Sign Language for Beginners


Sign Language for Beginners
Foreign languagesHobby
  1. Sign Language Fundamentals
  2. Sign Language for Beginners: Common Expressions
  3. Basic Sign Language Words and Phrases for Kids

Imagine that you know the language that all the people speak around, but you can only correspond with them, not speak in voice, because they are unaware of the form that you express this language. This is how sign-speaking people live, that is, people who communicate in sign language (usually people with hearing impairment). Next you will learn how to start learning ASL and how to quickly succeed.


Sign Language Fundamentals

Learning sign language begins with a dactyl, or alphabet. Dactyl is when fingers folded in a certain way mark one letter, while gesture can pass full words or word combinations. It is used for people’s names, geographical names, or for words you don’t know how to show with this language. 


Of course, «to speak» or to show words by letters, it is a long time, and sign speech has generally accepted designations of words and phrases. So, then you go on to learn words and whole sentences, which are most often used in everyday life. For instance, good job in sign language and so on. 


Below the English alphabet is represented in such finger bends and movements.

 Tips for ASL learning.

Now let us find out how to denote numbers.

Read more: The Most Common English Slang Words & Phrases

 Tips for ASL learning.

You can learn the language by yourself with video lessons, attend courses or hire a tutor. On UpskillsTutor you can always choose a qualified teacher according to your requests.


Sign Language for Beginners: Common Expressions

It is a good start to learn how to spell your first and last name in sign language. Next, start with the words to express the basic needs and emotions. With the help of this video guide you will be able to learn such words (Hello, Yes, No, Help, Please, Want, Repeat, Go to, Fine, Like, Finish and others) and phrases (Thank you; See you later; My name is…; How are you?; I’m fine; Nice to meet you). 

For more reliable accuracy, check the motions on the video with their text descriptions. For example, to convey a phrase How are you in ASL, you need to:

  1. Make two thumbs up. Hold them close to your chest. Then, bring both thumbs down at the same time.
  2. Point at a person you are speaking to.

Here are some other useful schemes. 

 Tips for ASL learning.

Basic Sign Language Words and Phrases for Kids

Children from an early age love to follow and with pleasure repeat various signs. The ideal age to start training is 4-5 months. It is in this age that children begin to look at gestures and perceive them. And they will be able to repeat most of the signs, starting from 7-8 months, when coordination of movements will become more developed.

You should start studying with simple and close to children words: Mom, Dad, Grandmother, Grandfather, Play, Eat, Drink, Give, Walk, Doll, Ball, Toy, Jump, Want in ASL. Then you can study the names of pets, numbers from 1 to 10, colors, shapes of objects, basic adjectives. 

Special apps (like ASL Kids, ASL Dictionary for Baby Sign) and YouTube channels (for instance, Learn How to Sign) will be useful as auxiliary material. However, a professional ASL tutor should work with children. Since only a specialist knows effective and innovative pedagogical and psychological approaches. 

 Tips for ASL learning.

Read more: Past Tense: Imperfect or Preterite in Spanish Grammar

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