You’ve probably seen or heard of American Sign Language (ASL) before, and it must’ve piqued your curiosity. But do you know what it is?

ASL is the primary language used by deaf and hard-of-hearing people in North America and elsewhere to communicate in their everyday life.

It differs from written and spoken English in that it uses many different signs, hand shapes, and movements that combine to form an entire language on its own.

In essence, learning sign language can seem complicated at first, but it’s pretty easy to pick up if you know where to start!

This article will tell you everything you need to know about sign language for beginners, including how the process works and where to find the best learning resources.

We’ll also give you some tips and tricks to make your learning experience as painless as possible. Let’s get started!

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What Are The Basics Of American Sign Language?

American Sign Language (ASL) is entirely different from spoken languages, so it may be intimidating to learn if you aren’t familiar with sign language.

However, learning sign language doesn’t have to be complicated. Suppose you’re interested in learning sign language for beginners.

In that case, you’ll find sign language help in classes at your local community college or library. There are even online resources available that you can join to get a fantastic experience.

A teenage girl learning sign language on her tablet
ASL is an international language that uses signs and gestures with the intention to help differently-abled people communicate. (Source: Unsplash)

Whether you want to learn it for a loved one in your life or add another skill to your resume, here are some things you should know about ASL before taking any classes.

A Brief History Of Sign Language

More than 3 million Americans are considered deaf or hard of hearing, but many more are supposed to be hearing impaired.

Regardless of how you label their loss of hearing, people who cannot hear well struggle with communication in most aspects of their lives.

To overcome those struggles, experts started devising a way for those individuals to communicate undeterred.

These efforts were exceedingly successful. Even though they originated over 200 years ago, they’re still being used today, especially by younger generations.

Why Should We All Learn American Sign Language?

Interpretation of sign language
Learning American Sign Language (ASL) for beginners is tricky. However, it is also the third most used language in the United States. (Source: Unsplash)

Many people use sign language to communicate. If you know ASL too, they will enjoy being able to share their thoughts with you.

You will be able to converse with them without needing any other communication medium. If you want to learn more about their lives and stories, learning sign language can help with that.

Many people who use sign language have their unique ways of signing because of their distinct cultures and lifestyle. Signing can help you fit in with those groups of people better.

Learning sign language is also a great way to stay healthy. Studies show that using it regularly helps keep our brains active as we age.

This keeps us from getting Alzheimer’s disease or other memory-related illnesses earlier than most people do. Signing keeps our brains busy and helps us live longer!

How Do You Get Started Learning Sign Language?

With so many different kinds of sign language help, it can be hard to know where to begin.

If you’re considering learning sign language for a child or yourself, here are some things to keep in mind: It’s best to have someone who already knows sign language in your family.

If not, there are other ways to learn it, too. One option is Signing Superprof classes, which teach individuals who don’t know sign language how to communicate with those who do.

Another good way to get started is by using other online tutorials and self-taught resources like DVDs that make it easy for anyone at any age or level of ability to learn how to use signs for conversations.

The internet also has plenty of free resources and sign language apps available for smartphones.

You’ll want to look into what kind of sign language you wish to learn before deciding on an approach because they all vary in difficulty.

Now, American Sign Language (ASL) is considered one of the most challenging options. Yet, even then, it only takes about six months to become conversational with an instructor or tutor.

Other sign languages, such as Pidgin Signed English (PSE), are accessible and only take a few weeks to master. But it lacks the ability to hold complex, deep conversations.

There are also dozens more regional varieties worldwide, so there will likely be something available nearby that fits your needs and learning style no matter where you live.

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Maud
Maud
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William
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Benefits Of Learning Sign Language

Here are some of the prominent benefits of learning sign language:

A man in the process of learning sign language
ASL is a sign language that uses the hands, face, and body. It is an excellent way for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate. (Source: Unsplash)

Sign Language Helps In Improving Your Mental Health 

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a vacation away from technology and screen time, but a great alternative is learning sign language if you can’t do that regularly.

When we’re bored and don’t have much to do (or when we’re anxious), many of us gravitate toward phones or computers as an easy distraction to pass the time.

Many people spend so much time staring at screens that some studies show it may be altering our brains!

So, learning a new skill like sign language help you with your mental health in general because it gives you something else to focus on for a change.

Sign Language Is Used By Deaf People Across The World

If you want to connect with others who are deaf, sign language will help you reach them. Deaf communities create sign languages; they aren’t based on spoken languages like English or Spanish.

Besides, multiple sign languages worldwide differ depending on where they developed and how they’ve evolved.

Sign Language Opens Up More Career Opportunities

A sign language certification can open up job opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

For example, someone could become a sign language interpreter, working directly with clients in healthcare settings and other fields.

Sign Language Helps Keep Children’s Minds Active

While children learn best through play and interaction with other kids their age, sometimes it isn’t possible to find enough peers nearby to meet their needs.

Learning sign language is a way parents can fill that gap, and not just during infancy either. Even older children benefit from ASL early on.

It keeps their minds sharp and active while allowing them to enjoy being kids without putting too much pressure on them academically.

Sign Language Helps Children Learn Spoken Language

If you’re raising a child who’s deaf or hard-of-hearing, learning sign language is an excellent way to support their development and encourage them to communicate more with you and others around them.

While some children are born deaf, others lose their hearing later in life due to illness or injury; either way, these kids need to have someone they can communicate with easily, so they don’t feel isolated from those around them.

Sign language also helps parents keep tabs on what their kids are up to and how they’re feeling. This can be especially helpful if a child doesn’t have much verbal communication ability yet.

Why Consider Joining Sign Language 101

If you have a loved one who has been deaf their whole life, learning how to sign may not be as difficult.

Deafness, in general, is simply a decrease in hearing capacities; there are many different levels of it.

There is still hope if you have never had any exposure to sign language before and have no family members who know it.

Superprof offers programs that make it easy for anyone to learn American Sign Language (ASL).

An actual sign language teacher created it to help students quickly understand and use signs at school or work.

Tips For Beginners Who Want To Learn Sign Language

Let’s look at some of the most valuable tips for beginners to learn sign language!

  • Don’t try to learn sign language all in one day
  • Get a decent dictionary of American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Work on memorizing some common phrases and fingerspelling your name and basic greetings
  • Start by learning how to sign numbers and days of the week before moving on to more complex topics
  • Find an online community where you can practice signing with other people who want to learn sign language
  • Don’t let anyone tell you that sign language isn’t natural or proper English
  • Practice simple universal signs in your daily life
  • Be patient with yourself
  • Finally, remember that sign language is fun

Tuition Fees Comparison Of Universities Offering ASL Programs

Here are some of the most renowned programs to learn ASL in the US:

UniversityTuition FeesGraduation Rate
MacMurray College$27,71042 percent
North Central University$24,24054 percent
Clemson University$15,37483 percent
Goshen College$33,70068 percent
University of Northern Colorado$9,91847 percent
Utah State University$8,13850 percent
St. Catherine University$39,55456 percent
William Woods University$24,11058 percent
Bloomsburg University$10,95860 percent
Kent State University$10,31260 percent

Want To Master Your ASL Skills With Superprof

Proficiency in American Sign Language (ASL) is about more than just learning how to communicate.

Learning sign language has cognitive benefits and can be successfully used in your everyday life, whether it’s at work or during conversations with family and friends.

But starting from scratch can be difficult, especially if you don’t have an instructor or anyone to regularly practice with.

That’s where Superprof comes in! Our experienced team of sign language teachers is here to help you get started with your ASL learning journey.

The first step? Register for one of our online beginner-level courses! You can learn all of the primary signs you need to start communicating successfully with your peers via our course.

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