Aug 2, 2016

I Want to Learn ASL


I had a question from one of my amazing readers!  Thank you sooooo much!  I love hearing from you! =)   I thought I would answer it here in this blog post for you all to read!  Enjoy!





In case you didn't know, ASL stands for American Sign Language.  This is a language like no other.  YOU CAN TALK WITH YOUR HANDS!!!!!  It's such a beautiful, expressive language.  Ever since I began to learn it many years ago, I have been enamored with ASL.  So...if you are wanting to learn ASL (or if you want to see how I did it), this post is for you!

How I Began

In November of 2013, a missionary couple to Nicaragua stayed at our home.  The husband was Deaf.  As a couple, they ministered to the Deaf in Central America.  Thus, they could correspond in English, Spanish, American Sign Language, and Spanish Sign Language.  (4 languages!)  At that point, I only knew the ASL alphabet very roughly.  After meeting them, I was inspired.  I, along with two siblings and five neighbors, began to learn sign language together.  We met once a week or so to practice and learn new signs. (as well as play fun ASL games...hehe)

Sadly, one of our neighbors moved away.  In addition, I was wanting something more.  Sure, learning signs is awesome!  But without the accountability of being in a formal class, I wasn't learning as fast as I wanted to.  Thus, I got a professional teacher online!  Our class met every Tuesday on the internet.  We learned more signs, ASL grammar, and ASL history.  We also memorized Bible verses in ASL and a song!  It was amazing.

This year I am continuing to take ASL 2 with the same teacher.  And after that, I hope to take ASL 3.  (There's no #4!  *sob*)  I am in no way fluent yet!  But it has been an extraordinary experience and one that I want to continue.  It's one of my dreams to adopt Deaf children and give them a normal home, raising them to love the Lord...while speaking in ASL.  <3 span="">

How You Can Learn ASL (for free!)

So...do you want to learn ASL?  If so, here are some of the resources that I have used (and continue to use!).  These ones are allllllll free too!


I use ASLPro mainly for its wonderful dictionary.  It has thousands of signs, which you can learn through their handy video clips!  They also have other resources, but I have enjoyed using the following website better.


This site also has a great dictionary!  When I can't find the right sign on ASLPro, ASLU usually has the sign I need.  But there are other resources that are valuable on this site.  ASLU has a finger-spelling learning tool and a finger-spelling practicing tool to help you learn your ASL abc's. =)  If you are struggling with understanding numbers from 1-1,000,000, they also have a number practicing tool.  There are even self-study lessons, so that you can learn from home.  Thus, if you are hoping to learn ASL for free at home, ASLU is the way to do it!

How You Can Learn ASL (not for free)

I know...it's sad isn't it?  Why can't everything be free?!  But if you are dedicated to learning ASL, spending money might be the best way to become fluent.  Or, if you are like me, maybe having a real teacher give you grades helps you become consistent.  If so, here is how I learned ASL.

I took ASL 1 through Landry Academy.  They have wonderful classes in many different subjects!  (I also take a community group through Landry called Reservation For Two) ASL 1 teaches you the basics of ASL - finger-spelling, hundreds of signs, the history of ASL, famous Deaf celebrities, Bible verses in ASL and lots more!  The teacher is wonderful!  I couldn't recommend him enough.  (He even has ASL humor times in his classes!)  The link to see more about this class is here.  It will take you to the course catalog.  Click COURSES and select American Sign Language I for more information about the class and the teacher. =)  The class is almost full so make sure to sign up as soon as possible!!!!

Did you notice that the class costs $780?   I know!  It's really expensive. =(  But, there is hope!  Landry often has fun deals if you subscribe to their newsletter.  This is how my family affords it. =)  If you subscribe, you may have to wait until next year to get a class at a lower cost, but it's worth it!


If you can't take the Landry class, the textbook they use is still extremely handy!  It has many signs and information about ASL.  This is a great option if you want to self-study, and it's a lot cheaper. ;)


Thanks for sticking through this not-as-interesting post!  =)  I hope I have helped some of you by sharing my ASL story and how you can begin your own.  There are surly hundreds of other options, but these are the ones I am familiar with. =)

Questions? (I would love to answer them!)  Have you learned ASL with any other sites/resources?  Or are you a new learner interested in sign language?  Comment below!
 

18 comments:

  1. I'm getting decent at asl, but any help is helpful! Thank you Hosanna!

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    1. I'm glad if I could help in any way, Katie! That is cool that you are also getting good at ASL! How did you learn? =)

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    2. Youtube mostly. And signing time! Lol

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    3. I have used both of those as well, though not very often. ;) They are definitely good options! =) Do you know any Deaf people personally?

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  2. I thought this post was very interesting! ;) Thanks for sharing some of your resources with us, Hosanna! That is really neat that you and your neighbors started practicing together, and your dream of helping deaf children is so sweet!<3 For the last year or so, I've been interested in learning ASL, and learned some basic signs and such, but I really wanted to learn more. I'm so excited that this year I'll be able to take a sign language class- and it's free! I did take a look at Landry, and was slightly shocked at the price, but even so, it sounds like a really good class! =) Sorry for the extremely long comment, but thanks for sharing!

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    1. That is so awesome, Emily! Where are you taking the sign language class? It's great to find free options. =) And yes...Landry is expensive! Thankfully, my mom has found deals which gives us free classes when you first buy 1-2 different ones. =) So it's so worth it! What got you interested in learning ASL?

      And thank you for the long comment! I really enjoy them. =)

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    2. I'm glad you like long comments- I do too, although I rarely leave them,lol! ;) I'm taking the class at a co-op that we are going to do this year, and I'm excited! I really started to get interested in ASL last year, when my American Heritage Girls troop was working on the Sign Language badge (that's when I got to visit the school for the deaf). I learned some basic things from that, and since then I've been intersted in learning more! =)

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    3. How cool! It's a good idea to have different badges, to help you learn about new things. ;) Like ASL! We don't have a school co-op in our town, but I know you will love taking sign language with yours! =) Let me know how it goes!

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  3. What a fun post, Hosanna! You are SO good at ASL. Like...your video...was...amazing. ;) I'm pretty good at it...haha. Just kidding. All I know is how to do my name. :D At our other church we did learn how to do a song in ASL though. That was kind of for their VBS. It was fun, but I was very small so I don't really remember much. :)

    Have you ever thought of learning braille? That might be pretty cool as well!

    Anyway, enough rambling. ;) Super neat post!!

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    1. Thank you Hannah! Shh! Don't mention the video...I might share it one of these days. ;) hehe!

      Well, it's a start! And yes, signing songs is SO MUCH fun!!! I feel like I praise God better in ASL than I do in English...I can put my heart into it more. <3

      I've thought about it, but not seriously. It would be fun to know Braille though...hmm...

      Thank you, my friend! =)

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  4. Wow!! It's so amazing how you started in your sign language journey, Hosanna!
    Before I started reading your blog, I've never heard of missionaries who communicate in sign language. But it's a super good idea! I've never thought of how useful it could be!
    Your idea to adopt deaf children and raise them in a God-loving home is amazing; and nothing is impossible with God! I love your ambition, Hosanna!!
    -Ariel

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    1. Thank you so much, Ariel! Yes! Isn't it amazing!? Ministering to the Deaf is very important...and they often get overlooked even though thousands in America use ASL as their primary language. I think it's such a lovely and important mission!

      You are too sweet. =) It's one of my future "plans"...but one that I hope God wants me to do. =) If He does, then I'll look forward to using my ASL to serve Him in that way!! And how fun!

      Your comments are always so lovely. =)

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  5. Awesome! I've recently been seriously considering studying ASL. I find it fascinating and intriguing. I find the timing of this post to be perfect. Thank you so much for the resources!

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    1. It IS a fascinating language, Bethany! And I'm very thankful that this post was a blessing to you. =) I know it's not as interesting as most, but who knows if someone out there needs the information and links to boost their love for ASL? =) I'm glad that it was you!!!

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  6. Oh, this was really interesting! Thanks for sharing it, Hosanna! :D

    I'm definitely going to have to check out the sites you listed; they look super helpful :) Did you find them through Landry?

    To answer your questions, I've only learned the alphabet. I think it was from 'The Riverboat Adventures' by Lois Walfrid Johnson. Have you read it before? Some versions have pictures of the signs at the back, so that's where my sister and I learned it :)

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Blessing. =)

      Well...not really. Mr. Dally (the ASL teacher) does share some of those sites when you take his class. However, I have used them long before I ever took ASL through Landry. =) They have been very helpful!

      I read a few of The Riverboat Adventure series! And I loved them! Her books are fantastic reads. =) But no...the ones I read didn't have any ASL signs in it that I remember. It's a cool way to learn though!

      Thanks for your long, lovely comments. =)

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  7. Thank you so, so, SO much for writing up this post, Hosanna!! You've answered all my questions and then some. :) THANK YOU!!! <3

    Wow, that's a great story of how you were inspired to learn ASL. Four languages -- goodness! I would be constantly mixing them up. :P Again, thanks a million. :)

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    1. Thank YOU for asking and hunting me down, Faith! =) I was so tickled to help you! You are very welcome. =)

      I know! It would be hard. I am learning Spanish and ASL...but Spanish Sign Language? Nope. ;) Lol

      I hope you'll be able to learn more ASL in the future, no matter what route you end up taking!

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