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Boost Your Career Prospects with Online American Sign Language Training Programs

Career News December 18, 2012

You can open the door to a new career option by learning American Sign Language (ASL). In this article, we will look at various free online training programs available to help you choose the program that is appropriate.

Here are ways on how you should proceed, if you wish to avail yourself in these free courses:

  • Learn from free online video lessons.
  • Earn real college credit by passing an examination.

These are usually self-paced programs that do not carry any course credits. Courses are run by organizations that are accompanied with supplementary learning materials aimed at enhancing your learning experience. Often, such materials include videos that you may need QuickTime or other compatible software.  ASL dictionaries are available on the internet without having to spend any money to access them. While students cannot assume any guided learning or planned lessons in ASL dictionaries, they can look for images or videos that may assist them with correct signing. Below is a list of free online ASL Training programs:

ASL University – ASL 1

ASL University offers two courses; ASL 1 is one of its free online programs. ASL 1 has six units, each comprising of five lessons. Coursework includes finger-spelling practice exercises, numbers practice and quizzes. Practice exercises cover stories and sentences for translation, vocabulary and objectives are the other components of lessons. Instruction videos and visual diagrams are included in lessons aimed at teaching students acceptable signing.

Start ASL – ASL 2

There are a series of three progressive courses aimed at teaching ASL and this is the second. Training are imparted with conversion sentences, videos, reading assignments and finger-spelling; students are given many useful tips to perfect their skills. Coursework includes comprehension, vocabulary, grammar and numbers.

Lesson Tutor – ASL for the Deaf

Training are imparted by three series, each consisting of twelve lessons. Proper ASL forms are taught through visual diagrams apart from explanation articles. Worksheets are available to demonstrate training. Training demonstration are done by employing worksheets. Lesson tutor provides an ASL dictionary that students can use to assist in the translation of additional signs.

John A. Logan College Classifiers in ASL Program

You will need Flash and QuickTime players installed in your computer as this program offers fifteen videos, each presented with a description in writing to teach students appearance, movement and location signs.

John A. Logan College Finger-spelling Program

There are one hundred twenty-six videos in the finger-spelling training program, word lists are provided relating to the signed words that the videos use. Once students gain confidence, they are allowed to participate in personal tests related to the training coursework.

Expert Village Common Phrases Sign Language Program

This training program is delivered in fifteen parts through videos that are two to three minutes long. Coursework emphasizes facial expression accompanying signing, body language and sign images.

The following is a list of free ASL Dictionaries you can access:

Michigan State University ASL Browser

This site demonstrates signing by using videos and finger-spelling images for words and letters respectively. There are supplemental written descriptions accompanying videos that explain the reasons for making certain signs.

Handspeak’s ASL Dictionary

Common words are sorted alphabetically in this dictionary and signing are demonstrated via videos. Related notes, synonyms and definitions accompany every word. Searches for ASL medical terms, ASL-to-English and English-to-ASL can be done by students.’s ASL Dictionary

Once they gain familiarity with the words this dictionary covers, students can figure out finger-spelling videos on the site to test their knowledge of words.

Signing Savvy Sign Language Dictionary

Students can choose to browse signing categories according to geography, baby signs, numbers, colors, animals, finger-spelling, and letter. Short videos exhibit signs to help students learn proper finger and hand movements. For a fee, Signing Savvy offers other services, such as mobile apps and printable flash cards.

Though you do not get awarded credits directly by these courses, it is possible to receive credit by taking an exam; you can transfer the credits to your school. To avail credits, you can opt for one of two affordable choices of exams that have national recognition.

CLEP Examinations – The thirty-three CLEP examinations conducted by the College Board permit a candidate to test out of their general education needs. Two out of three universities and colleges in the United States accept the credits.

Credit-by-Examination conducted by Excelsior College – There are over forty examinations offered by Excelsior College offers that leads to transferable credits. You can earn three full degrees, if you choose to take free online courses and receive your credits via examination.

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