Switching it Up

October 23, 2020 4 By Brandon Rumford

This post is a little late but this week I have spent learning a little bit but also trying to find other sources to learn from. For the most part, I have been learning ASL from an app called American Sign Language. For beginners it was okay, allowing me to learn the ASL alphabet as well as starting numbers. I liked the way the app portrayed these sections, allowing one to flip through each letter or number. Everything was laid out clearly and easy to see what your hand was supposed to do in order to make the sign. All of this was well and good but the some of the other sections seemed either situational, or you had to purchase. For example, the basic word section taught many words used in everyday sentences which is great. However, other free sections like Body & Health, taught words or phrases like “back hurts” which is good to know, but is not something you would use very often. I feel that there would be more important words or phrases that beginners should learn. An example of a more important section in the app is Questions. At least I feel like it would be important, unfortunately it requires you to buy the pro version of the app. The things I have learned from this app have been great, but I feel I need to find other ways to learn to keep advancing in ASL.

The homepage of the SignLanguage101 website

Since I wanted a new source to learn from, I started looking and think I have found one that will work very well. SignLanguage101 is a website that has an actual course you can pay for, providing a 10 week course with video instruction, worksheets, and more. However, I am interested in what I can get for free, which is a surprising amount. In ASL Level 1 there are 10 lessons covering a variety of topics for beginners to learn. Not only are there many lessons to watch, but all of them cover useful topics. Some are not as useful as others, like animals for examples. But unlike the app I was using previously, these lessons cover topics like “everyday signs” and “common phrases” which are much more useful for beginners. As well, the instructor of these lessons is Dr. Byron Bridges, a deaf authour and lecturer in the world of ASL. I am excited to start using this website as I feel it will greatly benefit my learning. Watching lessons will add a more structured feel to my learning and I know I will be learning from a expert in the field. Even though I enjoyed the way the American Sign Language app taught me, I feel that these video lessons will engage me more, keeping me on track and learning more every week. Stay tuned to hear more about this website as I get into it.