Learning American Sign Language (ASL) is a valuable skill for those who wish to communicate with Deaf individuals, whether it’s for personal or professional reasons. If you’ve decided to learn ASL, you may be overwhelmed by the many apps, videos, and websites available. Fear not! This article will explore the best free online resources,
including apps, free online asl classes, and YouTube channels, to help you master ASL from home.
Top Free Online Resources to Learn ASL
Learning ASL doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are various free options available that can help you get started on your ASL journey:
1. Local Meetup Groups and Online Resources
One way to learn ASL for free is by joining local meetup groups or clubs where you can practice with other signers. Additionally, numerous free online resources, such as videos, lessons, and quizzes, can aid in your ASL learning process. There you can show and correct your learnings from ASL courses online free.
2. YouTube Tutorials: Learning from ASL Experts
YouTube is a treasure trove of ASL tutorials, making it one of the easiest and most accessible ways to learn sign language. Here are some YouTube channels to get you started:
a) Dr. Bill Vicars: Dr. Bill Vicars, an ASL expert with a deep understanding of deaf-centric studies, offers a wide range of ASL lessons on his YouTube channel. His videos provide comprehensive instruction for ASL learners, from the alphabet to common phrases and more.
b) Expert Village: Expert Village is a YouTube channel that covers various topics, including ASL. Beginners will find their extensive series on common phrases, the alphabet, and other essential aspects of ASL highly beneficial.
c) Laura Berg Life: Formerly known as “My Smart Hands,” Laura Berg’s channel is designed to teach ASL to adults and children. This channel caters to learners of all ages with videos demonstrating signs for temperatures, common phrases, and even viewer Q&A sessions.
3. Free Websites for ASL Learning
Several websites offer comprehensive curricula and resources if you prefer a structured approach to learning ASL. Here are two notable options:
a) Skillshare’s American Sign Language Level
1 Online Class: ed by ASL instructor Manny Martin from The Intellezy Trainers, this course provides a solid foundation in ASL while offering fascinating insights into its history and the field of deaf education.In this comprehensive ASL Level 1 course, students will learn essential components such as the ASL alphabet, numbers from 1 to 100, colors, animals, food and drink vocabulary, verbs, emotions, and storytelling techniques.
b) American Sign Language University: ASL University provides a comprehensive curriculum for learning sign language. From the basics to advanced topics like grammar and vocabulary, this website covers all aspects of ASL. It also offers quizzes and games to help reinforce your learning. Best of all, it’s completely free to use.
c) Signing Savvy: Signing Savvy is a valuable online resource with an extensive database of over 64,000 signing videos. This website covers a wide range of signs and includes quizzes and games to aid learning.
d) Free ASL Courses on Udemy: Udemy is a popular online learning platform that offers paid courses. However, there is also the best asl online course available for free that can be accessed by anyone looking to learn sign language. These are Basic courses that cover various topics and can be valuable to your learning resources.
3. ASL Learning Apps for On-the-Go Study
Carrying a sign language lesson in your pocket is now possible with ASL learning apps. These apps allow you to study whenever and wherever you want. Here are a few recommended apps:
a) ASL Coach: Available for iOS devices, ASL Coach provides short lessons to help you master the sign language alphabet.
b) ASL: Fingerspelling: Developed by Lifeprint, this iOS app ($3.99) focuses on improving users’ fingerspelling techniques.
c) Marlee Signs: Marlee Matlin, an Oscar-winning deaf actress, offers Marlee Signs as a free iOS app. It features video lessons and fingerspelling practice to enhance your ASL skills.
Understanding the Three Types of ASL
As a rich and expressive language, ASL has evolved over the years and is categorized into three main types. Let’s take a closer look at each type:
a) Old ASL: Also known as “ASL Zero” or “Original ASL,” this is the earliest form of ASL. Developed in the early 19th century by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Old ASL was influenced by French Sign Language (FSL) and gradually diverged from it as the American deaf community developed its signing style.
b) Modern ASL: Modern ASL is the most commonly used form of ASL in America today. It emerged in the mid-19th century when ASL started differentiating itself from FSL. Modern ASL has its distinct grammar and syntax while still sharing some similarities with Old ASL.
c) Two-Handed ASL: Dr. William Stokoe, considered the father of modern-day Signed English, introduced Two-Handed ASL in the 1970s. It combines one-handed signs from Modern ASL with two-handed versions of the same signs. This form of signing is often helpful for beginners or those struggling with one-handed signing.
Mastering ASL from the comfort of your home has always been challenging with the abundance of free online resources. From YouTube tutorials by renowned ASL experts to the best online asl certification programs and convenient learning apps, you have the tools to tackle your ASL learning journey.
Remember to choose the resources that suit your learning style and take advantage of the different types of ASL to expand your signing abilities.