How to Learn English Sign Language
- 1). Open a Web browser window on your computer. Go to the Lesson Tutor website (see Resources). They have a page of free tutorials for learning American Sign Language on your own. Look for the lessons under the heading "American Sign Language (ASL) for the Deaf: Series 1" on the page. There are 12 total lessons that feature practice exercises at the end.
- 2). Learn the sign language alphabet before trying words and phrases. Lesson 1 teaches you how to do the alphabet in sign language. Lesson 2 focuses on spelling and why it matters when signing. This is an important lesson, as it can prevent confusion when using sign language to communicate.
- 3). Practice describing family members and features with lessons 3A and 3B. You will learn how to sign common family members, including father and mother. You will also learn how to describe people by their features, such as red hair or blue eyes.
- 4). Study the way to sign numbers with lesson 4. Lesson 4 deals with numbers one through ten, and there is a supplementary lesson for larger numbers. There are different ways that are acceptable to sign larger numbers, and each is mentioned in the supplementary lesson.
- 5). View lessons 5 through 12 to learn how to sign sentences. Lessons 11 and 12 deal with pronouns, conjunctions and introducers, while the other lessons deal with sentences. There is also a review sheet after lesson 7 if you want to quiz yourself and there is a supplementary lesson following lesson 10 that deals with giving directions.
- 6). Get extra practice by expanding your signing vocabulary with the ASL/SE Dictionary Index. Just click on the link at the top of the page that reads "ASL/SE Dictionary Index." Click on a word to see signing options for a variety of related words. Practicing these will help you expand the sentences you can sign.