabulary for Holidays & Months of the Year

This group class will cover the months of the year, as well as holidays and special celebrations. Get ready to put all you’ve learned into practice with a fun and interactive exercise with other students at your level!

Jul 26 at 12:00pm Learn More
Must-Know ASL for Shopping and Dining Out
Must-Know ASL for Shopping and Dining Out

Shopping and dining out are common activities, and now you’ll be able to use sign language as you do them! In this class, you’ll learn how to communicate with waiters and cashiers, as well as how to describe items on a menu or in a store.

Jul 26 at 5:00pm Learn More
Basic Grammar Rules & Vocabulary for Locations
Basic Grammar Rules & Vocabulary for Locations

You’ll have so much to talk about after this online sign language class! An expert instructor will teach you different vocabulary for locations so you can sign where you’re from when meeting new people. In addition, you’ll learn a little bit about grammatical structures.

Jul 26 at 7:00pm Learn More
Workplace Vocabulary for ASL Beginners
Workplace Vocabulary for ASL Beginners

Beginners who are learning ASL for their workplace will love this online sign language class! Join to learn useful vocabulary for around the office, how to speak with coworkers, and even how to use customer service language. Your boss will be impressed with all you’ve learned!

Jul 28 at 12:00pm Learn More
Vocabulary for Making Plans & Expressing Time
Vocabulary for Making Plans & Expressing Time

This online sign language class will give you the knowledge you need to talk about plans, days of the week, and more. You’ll also learn about the different tenses in ASL and how to properly sign them. You’ll be having full conversations before you know it!

Jul 30 at 7:00pm Learn More
Basic Greetings & Introductions
Basic Greetings & Introductions

If you’re ready to dive into the world of ASL, this online sign language class is perfect for you! You’ll learn how to greet others and properly introduce yourself. An expert instructor will also discuss basic grammar and non-manual language, such as facial grammar.

Jul 31 at 11:00am Learn More
Asking & Answering Questions
Asking & Answering Questions

Get more comfortable with ASL in this online sign language class. You’ll learn all about asking and answering questions with the help of an expert instructor. You’ll also begin to master basic grammar rules as you interact with other beginners in class.

Jul 31 at 6:00pm Learn More

Common Questions

Are classes actually live?
Yes! Say goodbye to prerecorded videos. Our live classes are taught in real-time so students can ask questions and get instant feedback from their teachers.
How much does it cost?
You can learn American Sign Language with TakeLessons Live completely free. No catches. Sign up today and get started!
Where do I attend a class?
All classes take place through TakeLessons Classroom, our online learning platform. You can attend class on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
What equipment do I need?
All you need is an internet connection, computer or mobile device, and a built-in or external camera.
When are classes?
Classes are scheduled every day so you can easily find a time that works with your schedule.

Everything You Need To Learn American Sign Language

Learn American Sign Language for free

American Sign Language, or ASL, is a unique language that is growing in popularity among English speakers. There are many uses of this visual language, made up of hand and body movements, but becoming apart of the diverse deaf culture is one of its many perks.

Keep reading to find answers to some frequently asked questions when starting to learn American Sign Language. We’ll share how long it takes to learn ASL, how to put your signing skills to good use, and more!

Who uses sign language?

Sign language is the main method of communication for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. It’s also becoming more and more popular among parents of infants and toddlers who are still developing the ability to speak.

Certain professions, from police officers to scuba divers, also speak in sign language as a useful and discreet communication tool.

Is sign language universal?

No; there isn’t one form of sign language that is used and understood around the world. Different regions have their own versions of sign language. In the United States, for example, American Sign Language is used. There are about 300 different versions of sign language in use today.

How hard is it to learn sign language?

As with learning any new language, the level of difficulty experienced by the student will largely depend on that student’s learning style. But for a motivated and committed student with the right teacher, mastering sign language isn’t any more difficult than mastering a spoken language.

Keep in mind that learning advanced sign language will have more challenges than picking up basic, beginners sign language. Some challenges faced by English speaking students are the grammar and sentence structure of ASL.

How long does it take to learn sign language?

It can take anywhere from three months to three years to learn sign language - it all depends on your end goal. If your goal is to become fluent, you can expect to be studying a sign language like ASL for several years.

If you just want to pick up some basic signs though, it should only take a few months. It’s important to remember that individual students have different learning rates, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you find that it’s taking you longer.  

What are the benefits of learning sign language?

There are dozens of benefits of learning sign language, from professional to social. Here are just a few of the reasons why taking online sign language classes is a great idea.

Professional benefits
  • Speaking a second language is an added bonus on any resume and will further qualify you for customer service roles.
  • Take advantage of the exciting career opportunities that are available for those fluent in sign language, such as concert interpreters and speech pathologists.
Physical and mental benefits
  • Improve your brain power! Learning any language, including ASL, has been found to enhance cognitive processes such as problem solving and memorization.  
  • Using signs helps young children more quickly develop fine motor skills and muscle memory.
Social benefits
  • Gain a better understanding of the rich and diverse deaf culture, which includes art, music, and poetry.
  • Open the door to countless opportunities to develop new friendships with the large deaf community. If you like making new friends and crossing cultural barriers, ASL is an excellent option for you!
  • Speaking sign language makes many recreational activities much more fun. You can use sign language while on a nature walk to avoid disturbing the wildlife, or while camping to make long distance conversations possible using binoculars.

Where can I learn sign language?

There are a few different options for where to learn sign language. Many people choose to take classes at a community college, however this is a more expensive route. Others visit local organizations or clubs that offer more budget-friendly classes.

Another option is to take online sign language classes, such as the ones we offer at TakeLessons Live. Online classes are convenient and affordable, with the added bonus of learning in a group where you can quickly advance your conversation skills.

Lastly, students looking for a challenge can choose to immerse themselves in their local deaf community. This might not be the fastest method but it’s definitely an exciting option if you’re outgoing and eager to learn!

How much does it cost to learn sign language?

The cost of learning sign language all depends on your method of learning. An ASL course at a community college typically costs around $300.

Here at TakeLessons, you can access free sign language classes for a whole month. Get a taste of the language and get to know your teacher before committing. After that, the cost of continuing classes is only $19.95 per month for new students.

If you prefer having a one-on-one experience with a professional tutor, private lessons range from $15 to $35 per half hour at TakeLessons.

What’s the best way to learn ASL?

Although there are many apps and YouTube videos available that can help you learn ASL, it’s best to have an experienced and qualified instructor who can provide direction and feedback on your way to fluency.

A teacher will be able to work with your unique learning style, ensuring that you’re studying sign language in the right ways to advance quicker. He or she will also be able to easily identify mistakes you’re making and help you correct them.

To learn American Sign Language with the help of an expert instructor, check out our selection of online sign language classes today!

How can I practice ASL?

The more you practice ASL, the better you’ll become and the faster you’ll improve. There are countless fun and efficient ways to practice your signing skills. We’ll list 10 of them here!

  • Get involved in your local deaf community and attend a public gathering to immerse yourself in the language and get valuable conversation practice.
  • Schedule weekly coffee dates with someone who is fluent in ASL and tell him or her how your week went. You can use Deaf Chat Coffee if you need help finding a language partner near you.
  • Find a curious friend or relative to teach American Sign Language to. Even teaching the basic skills that you’ve learned so far will help reinforce the concepts in your memory.
  • Take advantage of video text messaging apps such as Glide to conveniently chat with other friends who use ASL.
  • Listen to your favorite songs and challenge yourself to sign the lyrics. You can even slow down the song on YouTube if you have to.
  • Join an ASL discussion group on Facebook, such as ASL That! which has over 50,000 members. Facebook’s video feature makes it easy to dive into deaf culture and be apart of a larger conversation.
  • YouTube can be a great resource for videos that help you memorize the alphabet, numbers, and more in ASL. Simply watching others use ASL makes for good practice too, so try looking up videos of interpreters at work.
  • Websites like ASLPro feature dozens of interactive games and quizzes to test your knowledge of sign language as you progress.
  • Study a sign language dictionary to expand your vocabulary when you’re unsure of how to sign something.
  • Take free sign language classes to meet other students you can practice with. Here at TakeLessons, we offer a variety of online sign language classes to improve your skills.

Are there any American Sign Language apps?

There are some very helpful American Sign Language apps available to supplement your learning. Although these apps are excellent resources for students, we don’t recommend using an app as your sole method of learning ASL.

ASL is best learned with the personal guidance of a teacher and immersion in the language. With that in mind, here are seven of the best apps for practicing your ASL skills!

  • ASL Coach is a free app for iPhones that will help any beginner quickly master the ASL alphabet.
  • Sign Language for Beginners teaches the basics of American Sign Language using images that display numbers, colors, greetings, and more.
  • ASL: Fingerspelling helps you practice fingerspelling to improve the speed and accuracy of your comprehension.
  • 3Strike American Sign Language Fingerspelling is a fun and interactive game that quizzes you on the letters of the alphabet. It’s free and designed for iPhones.
  • ASL Dictionary is the perfect companion when you need to look up a new word in ASL. It features video clips of more than 5,000 different words and phrases.   
  • ASL Translator is an app for iPhones that instantly translates full English sentences into videos displaying the ASL signs. You can translate up to 50 words at a time!
  • Signily allows you to add an ASL keyboard to your iPhone or Android phone. If you forget a letter, you can easily switch back and forth to your normal keyboard.

When was ASL created?

It’s widely believed that ASL was created in 1817 at the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut. The school was founded by a Yale graduate named Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet.

How many people speak ASL?

The exact number of ASL users in the United States is unknown, mainly due to the fact that the U.S. Census Bureau counts ASL speakers among English speakers.

However, there are approximately one million deaf people in the United States, and it can be assumed that a majority of them use some form of sign language as their main method of communication.

What is baby sign language?

Baby sign language is a form of signing that helps parents communicate with their young children who haven’t yet developed speaking abilities. With baby sign language, infants and toddlers are able to better express their emotions and desires.

Here are some differences between baby sign language and other types of sign language, like ASL:

  • Both hearing children and their parents use baby sign language, whereas ASL exists primarily for the deaf community
  • Baby sign language is used in conjunction with spoken words
  • Baby sign language uses simplified signs rather than the complex grammar and sentence structure of a language like ASL

When can babies learn sign language?

Most children are able to use simple signs between the ages of 6 and 9 months, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start signing to your baby before then. The earlier you start signing to your baby, the more familiar he or she will get with the signs and it will be easier to learn down the road.