How to Learn Sign Language Online: Top 6 Courses and Resources

Knowing sign language can open up more job opportunities, deepen your friendship with a deaf person, and show your deaf child that you accept them the way they are. Traditional classes can be expensive. Moreover, it’s not always a necessity to attend college when you’re interested in learning sign language. You can learn sign language online to save time and money. Below we have listed the top six sign language courses online, one of which is British sign language, to help you get started.

Learn Sign Language Online with One of These 6 Courses

a man and a woman using sign language to talk

1. Rocket Languages

Rocket Languages uses an award-winning system to teach American sign language. With this system, you can learn sign language online in just a few minutes per day. The course costs $69.95, but you can try their free trial. Rocket Languages utilizes gamification to help teach sign language.

Rocket Languages’ puzzle master games are fun to play while helping you master sign language. You can also earn badges and accumulate points while progressing through the course. Rocket Languages has a leaderboard where you can see how you stand in comparison to others.

The course also has an online video dictionary with thousands of signs. There is a sense of community at Rocket Languages too. You have access to a forum where you can chat with fellow classmates.

2. Sign Language 101

One of the best free sign language courses online is Sign Language 101. It consists of 10 video lessons that are each around 20-26 minutes long. You’ll learn your ABCs, verbs, sports, food, colors, and other important words used in everyday communication.

Dr. Byron Bridges is your ASL teacher in these video lessons. He was born deaf to parents who were also deaf. In addition to growing up using sign language, Dr. Bridges earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Deaf Studies at California State University of Northridge, a Masters of Arts degree in Linguistics from Gallaudet University, and a Doctoral degree in Deaf Studies and Deaf Education at Lamar University.

The downside of this course is it may be considered short by those who seek to learn more.

3. American Sign Language University

The American Sign Language University (ASLU) has four different courses with a total of 60 lessons among the courses. In the first two courses, you’ll also learn about deaf culture, history, and terminology. Another great aspect of the ASLU is a video accompanies each lesson to help you learn sign language online with ease. Before moving on to the next lesson at ASLU, you can test your learning with one of the quizzes.

The American Sign Language University has an online dictionary, making it easy for you to look up words you want to sign. However, the dictionary is by no means complete. When we searched a few less common words in the dictionary, there wasn’t a page on them.

The lessons are taught by Dr. William G. Vicars, also known as Dr. Bill, and Belinda Vicars. Dr. Bill was born deaf and chose to choose a career involving teaching sign language. He earned a Masters in Deaf Education from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and a Doctorate of Deaf Studies (Ed.D.). Dr. Bill founded ASLU to help people who can’t afford traditional sign language classes learn ASL.

the alphabet spoken through sign language

4. Signing Online

Signing Online offers four ASL courses to learn sign language online: Beginning ASL, Basic ASL, Intermediate ASL, and Advanced ASL. In Beginning ASL, you will learn how to hold simple conversations and fundamentals of sign language. Basic ASL dives deeper, teaching you more advanced conversations and expanding your vocabulary.

Each course costs $75 and provides access for six months. If you choose to take one of the courses for continuation education credit hours as an educator or healthcare provider, then it costs $95. You will earn a certification of completion at the end of each course if you pass the test. A Signing Online certificate of completion can improve your resume and job applications.

5. International Open Academy

Another way you can learn sign language online is through International Open Academy. Their American sign language course is accredited by the International Council for Online Educational Standards (ICOES). The course consists of eight modules and 50 study hours. Upon successful completion of the course, you’ll receive a PDF certification.

The downside of International Open Academy’s ASL course is it costs $299. If you’re not satisfied with the course, you can request a refund within seven days of purchase. This sign language course has in-depth video tutorials, video lessons, and explanations of theory and usage. It’s formatted in a way that you can learn at your own pace. Another benefit of this ASL online course is you can access it from mobile, PC, or tablet.

6. Mary Kay Jenny

Mary Kay Jenny’s Online Sign Language Course has comprehensive lessons that explain each topic in detail. The course is divided into nine modules on learning British Sign Language. You can look at the lessons from any device, making it easy to study while you’re not at home. Each module has a quiz to test what you’ve learned. This helps you know which areas may need more study time to remember.

You can also receive a certification upon successful completion of Mark Kay Jenny’s Online Sign Language Course. Learning British sign language is helpful if you want to teach sign language there or you’re a deaf person who wants to travel or move to the UK. The course costs $299, on the expensive side in comparison to the other classes on this list.

Learning sign language is an essential skill for those who are parents of a deaf child. Many people who befriend a deaf person also choose to learn sign language to communicate better and deepen their bond. Each of the courses listed above will help you learn sign language online in an easy way without the hassle of driving to and from class. You can also save a lot of money by choosing to take an online course.

What are your reasons for wanting to learn sign language online? Have you taken an online sign language course before? Let us know in the comments below.

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