Tips & Tricks for Learning ASL from a Deaf Teacher

After more than 30 years of teaching, I have advised students on how to enhance their American Sign Language (ASL) skills by improving fluency, retaining knowledge, and developing abilities.

A student learns ASL from a Deaf teacher online.

Instead of spending time googling numerous tips and tricks for learning ASL, here are some tried and true methods that will save you time:

1. Course Enrollment

Enroll in American Sign Language courses taught by credentialed Deaf instructors, who offer both online and in-person classes with feedback to strengthen your signing skills.

2.  Visual Aids

Incorporate visual supports like pictures, diagrams, videos, and sign language books to reinforce and deepen comprehension of American Sign Language concepts.

3. Deaf Mentors

Immersing yourself in the Deaf community by conversing with Deaf mentors will allow you to improve your ASL skills through authentic practice and guidance.

4. ASL Videos

Watching American Sign Language videos online can enhance your understanding of signs and boost your receptive signing skills.

5. Regular Practice

To master any language, including ASL, set aside time daily to practice consistently, which is crucial for improving your signing skills.

6. Fingerspelling

To build fluency in American Sign Language (ASL), practice fingerspelling regularly to improve your receptive skills.

7. ASL Clubs/Deaf Night Out (DNO)/Interacting Groups

Joining American Sign Language (ASL) clubs, DNOs and groups offers valuable chances to hone signing skills through practice with others, gain encouragement and assistance, and expand vocabulary by learning new signs.

8. Immersion

To advance your American Sign Language skills, engage with the deaf community in real-world settings to experience diverse signing styles and expressions.

9. Persistence and Patience

Learning a new language requires patience and persistence. Devote regular time to practice, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need clarification.

10. Flash cards

With Sign Language Blitz, flash cards are a key tool for building your American Sign Language skills over time. Creating and regularly reviewing flashcards of ASL signs will strengthen your memory and signing ability as your proficiency grows.

My final and most important piece of advice is to enjoy yourself, learn from your mistakes, avoid overthinking, and go with the flow as you learn ASL.

Until next time, ta ta! 😄🤟🏻

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