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="">3>
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!