Tuesday, August 1st: Why Learn ASL
Tuesday, August 8th: Getting Started
Tuesday, August 15th: Family and Friends
Tuesday, August 22nd: Greetings and the Deaf Community
A laptop or desktop computer if you’re joining from home
A tablet or smartphone if you’re on-the-go
A built-in or external webcam
Are you ready to start signing? In this class, you’ll begin building a solid foundation of proper ASL grammar, useful vocabulary, and conversation skills. We’ll also cover fingerspelling, facial expressions, and body language - each will be key to your growth as a beginner to ASL.
An expert instructor will provide an introduction to the diverse Deaf culture, and helpful practice tips to put all of your newfound skills to good use. Here are some more of the essential topics you’ll learn in this introductory ASL class. Join today to quickly expand your knowledge of American Sign Language and start communicating in no time!
Mastering the ASL alphabet is crucial to your success as a communicator. Why? You’ll need to be very familiar with the alphabet so you can fingerspell names, proper nouns, and things like movie titles or brand names.
There are 26 individual signs in the ASL alphabet. Your instructor will show you how to form each sign, and then you’ll repeat it back. In this online ASL class, you’ll rely strictly on signing for communication, so get ready to be challenged and grow quickly in an interactive and supportive environment!
Did you know that American Sign Language has its own grammar and syntax that is completely different from the English language? Come to class prepared to learn the unique rules of forming sentences in ASL. Your instructor will go over several major grammar rules that will help you understand the language better.
Many students are surprised to find that ASL does not follow English word order, and there isn’t a sign for every English word. Although this might sound tricky, don’t fret! You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and get instant feedback that will guide you in the right direction. If you’re wondering about something, chances are another student is too!
In this online ASL class, you’ll also discover some helpful resources such as apps that will supplement and reinforce all you’ve learned outside of class time. Listening to the radio, or watching TV, while signing concepts in ASL also makes for great practice!
Another key aspect of American Sign Language is the non-manual behaviors that are involved when speaking. While the alphabet is important, the language relies more on other forms of expression. Things like body language and facial expressions are often used to express sarcasm, exclamations, and ask questions.
Facial expressions can also alter the tense of a verb, changing it from past to present or future. ASL is a very visual language! You’ll find that when you can only use your eyes to understand what someone else is communicating, other parts of the body will need to play a role in conveying ideas.
Once you have a solid understanding of the basics, you’ll be able to move on to some essential ASL vocabulary and phrases. You’ll start with greetings, introductions, and a few more “survival signs” - signs that you absolutely need to get through a conversation. Later in the class you’ll learn how to share about friends, family, and activities.
Your instructor will guide you through these discussions without using his voice at all. Drawing pictures and acting things outs will help you learn to not rely on your speaking voice either. Practicing in this way will help you become more comfortable signing.
What better way to put all the grammar rules, facial expressions, and vocabulary you’ve learned into practice than by jumping straight into having conversations with your peers? Putting your skills into use is key to your progress as a beginner, so in this class you’ll have the chance to learn all about conversing in American Sign Language.
Your instructor will teach you the correct way to form complete sentences by writing out sentences in English, and then comparing them to sentences in ASL so you can understand some important differences. You’ll also learn cultural norms and proper etiquette, including the dos and don’ts of talking to someone who is deaf for the first time.
By the time this online ASL class is over, you’ll feel more confident when asking questions, making statements, and conveying likes or dislikes. You’ll be encouraged to research Deaf social events in or near your city to immerse yourself in the Deaf community. Becoming apart of the diverse Deaf culture is one of the many perks of learning ASL!
The amount of time it takes you to feel comfortable conversing in ASL will depend on how much time you’re able to commit to practicing. Are you a little more on the introverted side? Another great way to get some extra practice in is to record yourself signing and then watch it back! Identify mistakes you’re making and work on improving your weaker areas.
Tony S. has been speaking American Sign Language for 25 years. After taking a college course on the subject, he fell in love with the language. Tony has a degree from Harding University, 10 years of career experience as an interpreter, and he’s currently teaching American Sign Language full time.
Tony started teaching ASL in 1996 and is very passionate about Deaf culture. He enjoys watching his students reach their goals and develop confidence in their skills. One of the top things he recommends when teaching ASL for beginners? Don’t forget to practice daily! Step outside of your comfort zone and engage in conversations within Deaf community.
Learn faster and stay motivated with expert-led online group lessons.
FREE for the first month
Only $19.95 / month thereafter
Try 30 days for free.
You will not be charged now. Cancel anytime.