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How to Learn Sign Language

Stephen Rampur Nov 18, 2018
If you want to know how to learn sign language easily, you need to be precise in your hand-eye coordination. Read on to know more about this form of communication.
People like us who have hearing and talking senses find it very difficult to communicate with those who are hearing impaired. The best way through which this problem can be solved is by knowing sign language alphabets and words.
In simple words, sign language relates to a gestural communication method using hands, eyes, head, facial expressions, and postures of the body. It is used by the people who have an impaired hearing to communicate amongst themselves. People having hearing and speaking senses also use this language to communicate with those who cannot hear.
You need to note that sign is not a universal language. Every country has its own separate sign language, hence there are over a hundred types of it. For example, the American Sign Language (ASL) is quite different from the British Sign Language (BSL).
There can be several reasons why a person would want to learn sign language. One may want to learn it to be able to effectively communicate with someone in their family with hearing loss, or in general. One might even try to learn the language for becoming a interpreter.
Some people may want to know it for experimenting with a totally different style of communication. Here are some guidelines you can follow if you are interested in learning this language.

Start With the Basics and Books

You need to start with the basics, like in any other verbal language. First, you need to learn how to spell the alphabets using the fingers of your hands, as this would be necessary for expressing whole words and sentences.
To get to know the basics of this gestural form of communication, you can also refer to some good books that are available in the market. However, just reading these books will not make you a good user of sign language, as they are simply meant for getting the fundamental understanding of what it is all about.

Training Courses

You will need to undertake a course or training from a reputed organization or university in sign language. Earlier, this language was not widely known, and as a result there were no or very less number of educational institutions that offered such courses. But nowadays, they are a fair amount of universities and training institutes that offer these courses.
You can easily find colleges offering these courses in states such as Illinois, California, Florida, Massachusetts, etc.
Those thinking of learning sign language online should understand that though there are a wide range of online courses available, it is always better to learn in practical. Along with attending trainings, you can also watch instructional DVDs pertaining to the subject. Another good option is to watch news and movies meant for the hearing impaired.

Practical Experience

After you have got all the theoretical knowledge of the words and alphabets used in this language, it is time to go live. But before using the language in general, it is better to practice it thoroughly at home.
Go in public and try to communicate with hearing impaired people or those with severe hearing loss. You can also approach an organization for the deaf and mute and ask them if you can serve as a volunteer for any project that includes interacting with the hearing impaired using sign language.
These tips will help you to learn the sign language, but you have to keep in mind that it is not as easy as it looks. You need to have abundant determination and patience. Actual communication with the hearing impaired people will certainly better your communication and interpretation skills.