Most ASL resources only focus on one aspect of the language: Vocabulary. One of the biggest myths about ASL is that it is just “English on the hands.” This is simply not true. ASL is a true language with its own grammar and syntax – something that most ASL resources (even classes!) simply do not teach. For this reason, a staggering number of signers end up signing what is called Pidgin Signed English (or PSE) – which is just ASL signs in English word order – thinking that it is true ASL.
How One Class Let Her Finally Connect With Her Best Friend
Michelle Jay was thirteen years old when she met a Deaf person for the first time. The girl was a new student at Michelle’s school and Michelle was just completely awestruck with the beautiful way the girl communicated.
But when the girl’s teacher finally introduced them, Michelle had no idea what to do! All she could do was shake her hand and slowly say her name. Michelle felt terrible that she couldn’t tell the girl it was nice to meet her and that she would be glad to be her friend.
Eventually, they began writing back and forth to each other, but the two of them got along so well that Michelle wanted to truly be able to communicate with her.
She decided to take an after-school ASL class, but quickly realized that just learning signs like “dog,” “cat,” “hamburger,” and “hotdog” was not going to be enough to actually have real conversations with her new friend.
So, she searched online for ASL classes and found some good resources, but no complete options for learning the language. Michelle ended up having to take classes at the local college because it was the only option she could find. Unfortunately, being only thirteen years old, these classes were expensive with both her time and her family’s money, so this option was definitely not ideal, but it did allow her to learn and fall in love with the language.
After completing her first ASL course, Michelle was finally able to truly connect with her Deaf friend and they became very close during their years in school. They no longer needed their little notebook to write back and forth and it was such a fantastic feeling. No other students put in the effort that Michelle did to communicate with her and we believe they all missed out on getting to know this wonderful person at their school who went on to become a very talented dancer.
Are you in a similar position?
Do you long to connect, but are not quite there yet? For most people, trying to learn ASL can feel very overwhelming and disorganized – even futile at times. Maybe you’re learning some signs like “dog” and “cat,” but are wondering when you’ll actually be able to have a real conversation. Maybe you’re signing to yourself in the mirror wishing your reflection could tell you if you signed “house” correctly or not. Or maybe you’ve already taken an ASL class, but don’t feel like you really got a good grip on the language.
Imagine the time you’d save and the uncertainty you’d avoid if you knew exactly what ASL to learn and when to learn it. Imagine being able to learn ASL whenever you want and wherever you are at that moment. Imagine having the confidence to join a conversation in ASL knowing that your signing is completely accurate.
What if we told you that Michelle (yes, that once-thirteen year old who fell in love with ASL) eventually brought a team together to create the perfect solution that they’ve always wanted?
It’s True – We Did It!
With 10 years experience, Michelle Jay graduated from one of the nation’s premier programs with a degree in Deaf Studies with an emphasis in teaching and dreamed of teaching ASL and sharing this beautiful language and culture with anyone who wants to learn.
Start ASL was born over 13 years ago and is still the ASL resource that Michelle always wanted, but was never able to find. She brought together a fantastic team and with her deep knowledge of what it is like to learn ASL as a hearing person, we know exactly what students need in order to become comfortably fluent and over several years we have created the most comprehensive course available online for learning ASL.
With the growing popularity of sign language, there are a lot of ASL learning resources available at your disposal – websites, books, software, videos, flashcards, and more! But what many people don’t know is that most ASL resources are unreliable and they actually make learning true ASL extremely difficult.
It’s true – we’re always very sad to hear that someone gave up on learning ASL because it was just simply too difficult and they never felt like they were really learning anything.
So, what should you do?
After over a decade of being unable to find a comprehensive way to learn ASL online, the Start ASL team created a full online course that includes everything you need to learn the language completely and with total flexibility.
No more buying a bunch of resources that only teach you part of the language and no more endlessly searching online to try to piece together your own lessons.
Everything you need is right here, and even better – a complete course will quickly give you the results you’ve been waiting to see.
I took all 3 classes and was amazed at the attention to detail taken to design this course. This course is organized, well-thought out, and fun. I learned a lot! The videos were my favorite part. Since I already had quite a bit of vocabulary under my belt, I wanted practice reading a variety of signers while learning ASL grammar. This course gave me just that. I highly recommend it for anyone learning ASL. THANK YOU, Start ASL!
I have thoroughly enjoyed this site. This site has helped my husband and I understand and pick up ASL so quickly. I’m hard of hearing, and my husband and I love the ability to learn together. We now are able to better communicate to the fullest we have ever been able to do. Thank you so much.
I’ve been wanting to learn ASL for quite some time. This is EXACTLY what I have been looking for. I love how clear the videos are and that I can do it at my own pace. I also love that there are quizzes to keep me on track. I like going back and watching some of the videos over and over again so that I can really get it. I’m so very impressed and grateful for the hard work that has gone into the class. I’ve only completed the first two units and can’t believe how much I’ve already learned. GREAT JOB!!! Thanks so much!
The whole set up of the site is perfect! There are many different ways to practice and it gives you everything you need, seriously. I didn’t think I would learn as much as I have in ASL 1 but I learn a lot! This site has taught me the most out of any other site. Trust me I’ve been to many sites and they only give you half the info you need. This is a great site and I recommend it to everyone!
I give this site 5 stars! I am a stay-at-home mom of twin 3-year old boys. They are my little handfuls, and I don’t have a lot of personal time. I found this site after realizing that I wanted to learn a lot more than what I was learning on YouTube. I am on ASL 1 / Unit 2 and loving every second of it. It’s very addicting, and I would recommend this site to anybody.
With Start ASL’s complete online course you will learn true American Sign Language so you can join any signed conversation with complete confidence. Unlike most ASL classes, we don’t just go over a bunch of random, boring little signs – we get you communicating right away. We will carefully guide you through not only learning essential vocabulary, but also dig deep into proper ASL grammar and the vibrant Deaf community. Our lessons build on each other in a way where you can see immediate progress and learn not only correctly, but quickly.
Join our ASL learning community! The goal of this group is for students who are taking the Start ASL Online Course to come together, ask questions, discuss topics related to ASL/Deaf Culture, share resources, and connect with each other. If you are struggling with something about learning ASL or want to share something fun you learned about ASL, this is the place for you!
Get the extra practice and support you need with our LIVE Virtual Practice Events. Gold level students also get access to their own private meetings with a Start ASL Instructor.
Start ASL is the only online ASL course that provides detailed feedback on your signing assignments. You can easily upload your assignment or record directly in the program and receive text or video feedback on your assignments from our instructors depending on your membership level.
Support from Our Professional ASL Instructors
We really care about your success and we don’t want to leave you hanging. We’re just a click away with our “Instructor Chat” feature found in each course. You’re paying a premium for our time and we will make it worth it – we are here to give you the support you need if you need help with our curriculum, the language, the community or anything else! We really do care, and you’ll see it with your first message – we promise!
The opportunities are truly endless and, as you will find, so very fulfilling. All of these things are totally achievable sooner than you think. And you can most definitely achieve them with our course!
I have always been intrigued with the beauty of sign language, but I never made time to study the language. However, the more I thought about it, the stronger the desire became to just try it. As I searched the web, I came across Start ASL and decided to register. I began the courses and was amazed with the progress I was making after only a few lessons. The more I learned the more I wanted to learn. During the first two weeks of my membership I traveled to Dallas to visit my sister. While there, we attended church and I sat in the deaf and hard of hearing section so I could watch the interpreter. The interpreter signed and asked me if I was deaf. I signed that I’m a student. She instructed me to sit in the third row where a deaf gentleman was sitting. Before I took my seat, I signed to the man that my name was Denise. He began to sign his name but he was going way too fast for me. I was able to sign to him, “Please sign slow.” Upon my request, he slowed down. I understood that his name is Jerry and I signed, “Nice to meet you” and he signed it back. I felt so good inside – I couldn’t believe I was communicating after only a few lessons. And now I’m teaching my 12 month old granddaughter ASL and it’s all thanks to Start ASL.
Bonus #6 – Start ASL Vocabulary Study Sheets and Sign Worksheets
Our Vocabulary Study Sheets and Sign Worksheets are a great way to help you learn and retain the vocabulary you learn throughout this course.
Bonus #5 – Start ASL Practice Sentence Worksheets
And our Practice Sentence Worksheets are a great way to help you think critically about how to apply what you’ve learned to potential translation situations – which is especially useful if you wish to one day have a career in ASL interpreting.
Bonus #4 – Custom Start ASL Anki Digital Vocabulary Flashcards
Anki is a program which makes remembering things easy. Because it’s a lot more efficient than traditional study methods, you can either greatly decrease your time spent studying, or greatly increase the amount you learn. And we’ve created video-based digital flashcards for the Anki program that will help you better learn and retain the vocabulary you learn in our course. Not only that – it’s a super fun way to study!
This pocket-size e-book is a fantastic collection of terms commonly used in the Deaf Community and allows you to:
- Quickly and easily find the meaning of a community term.
- Study terminology whenever you have a spare moment.
- Ensure that you’re participating correctly in conversations.
- Build confidence for signing and communicating.
- Study with a quick and convenient method no matter where you are.
- And more!
This eye-opening e-book will ignite your senses and eliminate any misconceptions you may have about the deaf community.
Delve into this informative and entertaining collection of personal stories culled from the writings of talented Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing, and late-deafened people.
Experience the world from their perspectives and learn what questions and comments are best avoided and what common courtesies are most appreciated. By reading this book, you can immerse yourself in the textured world of the deaf community.
This book is meant as a guide to equip ASL students, but it is so much more… It is a book for the masses – to be read and reread, to be savored – for it will resonate with you long after the last page is turned.
Now also included with the Start ASL Online Course are your own downloadable copies of the Don’t Just “Sign”… Communicate! Student Guide PDF e-books that are used for the course Reading Assignments. These essential guides are your key to success!
This Guide Gives You EVERYTHING You Need…and More.
One of the biggest benefits of Don’t Just “Sign”…Communicate!: A Student’s Guide to ASL and the Deaf Community is that we provide you with information you need but didn’t know to ask for. The package is absolutely jam-packed with benefits:
- You’ll quickly learn the best ways to learn ASL so that you can begin communicating quickly.
- You’ll receive the most essential Deaf culture and Deaf history information available.
- Information about careers in ASL from the professionals.
- Common terminology used in the Deaf community.
- The number one ASL resources available today.
- And so much more!
This guide was created specifically to help you understand ASL more effectively. The perfect companion for our ASL course, this guide supplements the course and offers up the best possible information to help you better understand everything involved while learning ASL.
Without a doubt, it is the best student’s guide to ASL and the Deaf community in existence, and provides numerous benefits for individuals who are taking ASL classes.
The Student’s Guide to Mastering ASL Grammar provides the fundamentals of perfect ASL grammar so you can sign confidently
Students taking ASL classes are often expected to pick up on the grammar rules themselves, by being a part of the deaf community, or by immersing themselves in sign language from the beginning. If you’re learning on your own or you’re unable to sign with others often, it can be extremely difficult to pick up these rules. This guide will help you:
- Make sure you’re learning American Sign Language.
- Learn ASL signs and vocabulary concepts you won’t find in most ASL dictionaries.
- Learn ASL phonology and how signs are formed.
- Learn ASL morphology and how to inflect signs to create meaning.
- Learn ASL syntax and how to form correct sentences.
- And so much more!
This incredible guide provides you with the confidence you need to communicate fluently and correctly. Unfortunately, many signers go years without picking up the proper grammar, even when they’re conversing with other signers regularly. You don’t have to let this happen to you!
YES – If you’ve always wanted to learn ASL and can’t wait to finally get started!
YES – If you want to reach a comfortable conversational level of ASL and see progress right away.
YES – If you want to refresh your ASL skills and perfect your ASL grammar.
YES – If you enjoy learning online and don’t have the time or money to sit in a classroom or spend on expensive tuition.
YES – If you want to learn ASL as your foreign language. We have had many students use Start ASL for credit – be sure to check with your school for their requirements!
YES – If you eventually want to become an ASL interpreter – Our course will more than prepare you to take that step.
Now is the perfect time to learn this beautiful language and it’s never too late to start!
BEST FOR THE HOBBYIST
Best if you really want to learn ASL and want to learn along with a community of other students.
Start ASL Online Course
Our Comprehensive ASL Curriculum Plus:
Does your college tuition guarantee that you will learn? Well, we do. Give us just 14 days and we guarantee that you will see progress with your ASL skills. When you enroll in Start ASL Online today, you have a FULL 14 days to go through the course 100% risk free. If you find that the course isn’t for you or that you just don’t have the time or motivation you thought you had to learn ASL – just contact us at https://support.startasl.com, let us know, and we’ll issue you a prompt and courteous refund.
I am a single mom and unfortunately there are not a lot of affordable options in which I can be with my daughter and still learn ASL. Thank you for making this option available to those who may be not be able to learn in an adult classroom environment and are also hearing. I love this site. I just went through the first three units as a refresher and not sure why I ever left the site. Keep up the awesome work!
This class has really helped me so far. I started ASL a few weeks ago and I was having a hard time being able to get the language down. Then a friend told me about this site and I have been picking it up much easier since. I am starting to have some better experiences with some of the people I know that have ASL down very well. It’s really a great experience to learn all of it and be able to communicate with them without even speaking. Thank you for providing this site, it’s been a huge help.
This class has enhanced my relationship with my daughter. We have conversations online now with Skype. The conversations I watch online help me see the nuances of conversation and the useful techniques of facial and other expressions. After the first few times I signed with my daughter, I started to feel more at ease. Trying to read the signs seems to be the most fun for me. I am learning what I set out to do with the motivation of sharing this with my little girl. Stick with it and you will feel the success through your conversations. Thank you for the opportunity.
I am learning a great deal and enjoying the class. I am a 70% disabled veteran from Operation Iraqi Freedom and have lost a large amount of my hearing. I have become very reliant on reading lips as well as having to ask people to repeat themselves numerous times. It is truly due to the nature of my injuries that I am interested in learning ASL. I thank you for the opportunity to learn.
I’ve been infatuated with American Sign Language for the longest time, but have just recently started to teach myself. The lessons on this website have been a tremendous help and I’m learning very quickly. Thank you so much, I’m really enjoying the experience.
I want to say that I am learning pretty quick! My favorite part is the video challenge, it gives me a little of the adrenaline feeling, and I love it! Thank you so much, I’m really enjoying my lessons!
*What is a Verified Completion Certificate or Grade Report?
With the Gold level of the Online Course, we can provide you with printed, signed, and mailed certificates of completion if required by your school or employer. We can also provide digital grade reports that have been verified by our instructors.
Note: You must be a Gold level member for the duration of each course level in order to receive a verified completion certificate for that course level. Printed verified completion certificates can be mailed once per student to one address within the US as part of the program. Additional printed certificates, or certificates shipped internationally will incur additional fees.
How long does it take to complete one course level?
How long it takes to complete each level depends on the student since the courses are completely self-paced. On average, driven self-study students are able to complete one level in three to four months and students who are taking the course for credit are usually able to complete one level in nine to twelve months.
How are the Bonuses delivered?
Your bonuses are available to download in your account immediately after purchase.
When are the practice events?
You can find updated information about all of our events on our ASL Events page.
How is instructor feedback different between the Silver and Gold level?
There are nine total signing assignments in the Online Course – one in ASL 1, three in ASL 2, and five in ASL 3. If you sign up for the Silver level, you will receive general written feedback on your signing assignments from our instructors. If you sign up for the Gold level, you will receive detailed, timestamped video feedback on your signing assignments from our instructors. All students receive a completed grade rubric on all signing assignments.
How do I manage my monthly subscription?
Just click My Account to view your Subscriptions and change your payment method or cancel your subscription at any time. Even when you cancel you will get access to the courses for as long as you have already paid. If you’ve never taken an online class, it can be a little intimidating to get started. But rest assured that we completely understand and have made it easy for you to control your own subscription and we’re always here to help if you need it!
Can I upgrade or downgrade my subscription to a different level?
Yes! You can cancel your subscription and resubscribe to the level of your choice at any time. Your coursework is saved to your account, so just be sure to use the same account to sign up again and you can start right where you left off!
Do you have options for teachers, schools, or organizations?
Yes! Our options for teachers, schools, and organizations can be found on this page: https://teachers.startasl.com
Is it possible to enroll multiple students at once?
Yes! We offer a Group Purchase option for the Start ASL Online Course. You can find more information about that on this page.
Are subscriptions fees charged automatically?
Our monthly course subscriptions are charged automatically every month for your convenience until you cancel. One-year access purchases are a one-time payment and your access expires after one year.
How long will I have access to the course and materials?
With the monthly subscription option, you will have access to the Online Course and materials until your monthly subscription is cancelled and your paid duration has expired. With the year-access option, you will have access for one year after your date of purchase. If you have not completed everything within one year, you can purchase another year-access option or continue with a monthly subscription at that time.
Can I be an interpreter after completing this course?
While you won’t be able to interpret professionally after taking our course, our course will more than prepare you to move on to a professional interpreting program.
Are there any system requirements?
Our Online Course works on any device, but for the best experience we recommend using either the Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browser.
All set? It’s time to choose your level!