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How To Get Started Learning Sign Language With The 12+ Best Online ASL Classes

Best Online ASL Classes Courses amp Training How To Get Started Learning Sign Language With The 12+ Best Online ASL Classes
Best Online ASL Classes

If you are after the best online ASL classes in 2021 to learn American Sign Language and learn one of the most used languages in the world, you’re in the right place!

Below, you will find a large range of ASL classes from expert instructors that will not only teach you ASL, they will also help you gain valuable insight into deaf culture and the deaf community.

These courses will also teach you everything from the absolute basics of ASL to advanced conversation and storytelling! As these classes are all online, they are also ideal for homeschooling, kids, college students and adults. Let’s begin!

Top 12+ Best FREE Online ASL Classes, Courses & Certification 2021 [Updated]

Best FREE Online ASL Classes
skillshare e1633951307303 How To Get Started Learning Sign Language With The 12+ Best Online ASL Classes
Skillshare: American Sign Language Level 1
  • Lots of content: 23 lessons, 2h14m
  • Popular: 17,300+ students
  • Beginner-friendly!
Try This for Free →
Udemy How To Get Started Learning Sign Language With The 12+ Best Online ASL Classes
Udemy: American Sign Language “Basics”
  • High rating: 4.5 stars
  • Good amount of content: 14 lectures, 1h51m
  • Lifetime access to course content
Learn More →
skillsuccess e1633949377122 How To Get Started Learning Sign Language With The 12+ Best Online ASL Classes
Skill Success: American Sign Language
  • Beginner-friendly!
  • Certificate of completion
  • Highly affordable
Learn More →
Udemy How To Get Started Learning Sign Language With The 12+ Best Online ASL Classes
Udemy: American Sign Language Level 1
  • Bestseller on Udemy!
  • High rating: 4.6 stars
  • Popular: 16,000+ students
Learn More →
gallaudet How To Get Started Learning Sign Language With The 12+ Best Online ASL Classes
Gallaudet University: Online ASL Courses
  • Best online ASL course
  • Self-paced courses
  • Great way to connect with members of the deaf community
Learn More →
Udemy How To Get Started Learning Sign Language With The 12+ Best Online ASL Classes
Udemy: ASL Expressions Lessons #1-6
  • Low time commitment: 7 lectures, 1h35m
  • Downloadable resources included
  • Beginner friendly, no pre-requisites
Learn More →
takelessons How To Get Started Learning Sign Language With The 12+ Best Online ASL Classes
TakeLessons Live: Learn ASL in a Live Class With an Expert Teacher for Free
  • Live instructor
  • Classes are only 45 minutes long
  • Beginner-friendly!
Learn More →
SignLanguage101 How To Get Started Learning Sign Language With The 12+ Best Online ASL Classes
Sign Language 101
  • Free!
  • Highly knowledgeable instructor
  • Nice manageable lesson length of 20 minutes
Learn More →
Udemy How To Get Started Learning Sign Language With The 12+ Best Online ASL Classes
Udemy: American Sign Language, ASL, Level 1
  • Very low time commitment: 23 lectures, 30m
  • Lifetime access to course materials
  • Comes with a course completion certificate
Learn More →
Udemy How To Get Started Learning Sign Language With The 12+ Best Online ASL Classes
Udemy: Learn & Master Sign Language
  • Bestseller on Udemy
  • High 4.5-star rating
  • Popular: 1,608 students
Learn More →

1. Skillshare: American Sign Language Level 1 (Skillshare)

Skillshare: American Sign Language Level 1 Best Online ASL Classes

First up on my list is a fantastic Skillshare class, taught by Manny Martin from The Intellezy Trainers. This course gives students a foundational knowledge of ASL. Students also get an informative overview of the history of ASL and some insight into the field of deaf education.

The course will cover the letters of the alphabet, numbers from 1 to 100, colors, animals, food and drink, verbs, emotions, and it will help students with their storytelling skills. Upon completing the course, students should be able to use ASL to demonstrate a short story.

In conjunction with the on-demand video lessons, students are also given a downloadable PDF workbook to take notes on and assess their learning as they go.

As for the price, there is none! Being operated on Skillshare, new users can take this class and many other ASL lessons using the 1-month free trial. Overall, this is a great class that introduces ASL in an easy to follow and beginner-friendly format.

Strengths:

  • Lots of content: 23 lessons, 2h14m
  • Popular: 17,300+ students
  • Beginner-friendly!
  • Met or Exceeded 97% of students expectations
  • More classes available 
  • Mobile learning

Activate FREE Skillshare Trial

2. Udemy: American Sign Language “Basics” (Udemy)

Udemy: American Sign Language “Basics” best online ASL classes

Next on my list is another great class taught by instructor and ASL educator, JP Cappalonga, who has designed this course for complete beginners who want to learn the basics of ASL.

Each lesson that JP teaches is followed by a practice lesson that allows students to practice what they have just learned. This will help students retain the information and build a strong foundation. This class also includes some helpful insights into deaf culture, such as the correct way to get a deaf person’s attention.

Topics covered in this ASL class are the manual alphabet, fingerspelling, numbers 1-10, greetings and introductions, colors, who and where, and tons more!

Overall, this is one of the best well-rounded online ASL classes for those looking to really understand the language. Level 2 and Level 3 also available. Highly recommended!

Strengths:

  • The course includes a quiz and “practice lessons”
  • High rating: 4.5 stars
  • Good amount of content: 14 lectures, 1h51m
  • Lifetime access to course content
  • Comes with a course completion certificate

Visit Udemy.com

3. Skill Success: American Sign Language (Skill Success)

American Sign Language ASL Skill Success

Have you always wanted to master American Sign Language? 

This course will introduce you via video to the sign alphabet, names, animals, numbers, places and much, much more! From ordering in a restaurant to getting around, this course is the go-to guide to help you get communicating in sign language.

Using useful video demonstrations, this course will provide you with the necessary grounding to become a confident sign communicator, and may even make you more attractive as a candidate in your career.

  • Over 7,000 students enrolled
  • 4.6 out of 5 star rating!
  • Beginner-friendly!
  • Certificate of completion
  • Highly affordable

4. Udemy: American Sign Language Level 1 (Udemy)

Udemy: American Sign Language Level 1

For those who are looking to move beyond ASL basics and grasp more intermediate modules, this might be the class for you!

In this course, students will learn the foundations of ASL, including the alphabet, numbers 1 to 99, and how to sign the words for colors, animals, family members, food and drink, verbs, emotions, and more. Also included in this Udemy course are lessons that are specially designed to help you practice your signing skills.

This course, unfortunately, does not have any captions which makes it inaccessible to deaf learners. However, it’s a great intermediate-level course for non-deaf people who want to start learning American Sign Language.

Also for those that are interested, there is a printable certificate of completion once all lessons have been completed!

Strengths:

  • Bestseller on Udemy!
  • High rating: 4.6 stars
  • Popular: 16,000+ students
  • Lifetime access to course content
  • Comes with a course completion certificate

Visit Udemy.com

5. Gallaudet University: Online ASL Courses (Gallaudet University)

Gallaudet University: Online ASL Courses

Moving on to my next ASL class, or in this case, classes, is the full learning pathway taught by Gallaudet University. In total, there are 4 core ASL modules which can be taken one at a time before you move onto the next one.

ASL 1 is an introductory course (geared towards students with no prior ASL knowledge) that includes valuable information about deaf culture. The next module, ASL II will build upon the basics and introduce you to pronominalization, classifiers, spatial referencing, pluralization, and temporal and distributional aspects.

As you progress through ASL III, you’ll learn you how to create narratives, dialogues, and short stories using ASL, which will require you to master more complex ASL vocabulary and grammatical features. And finally, ASL IV is their most advanced ASL class online and will expand on vocabulary and grammar so that students can describe settings, discuss objects, and more!

When it comes to the price, this course definitely is on the higher end, which each class costing around $300. But for those that are seeking university grade teaching better than most online ASL community college courses, it may be worth the investment.

Strengths:

  • High quality and comprehensive – best online ASL course for people who want to become fluent in ASL
  • Self-paced courses WITH weekly deadlines and a loose curriculum that must be followed
  • Great way to connect with members of the deaf community

Visit Gallaudet.edu

6. Udemy: ASL Expressions Lessons #1-6 (Udemy)

Udemy: ASL Expressions Lessons #1-6

This Udemy course consists of 7 lectures and will take an hour and a half to work through. All of the lessons come with downloadable PDFs that you can use for future reference or even print out so that you can easily follow along with the material!

Tara Adams is your instructor – she’s been teaching ASL for more than 15 years. By the end of this course, you should have the necessary skills to partake in basic ASL conversations and construct sentences. Some of the things you’ll learn include introducing yourself, responding to questions, and asking for signs that you don’t know.

You’ll come away from the course with a knowledge of 120+ signs, 60+ phrases, and the ability to fingerspell. You’ll also learn about numbers, basic ASL grammar, and important notes regarding deaf and ASL culture.

Strengths:

  • Low time commitment: 7 lectures, 1h35m
  • Downloadable resources included
  • Beginner friendly, no pre-requisites
  • Lifetime access to course content
  • Comes with a course completion certificate

Visit Udemy.com

7. Learn ASL in a Live Class With an Expert Teacher for Free (TakeLessons Live)

TakeLessons Live: Learn ASL in a Live Class With an Expert Teacher for Free

This course has an entirely different format than the other courses on this list as all of the classes are taught live! That doesn’t mean you’ll be trapped by a restrictive schedule though. Classes are offered multiple times a day so students can choose the time slot that works for them.

Some of the topics covered in this course are 25 must-know signs; essential ASL vocabulary for beginners; fingerspelling 101; asking and answering questions; workplace vocabulary for ASL beginners; introduction to deaf culture; and must-know ASL for shopping and dining out.

You’ll also have the opportunity to practice signing live during the ASL conversation class. Live practice is invaluable when learning ASL, and with your live teacher, you’ll receive immediate feedback, corrections, and encouragement! And with a 14-day free trial, this is perfect option for an online summer ASL class.

Strengths:

  • Live instructor – more opportunity to connect with the instructor and other students
  • Classes are only 45 minutes long – easy to fit into your day
  • Beginner-friendly!

Visit Takelessons.com

8. Sign Language 101 (Sign Language 101)

Sign Language 101

The first thing you need to know about this course is that it’s absolutely free! If you want to learn ASL right now, but don’t want to pay any money, then this is the best online ASL course for you. Lessons are easily accessible on the Sign Language 101 website in the format of YouTube videos.

The 10 lessons cover the following topics: gestures & body language; ABC’s, colors & pronouns; everyday signs & common phrases; antonyms & common phrases; around the house & hobbies; people, the body & clothes; time & calendar; verbs & directions; food & drinks; and animals & sports.

Each lesson is about 20 minutes long and is taught by instructor Byron Bridges. He himself was born deaf and grew up in a deaf family. He is personally invested in the course material and is more than qualified to teach you the basics of ASL (he has a BA, an MA, and a Ed. D)! Hands down one of the best free online ASL classes available.

Strengths:

  • Free! (but consider leaving a donation if you find the content useful)
  • Highly knowledgeable instructor – topics are relevant and extremely useful
  • Nice manageable lesson length of 20 minutes

Visit Sign Language 101

9. Udemy: American Sign Language, ASL, Level 1 (Udemy)

Udemy: American Sign Language, ASL, Level 1

One great thing about this course is that each video is accompanied by English captions. Another great thing is that it is only 30 minutes long! That’s too short for you to actually become an expert at American sign language, but it’s a perfect intro to ASL that will inspire you to keep learning more!

This course is also packed full of quizzes and practice exercises, so it’s great for people who are looking for a more interactive course. As might be expected you will learn the ASL manual alphabet and numbers from 1 to 20.

Other important topics covered are basic fingerspelling; yes/no questions and introductions; gender signs; colors, clothes & appearance; ASL song: the rainbow colors; verb directions: show, help, give & pay; same and/or different; and using your body properly while signing.

Strengths:

  • This course includes a very helpful self-assessment and lots of quizzes to help you measure your progress
  • Very low time commitment: 23 lectures, 30m
  • Lifetime access to course materials
  • Comes with a course completion certificate

Visit Udemy.com

10. Udemy: Learn & Master Sign Language (Udemy)

Udemy: Learn & Master Sign Language

This Udemy course comes with a downloadable lesson book, which will make it even easier to learn as you follow along with this highly extensive course. This is an option for someone who is ready to commit 50 hours of their time to learn – and mastering – ASL.

Like all the courses on this list, this one starts with basics such as introductions and greetings. You’ll also tackle pronouns and family; people and places; same and different; clock time, calendar time, and frequency; directional verbs; classifiers; and more.

You will build a huge amount of ASL vocabulary and after taking this course you’ll be able to discuss topics such as parties and celebrations; the seasons; holidays; restaurants and money; going to school; careers and jobs; travel; and so much more! Overall, this is one of the best online ASL classes!

Strengths:

  • Bestseller on Udemy
  • High 4.5-star rating
  • Popular: 1,608 students
  • Extensive content: 374 lectures, 49h05m
  • Each section contains Deaf Culture Highlights, quizzes, vocabulary, and beginner, intermediate and advanced fingerspelling lessons

Visit Udemy.com

11. Signing Savvy (Signing Savvy)

Signing Savvy

Signing Savvy is not so much a course, but an amazing resource that has all sorts of valuable tools to help you learn ASL. These tools include an ASL dictionary, word lists, blog articles, tutoring resources, printable posters and handouts, and more!

The dictionary incorporates a video demonstration of the sign that you are looking for as well as a description of the sign and memory aids to help you remember it for the next time you need it. The printable posters and handouts would be a great addition to any classroom.

Signing Savvy is best used in conjunction with other resources or classes – any of the other classes on this list for example. Savvy members can access great practice tools such as flashcards and quizzes as well! It’s worth noting that your non-members won’t be able to access all of the site content.

Strengths:

  • Some of the resources can be accessed for free!
  • The dictionary is a great tool for quick reference
  • Possible to sign up for one-on-one tutoring sessions (for a fee) in order to get personalized feedback or help with specific aspects of ASL such as baby signing

Visit Signingsavvy.com

12. Start ASL (Start ASL)

Start ASL

There are three Start ASL online courses: Start ASL 1, Start ASL 2, and Start ASL 3. Each course will build upon what was learned in the previous course, and while ASL 1 is perfect for beginners, the student who completes ASL 3 will be able to confidently communicate using ASL.

In ASL 1 you will learn fingerspelling, numbers, the five sign parameters, word order, sentence types, pronouns and indexing, verbs, identifying people, and several lessons on deaf culture and deaf history. In this one 60-lesson course you will have access to over 550 vocabulary and phrase videos.

ASL 2 will build upon ASL 1 teaching you about sentence types, time, duration, regularity, temporal aspect, classifiers, pluralization, distance, inflection, and describing rooms, objects, and locations.

Lastly, ASL 3 kicks things up a notch when it comes to storytelling. You’ll learn how to incorporate role shifting, narratives, giving information, sign language games, literature, and song interpretation. Between ASL 2 and ASL 3 you’ll also get access to over 500 vocabulary and phrase videos! Hands down one of the best certified ASL online classes you’ll find.

Strengths:

  • 3 awesome courses geared towards beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners
  • Courses are mobile-friendly and self-paced
  • You’ll receive a verified certificate of completion
  • You’ll have access to the ASL learning Facebook community – great chance to make connections and share resources

Visit Startasl.com

13. The Complete Online ASL Course (Sign Language 101)

best free online asl classes

Finally, we have a course from Sign Language 101 where you set the pace of learning ASL. You’ll methodically work through vocabulary words, numbers, tips about learning American Sign Language, and special knowledge about Deaf culture. This course includes 50 receptive practice questions and 100 fingerspelling activities to help hone your skills.

This course is masterfully (and energetically) taught by Dr. Byron W. Bridges, a well regarded author, teacher, and lecturer for more than 30 years. ​Born deaf to deaf parents and growing up with a deaf sister, Dr. Byron W. Bridges has used American Sign Language as the primary means to communicate throughout his whole life. Dr. Bridges has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Deaf Studies at California State University of Northridge, Masters of Arts (MA) degree in Linguistics from Gallaudet University, and a doctoral degree (Ed.D) in Deaf Studies and Deaf Education at Lamar University. He is a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI), earning the certification through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

This course is highly practical teaching not just the usual letters, numbers and colors but also everyday phrases, hobbies, directions and even sports. You’ll learn 1400 useful vocabulary words across 8+ hours on instruction. They recommend taking at least 10 weeks for Level 1 and Level 2 to ensure plenty of time to practice and take advantage of the more than 100+ carefully designed learning activities.

Strengths:

  • 2 courses geared towards beginners and intermediate students
  • Free previews of early course modules (see review #7)
  • Courses are self-paced and flexible overly roughly 10 weeks
  • You can request a certificate of completion after 80% of modules are complete

Visit Sign Language 101

To further your communication skills, you can also see my guides on proofreading classes, online writing classes and BSL.

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30 Comments

  1. Hi I want to learn asl, as I am hard of hearing an almost deaf. I also am on limited income. I need help as to where do I start?? Also I learn better with looking at someone like 1 on 1. Thank you for your help!!

  2. For those asking for recommendations, both “Sign It ASL” (https://www.signitasl.com/) and ASLU (http://www.lifeprint.com/) are great for homeschoolers. ASLU goes deeper into linguistics, sign origins, and variations. “Sign It ASL” is more entertaining with comedy and skits, showcases a lot of different people from the Deaf community, and tracks progress. Both programs are great for teens and adults.

  3. For those asking for recommendations, both “Sign It ASL” and ASLU are great for homeschoolers. ASLU goes deeper into linguistics, sign origins, and variations. “Sign It ASL” is more entertaining with comedy and skits, showcases a lot of different people from the Deaf community, and tracks progress. Both programs are great for teens and adults.

  4. Another great one to look at is “Sign It! American Sign Language Made Easy” (www.signitasl.com). It’s self-paced, and the instructors are fabulous. Many of them are Deaf themselves and are teachers, comedians, Broadway stars, etc. There’s a lot of comedy and fun sketches to keep the classes interesting. It’s also available for free to parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing babies through the http://www.mydeafchild.org site.

  5. I have been volunteering at a Covid-19 vaccination clinic. We had a mother- daughter come in. Both were deaf, is there a course for medical people? Thank you .

  6. Hi Iatoia, I would personally recommend any of the SkillShare classes. They are very easy to follow and cover all the basic gestures and words.

  7. Hi can you please tell me what classes I need to start off with. My goal is to be able to communicate with deaf students, deaf parents . Be able to eventually someday communicate to my parents that are deaf when we have programs. Can you please tell me the class I would start with so I can someday follow my dream to help,

  8. I have taken 3 ASL classes at community College but have forgotten most as I have no one to practice with. I gad a couple of deaf friends but have lost contact with them and none that I’m retired I would like to start over.

  9. These list are a great set of resources. I recently learned that I am losing my hearing sitting here at my desk I realized my family and I should learn to sign before and of I completely lose my hearing. These site give me a good starting point, and gave me things to ask my doctor at the next visit. Thanks Lewis!

  10. Hi Denise, no I have not heard of it but will look into it, thanks for the recommendation. Yes YouTube does have some good tutorials and SkillShare for over the should learning

  11. Have you heard of Lingvango? I did a free subscription but now need to upgrade. I like the pace, the focus on useable words and use of the camera for me to see what I am doing. Your thoughts?
    I want to teach myself while preparing to go to college next year and take classes. It is something I am very interested in and want to start teaching my self during the pandemic.

  12. First of all, this is great thank you! Second, I completes ASL 101 at uni and want to continue learning. Which program would you recommend?

  13. Hi, I am a veterinary student and am interested in learning ASL with a focus on medical terminology. I would like to take one of the basics courses listed above prior to diving into medical terminology, but I am curious to know if there are any good resources for learning medical terminology after completion of the basics. I recently worked at a clinic where one of the technicians knew ASL and I was inspired by how much it made a difference for the pet owner’s with hearing disabilities. When I graduate, I would love to provide that same level of service to my clients!

  14. Hi Leya, thanks for stopping by! The SkillShare classes are a good introduction. But for a more thorough class, they udemy ones are also great as they go into more detail. I hope that helps ????

  15. Hi! I took ASL 101 at uni a year ago, and still remember most of the basics (I think) and I really want to learn more ASL and expand my knowledge. Which course would you recommend I do (I am willing to put in the hours).

    Thank you for your help and thank you for this great list!

  16. I think the SkillShare asl class would be a good starting point as it’s very easy to follow. However, I would check with the learning institution if that accept learning credits from SkillShare ???? hope that helps!

  17. Any recommendations for a freshman HS student wanting ASL for high school language credit? I’m choosing between Udemy: Learn and Master Sign language and Start ASL offline

  18. Is there one you would recommend for a 9th grade student beginner for foreign language credit?

  19. Vanessa,
    We do not use the term Deaf and dumb. That has not been an acceptable term for generations. I hope you enjoy learning sign language and the Deaf culture classes that are available will explain more about how deaf culture is important to understand.

    Maureen

  20. I am very much passionate about learning sign language becase this will help me to understand the feelings of a deaf and dumb person. Hence, I will be able to help him or her.

  21. Hi Wendi! Great story! Glad to hear that you found what you’re looking for ????

  22. Thank you Mr. Keegan for gathering this information in one place! I have wanted to learn ASL since I was a child. My cousin and I used to practice the alphabet while at WVU football games with our parents (neither of us is deaf). I am an attorney now and I still have a very strong desire to be able to communicate with others who speak ASL. Going back to school and incurring more loan debt is not an option, so I sincerely appreciate your fantastic list of reliable resources!

    I hope that you and Angie are staying safe and healthy!

  23. Thank you for the extensive list for ASL courses available. I had this long standing desire to learn ASL.
    I am excited to begin my new journey and take full advantage of courses available.

  24. Hi Alison, thanks for the nice comment. I would say a good introductory class is the SkillShare one as it goes though all the basics. But as you have some prior knowledge, the Udemy course may be a great option also. Hope that helps!

  25. This is great! I took ASL in a beginner university course over 20 years ago and loved it. I knew enough to hold simple conversations beyond talking about the weather. I have forgotten most of it and would like to relearn. I am a teacher as well. I am having a hard time choosing from your extensive list! Would you have any suggestions that could help me choose the best course for me? I do like flexibility and don’t want to spend an arm and a leg. 🙂