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Where Can I Learn Sign Language?

People often ask, "Where can I learn American Sign Language (ASL)?" When you Google this question you will find a variety of choices and it can seem daunting. You will find online, in-person, one-on-one, group, free, paid, as well as other options. This article is here to provide some guidance so that you pick the option that fits you best!

There are a variety of places to choose from as well as a variety of things to consider.

Before we discuss where, let's start with a few things: Your learning style, your motivation, and your budget.

Your learning style:

  • Visual (spatial) Learner
  • Aural (auditory) Learner
  • Verbal (linguistic) Learner
  • Physical (kinesthetic) Learner
  • Logical (mathematical) Learner
  • Social (interpersonal) Learner
  • Solitary (intrapersonal) Learner

Your motivation:

Why are you learning sign language? What is your motivation to learn? Will you have someone to practice with? Sign language is not intended to be used by one person, it is intended for communicating with others. Practice is the best way to keep learning. If you take lessons with a friend or family member will you be more likely to practice with them between lessons with your tutor?

Your budget:

There are both free and paid classes and lessons. If you are earning credits for your college or university transcript you will likely have to pay for the classes. For free learning we recommend ASL University. For YouTube, we recommend SIGN Academy's YouTube channel. Make sure you are learning from a reputable source. Anyone can post videos on the internet, you want to make sure you are learning the correct way.

Once you know where you fit with the above categories you can narrow down the best place for you to learn sign language.

Online Learning:

You can take group classes online. You can also take 1:1 or small group lessons online. We highly recommend working with a Deaf tutor or a qualified hearing tutor. Make sure to ask your potential tutor about their experience and what they have to offer.

Face-to-Face Learning:

You can take group classes in a face-to-face setting. These include high school, community college, and university classes. Also, community education, local groups, coffee shops, etc. will sometimes offer sign language classes.

The most important thing to remember, regardless of how you choose to learn, is to make sure the instructor is qualified. There are people who take one or two sign language classes and then start to offer classes or ASL tutoring. Would you take a French or Spanish class from someone who has only take one or two classes?

You want to look for someone with teaching or tutoring experience who is fluent in the language.

Also, if is very important you feel comfortable with your teacher or tutor. If they are not willing to match your learning style or learning pace, they may not be right for you. If you need more or less time to learn a skill, you should be granted that time.

We hope you will learn sign language, with our without us!

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