What are the best Sign Language Books?
A great way to learn sign language is to get one or two simple sign language books to get you and your family started. Once you are done with them you can give them to friends (someone you want to communicate within ASL) and spread the sign language.
There are numerous good ASL books out there. Not all of them are appealing to kids. So what are the best Sign Language Books? We made a selection of popular Sign language books on Amazon that are appropriate for kids based on their reviews and by reading some of them.
The Gallaudet Children’s Dictionary of American Sign Language
The book I recommend the most is this ASL Children’s Dictionary by Gallaudet University Press. This book gets the seal of approval from all ASL interpreters I know and receives great reviews by customers almost exclusively. It features more than 1000 colorful drawings and includes a searchable DVD. The DVD displays young native signers demonstrating each sign plus 150 ASL sentences. In my opinion, this is the best book for learning sign language. Check the latest price on Amazon
Sign Language: My First 100 Words
A great book to start with is “Sign Language: My First 100 Words” by Michiyo Nelson (Paperback, 2008). It is a small and concise book containing 100 words divided into categories (including feelings). The pictures are cute and colorful and do not intimidate a new learner.
For some signs, it is helpful to have an experienced signer around to demonstrate the sign. We feel that this is the case with more books/pictures because it is difficult to “capture” some motions into an illustration (disadvantage of print). A good book for a reasonable price.
Sign Language Books for Babies
Sign language is a technique not just applied to people who have a disability in speaking or hearing but also to hearing babies. Sign language could be one of the most used languages across the globe because of the rapid increase in the number of people who are challenged with their speaking and hearing. Teaching sign language for disabled grownups is different when one teaches sign language for babies, though.
Teaching sign language to babies between the 6-month and 35-month range is the best time for them to appreciate it. It facilitates the efficient exchange of ideas between the parent and the child. Babies equipped with the power of sign language have an advantage in terms of mental and physical capabilities. The use of early sign language enables them to experience effective communication at an early stage. Babies are also less prone to frustration and outbursts brought by unsuccessful conveying of ideas. They will already have gradual learning in communication skills until they are able to pronounce the words clearly and further improve their vocabulary skills. Within the three years of a baby’s life, using sign language will be very helpful. Beyond those three years, he would then acquire the verbal form of the language.
Allowing the baby to learn baby sign language will allow for the improvement of his speech ability. It is in this regard that kids who were taught sign language are able to cope more with extreme social changes in the community when they grow up.
A great book, well…it’s much more than just a book, is SIGN with your BABY – Quick Start Baby Sign Language (ASL) Kit. It includes a book containing 150 signs, a how-to DVD, and a quick reference guide. This book has been reviewed by almost 200 people, almost all very positive. Although the book title suggests it is only for babies, it can be very useful for young kids that are new to signing. It provides a good start in American Sign Language. The DVD spends more time explaining the benefits of signing than the actual signs but is still informative. Get SIGN with your BABY – Quick Start Baby Sign Language (ASL) Kit: Includes Book, How-to DVD, Quick Reference Guide on Amazon.
Baby Sign Language book for Hearing Babies and Toddlers
Another great book for babies and kids that can hear is this updates book: Baby Sign Language Basics – Early Communication for Hearing Babies and Toddlers by Monta Z. Briant. The book comes with games, and songs, to make learning fun. Check the latest price on Amazon
While you are waiting for your book to get delivered, install the ASL-kids app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android and start learning the first 50 signs for free!