How to learn ASL?
ASL or American Sign Language learning requires patience, time, sense of humor, and practice. If you are a person with a hearing disability or a parent of a child who is hard of hearing or deaf, it is recommended to learn ASL. It is best to learn yourself and teach your child from an early age. Early intervention modules are developed to assist your child to progress in all fields. The systems are developed to offer services to families and this way families can help their child.
It is simple to learn individual signs. Just like various spoken languages, American Sign Language has its own set of syntax and grammar rules. If you wish to use them comfortably and learn sufficient signs for basic interaction, it would take about one year or more to master ASL. Certain people may learn and grasp slower than others. If you are one of them, there is no need to worry.
Tips to learn ASL
Sign language can be learned by any person at their convenience and speed. You just have to be patient, practice every day, and learn the language. Surely, you can see excellent results for all the efforts you are putting in.
If you are confident about learning ASL language, look for sign language class in your locality. It is common to see sign language classes in universities, clubs, or organizations of the deaf, churches, libraries and universities, and several other places.
If you already know ASL, practice your signs and keep interacting with people who know ASL or hard of hearing or deaf. People who know ASL should be patient when it comes to communicating with new signers about signing various things, the right method to express something, and also slow down signing to understand them.
If you are not able to understand what they are saying, they will be willing to repeat statements or words to make you understand.
Places where you can learn American Sign Language
- RID or State Divisions of the Nationwide Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf
- Office or State Commissions for hard of hearing and deaf
- NAD State Association Affiliates
- Deaf Education Plans within native mainstreamed schools
- State Schools for hard of hearing and deaf
- American Sign Language Teachers Association
- Hearing and Speech Centers
- Community Centers for the Deaf
- State or Local Universities and Colleges
Remember, ASL is an optical language. The brain processes linguistic data through eyes and body movements and facial expressions play a vital role in transferring information with signing. You can even sign without using body movements or facial expressions however when you do, there are chances to convey a mixed message.
The message can even be misunderstood or be confusing. It may look unnatural or odd to native signers. ASL is not a universal language. Generally, the sign language used in one country will be different than another. Each country will have their style of sign language and dialects just like various languages spoken all over the world.
If you are traveling to another state and get an opportunity to interact with an individual who knows American Sign Language, you may notice them using one or two signs different from you. Such signs are referred to as regional signs. It is best to relate them equal to the accent. Seeing the differences, some people think that people in their state are signing incorrectly. Just remember that it is another version in ASL and some regions add flavor to understand ASL better. If you have time, check ASL apps.