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TakeLessonsLanguageAmerican Sign LanguageLive American Sign Language Classes OnlineBasic ASL for Beginners
Tony S.

Basic ASL for Beginners

Online American Sign Language group class with Tony S.
  • Overview
  • Reviews
  • What You’ll Learn

    • The ASL alphabet and how to fingerspell
    • Grammar rules and sentence structure
    • How to use non-manual signs like facial expressions
    • Basic ASL vocabulary and phrases
    • Conversation skills and helpful practice tips An introduction to Deaf culture

    Weekly Curriculum

    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 reliable internet connection
    • A laptop or desktop computer if you’re joining from home

      • The Google Chrome web browser is recommended for computer users
    • A tablet or smartphone if you’re on-the-go

      • The TakeLessons app (for Android or iPhone) is required for smartphone users
    • 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!

    The ASL Alphabet

    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!

    Grammar Rules and Sentence Structure

    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!

    Body Language and Facial Expressions

    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.

    Basic ASL Vocabulary

    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.

    Conversation Skills

    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.

    About the Teacher

    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.

  • 7 Reviews

    Jaeden Mar. 14, 2017
    Tony is a great teacher.... lessons show he has a true passion to teach ASL. Can not say how impressed I am with what my daughter has learned in such little time.
    A Happy Mama Jan. 12, 2017
    Tony teaches from the heart. Tony has given my child the confidence he needs to succeed while teaching him ASL. He has picked up so quickly and I am constantly amazed at what he has learned. I can't say enough good things about the way Tony interacts with students to make
    them feel like they can accomplish anything they set their mind to. We are grateful to have him in our child's life. We highly recommend him to friends and family.
    Mike Jan. 10, 2017
    Amazing teacher!
    Zach Aug. 17, 2016
    Tony's one of the nicest, patient and excited people I've met. He puts his all into his projects and clients and anyone who works with Tony is going to find their real potential.
    Colin Aug. 16, 2016
    Tony is one of the best teachers I have ever had!
    Carrie W Aug. 16, 2016
    Tony's heart and skill level cannot be matched. I recommend him without reservation!
    Deryk Aug. 15, 2016
    Tony is a patient teacher who loves his subject and his students. He loves to teach, and truly gets excited when he sees his students "getting it". He is a rare teacher because he is so connected personally to the subject and to every student. He is a great encourager and mo
    tivator, and he is extremely skilled in ASL. This is no "side job" for him. He is devoted to the deaf community, and part of that devotion is teaching hearing folks to communicate with the community he loves so much. If you want to learn ASL, you will not be disappointed with Tony.
Class Length
45 Minutes
Max. Class Size
8 Students

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