American Sign Language Lessons
Hello ASL Heroes! I’m glad you are here! You can learn ASL! You’ve picked a great topic to be studying. Signing is useful skill that can open up for you a new world of relationships and understanding. I’ve been teaching American Sign Language for over 20 years and I am passionate about it. I’m Deaf/hh, my wife is d/Deaf, I hold a doctorate in Deaf Education / Deaf Studies. My day job is being a full-time tenured ASL Instructor at California State University (Sacramento).
What you are learning here is important. Knowing sign language will enable you to meet and interact with a whole new group of people. It will also allow you to communicate with your baby many months earlier than the typical non-signing parent! Learning to sign even improves your brain! (Acquiring a second language is linked to neurological development and helps keep your mind alert and strong as you age.)
It is my goal to deliver a convenient, enjoyable, learning experience that goes beyond the basics and empowers you via a scientifically engineered approach and modern methodologies that save you time & effort while providing maximum results.
I designed this communication-focused curriculum for my own in-person college ASL classes and put it online to make it easy for my students to access. I decided to open the material up to the world for free since there are many parents of Deaf children who NEED to learn how to sign but may live too far from a traditional classroom. Now people have the opportunity to study from almost anywhere via mobile learning, but I started this approach many years ago — way before it became the new normal. You can self-study for free (or take it as an actual course for $483, see here for more details). Many college students use this site as an easy way to support what they are learning in their local ASL classes.
ASL is a visual gestural language. That means it is a language that is expressed through the hands and face and is perceived through the eyes. It isn’t just waving your hands in the air. If you furrow your eyebrows, tilt your head, glance in a certain direction, lean your body a certain way, puff your cheek, or any number of other “inflections” -you are adding or changing meaning in ASL. A “visual gestural” language carries just as much information as any spoken language. There is much more to learning American Sign Language than just memorizing signs. ASL has its own grammar, culture, history, terminology and other unique characteristics. It takes time and effort to become a “skilled signer.” But you have to start somewhere if you are going to get anywhere-so dive in and enjoy. Cordially. - Dr. Bill