Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Learning More ASL

It's so fun when signing with your little one sparks a desire to learn more American Sign Language. I was hooked after learning the alphabet and a few songs from my Kindergarten teacher! One of the reasons I picked Biola for my undergrad was because they offered ASL courses to meet my foreign language requirement. One of my good friends and I had so much fun doing "silent" coffee dates to practice signing together. :)

If you're looking for a way to learn more beyond Baby Signing Time, there are a lot of options...

1) You can check out a local community college. The benefit here is being able to see the signs and practice them in person. If your professor is deaf or teaches with their "voice off," you get more of an "immersion" experience. You're able to see many peoples' signing styles, and can be corrected if you're signing something wrong without meaning to. You can ask questions, get feedback, and even learn more about deaf culture in your area. Plus, you'll likely be challenged with assignments that get you out of your comfort zone by visiting deaf events in your area so you can REALLY practice. :) (Deaf people are incredibly gracious and friendly--and are happy to see hearing people learning their language--so you don't have to worry about striking up a conversation!)

2) Take a course online. Right now I'm taking a course through Signing Online for my Advanced Signing Time Instructor certification. (I'm currently certified to teach 0-5 year olds, but this "upgrade" will allow me to teach all ages, as well as train teachers on how to teach and use ASL in their classrooms.) The lessons are quick, and my 4 1/2 year old daughter daughter even loves doing the quizzes with me. They're $75 per course, and they can count for high school or college credits. I like that I can do these during Ellie's quiet times or after she's in bed, and can learn ASL in my pajamas!

3) Utilize the many resources available to you. One of my favorite websites is LifePrint. It's run by Dr. Bill Vicars, an ASL professor at California State University, and it has a wealth of information and resources on signs, ASL grammar, and deaf culture. You can start with his First 100 Signs, or jump right into his 30 FREE lessons!  

The other resource I of course LOVE for learning to sign on your own is Signing Time! Yes, the episodes and songs are designed for 1-8 year olds, but that just means they're easy to learn from! :) Get that library card if you don't have one already, and search for Signing Time DVDs in your local library's online catalog. That way you can place the different volumes on hold to pick up at your nearest library. (You can also purchase favorite episodes from me, but the library is a great way to "try before you buy.") Note that there are 13 volumes in Series 1, and 13 volumes in Series 2, and they can be watched in any order (though I'd recommend sticking to Series 1 first and then moving to Series 2). Also, some PBS stations are still airing Signing Time (depending on where you live), and Series 2 currently has clips on Netflix!  And don't forget you can get Series 1 Volume 13 for free--just scroll to the bottom of this post for the link!

*Hint: Check out the Signing Time Progress Charts or the Buyer's Guide to find which signs are taught in each volume.

Once you've learned the 1,000+ vocabulary signs taught in the Signing Time episodes, you can learn ASL grammar from their new series, Signing Time Sentences! The first volume teaches you how to introduce yourself in ASL, ask questions, how to fingerspell, use classifiers, and a bunch more. I love how Hopkins the Frog rearranges English sentences on the screen to show what they would be in ASL. Plus I love that it has two play modes--one where Leah's voice is off. And of course it's not Signing Time without some catchy songs written by Rachel and her dad! Rachel, Alex, and Leah are currently filming the second ST Sentences episode, and the third one has started funding. So exciting! View a preview of the first episode here. (Because it's still new, I haven't seen it in libraries yet, but you can email me to order a copy.)

More Resources...
There are many other things out there that can help you learn to sign. It always helps to check a few resources when learning a new sign so you can learn the different variations, or find out which one is most commonly used. More websites I like for looking up signs (other than www.lifeprint.com) are www.signingsavvy.com, www.handspeak.com, and of course... www.signingtime.com/dictionary. Some books are helpful tools for learning ASL grammar as well, but because it's hard to learn a sign just from a picture and description, I'd just use that as a supplement. Make sure to read the reviews, and also double check to make sure it's ASL and not SEE (Signed Exact English). I used "Signing Naturally" in college, and another friend used "A Basic Course American Sign Language" for her college course.


Well there you have it! Hope this helps you along your signing journey, and remember that I love hearing how it's coming along! Shoot me an email or post on the Little Sign of Mine Facebook page. :) Feel free to comment below with your tips on learning to sign, too.


  1. In the desert to the east are two excellent reserves: the Azraq Wetland Reserve and the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve, both of which have eco-lodgcs or campsites nearby. Managed by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) (see Conservation, page 11), Air Jordan Shoes,the Azraq Wetland Reserve is one of the best places in Jordan to see migrating, breeding and wintering birds, including the country’s national bird, the delicately grey and pink coloured Sinai rosefinch (Carpodacus synoicus). You may also catch sight of the Temminks horned lark (Eremophila bilopha), the trumpet finch (Rhodopechys githaginea) or in winter the mighty Bonelli s eagle (Aquila fasciatus) soaring overhead.

    Lying in the heart of the semi-arid desert landscape, the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve is a few kilometres southwest of the Azraq Wetland Reserve. Covering an area of 22km2, Cheap Jordans,it was founded with the specific purpose of breeding species of animal that were extinct in the local region and those that were endangered. On a visit look out for the magnificent Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx), a white antelope that was all but extinct in the 1970s and only survived because of a small protected herd in the US from which a new world breeding and reintroduction programme originated. Today, the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve works with zoos in other countries on a variety of breeding programmes.

    'I he Mujib Nature Reserve is further south and is a dramatic place of contrasting terrains. To the north and south of the reserve are mountain ranges, which in places reach a height of around 900m (2,952ft). Ihe reserve hugs the mountainside before falling sharply along the Wadi Mujib gorge with its impossibly sheer rock faces, new jordans,to the Dead Sea. At -420m (-1,378ft) below sea level in part, the reserve is the lowest on earth. It has canyons, rivers and natural pools that prove a magnet for adventurous hikers and abseilers.

  2. I recently came across your write my essay
    blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.I’ll use this information for my essays. http://www.proessaywriting.com/write-my-essay/

  3. I liked your post. Your post has made me laugh also. This was such an interesting post.

    Test Tube Baby centre in Punjab

  4. we are looking for copper wire mesh agent in your country, are you interested in it?

  5. ***شرکت نوين گيت***

    با سالها سابقه در طراحي ،اجرا و خدمات سيستمهاي درب اتوماتيک و راهبند
    فروش،نصب و راه اندازي و خدمات انواع درب اتوماتيک (درب سکشنال - کرکره اتوماتيک - کرکره پنجره - درب ريلي اتوماتيک - جک پارکينگي - کرکره شفاف - رول گيتر - انواع راهبند و درب اتوماتيک شيشه اي... )
    خدمات 24 ساعته و شبانه روزي حتي در تعطيلات رسمي
    مشاوره رايگان در تمامي مراحل


    درب اتوماتيک شيشه اي



    طراحي سايت

    نوين گيت

    تاجران آريا دلفين


    Aria Dolphin



  6. bryce wilson came to notoriety among the national media outlets following his daring free climb of the crane standing atop Melbourne’s ‘Prima Pearl’ building. PLGRM delivers a short documentary that delves into the life of Australia’s ‘Spiderman’. Leaving his foster home when he was 17, he then put himself through University and worked full time as a community manager. Bryce now spends a large amount of time ascending some of the most precarious urban cranes in Melbourne – all without the aid of safety equipment. Bryce is a polarising figure; some critics have labelled his daredevil actions as idiotic and arrogant, others as daring and inspiring. One thing that is undeniable is Bryce’s passion for what he does – photography and exploring the beautiful cityscape of Melbourne’s CBD.

  7. Foreign exchange is a buying and selling ‘method’ also called FX or and international market exchange. Those concerned within the overseas alternate markets are among the largest corporations and banks from around the world, buying and selling in currencies from numerous nations to create a balance as some are going to achieve cash and others are going to lose money. The basics of forex are just like that of the stock market present in any country, however on a a lot bigger, grand scale, that involves people, currencies and trades from all over the world, in nearly any country. visit forex signals

  8. You can be successful at FOREX trading if you are disciplined, eager to learn, and able to read charts and follow technical analysis. You don't have to understand why money moves in the market, you just have to watch your charts and analysis for patterns and follow them. Set-up a consistent strategy that is easy for you to understand and follow it without fail for success. To know more about forex signals trading. You visit and join us: forex trade copier

  9. Beginners of the commerce must be made aware that forex trading is a excessive danger investment. The foreign money market gives a number of alternative to earn big amounts of earnings however at the identical time coupled with loads of risks. Foreign money buying and selling can provide you a fortune in minutes, days and hours. However the sad truth is that it can be misplaced simply on the identical time. To know more visit forex signals

  10. Hey I don't have words to describe this post. I simply want to say that absolutely informative post. It inspires me a lot. Keep posting.
    electric bicycles price

  11. Thank you for sharing such a informative information with us. Keep on sharing the blog like this.

    PhD Thesis Writing Services, Dissertation Writing Services & Research Paper Writing Services