So, you’re interested in learning American Sign Language and are looking for a structured way to improve. Sign language classes provide a great opportunity to practice your signing skills and receive feedback from an experienced teacher. Common questions I receive include, “Where can I take sign language classes near me?” and “Are the classes for the whole family or just for adults?” While there likely is a sign language course nearby, finding one can be daunting. I personally experienced this but eventually found a good certification program in my area. In this article, I will list some options for you to further explore.
Or should I Enroll in an Online Sign Language Class?
If you’re enrolling in an online sign language class, there are a few things you should know. Firstly, it’s important to choose your class with care, as neither online nor offline classes offer refunds. While offline classes do not issue refunds for missed classes, online classes offer the option of choosing classes at the most convenient time for you, so you never accidentally miss them.
With an online sign language class, you have the advantage of taking classes at your own pace and learning capability. You don’t need to match anyone else’s target, and you’re free to choose your own timings. Additionally, you have the comfort of taking a class in your own home, office, or wherever is convenient.
You can easily log on to the class’s forum to check your progress and receive feedback. In case of internet speed issues or limited connectivity, you can access downloaded workbooks and videos to catch up with the progress of the class.
The cost of an online class is usually lower than that of a formal class with regular instructors. However, it’s important to pay extra attention when choosing an online class if you wish to achieve a certificate in sign language, as most online classes are not certification courses. But with thorough research, you can surely find the best class to fit your needs.
We found a great online course platform offering a free trial at Rocket Languages.
There’s a good chance that there is a school for deaf children nearby. They often offer programs for parents and family members who want to learn ASL. You can ask around or contact a deaf school directly. Remember that people who are deaf or hard of hearing welcome those who are interested in learning their wonderful language. Check out this List of schools for the deaf on Wikipedia.
(ASL) Colleges and Universities
Many colleges and universities offer associate degree programs in ASL/English interpreting and translation. These programs are often intended for people such as doctors or guardians of deaf children. You can contact your nearest college to see if they have such a program. I’ve listed over 200 colleges that offer sign language studies:
Sign language classes in California
American River College
Antelope Valley College
Antelope Valley College
Berkeley City College
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Crafton Hills College
Fresno City College
El Cajon, CA
San Diego Mesa College
San Diego, CA
Santa Barbara City College
Santa Barbara, CA
College of the Sequoias
RIT offers ASL courses in seven different tracks, both credit and non-credit
RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology).
Nassau Community College
Garden City, NY
Mountwest Community and Technical College
Bristol Community College
Fall River, MA
Union County College
Spartanburg Community College
Signs of Learning
Saint Paul College
Saint Paul, MN
Santa Fe Community College
Santa Fe, NM
Portland Community College
How long does it usually take to learn sign language?
The time it takes to learn sign language varies depending on a person’s learning style, motivation, and practice. Generally, it takes a few months to achieve basic proficiency in sign language, but it can take several years to become fluent. Consistent practice and immersion in a signing community can help speed up the learning process.
Where can I take a class in sign language?
There are several options for taking sign language classes. Community colleges, universities, and language schools often offer sign language courses. Additionally, some non-profit organizations, such as the Deaf community centers and associations, provide sign language classes. Online platforms such as Udemy and Skillshare also offer a variety of sign language courses.
How can I learn sign language for free?
There are many resources available for learning sign language for free. One of the easiest and most effective ways to learn is to practice with a Deaf person or someone who is fluent in sign language. Additionally, YouTube has a vast collection of sign language videos, lessons, and tutorials. Websites like Lifeprint and ASL University also offer free online courses and resources for learning American Sign Language (ASL).
What is the best way to learn sign language?
The best way to learn sign language is to immerse yourself in a signing community and practice consistently. This can involve taking classes, attending social events with Deaf people, watching videos, and practicing with other learners. Building a strong foundation in ASL grammar, vocabulary, and culture is also essential. It is also recommended to work with a sign language tutor or teacher to receive feedback and guidance on your progress.
Is sign language hard to learn?
Learning sign language can be challenging, but it is not necessarily harder than learning any other language. Like any language, it takes practice, dedication, and immersion to become proficient. Additionally, sign language requires learning a visual-gestural language, which is different from spoken languages. However, many people find sign language to be a rewarding and enriching experience, and the effort is well worth it.