Learn ASL Online During Long Holidays
For many, a common cure for daily stress is spending a long holiday lying on the beach soaking up the sun. However, stress relief is taking on a new and different form these days. Thanks to the rising appeal and accessibility of learning holidays, many people are now relaxing and unwinding by acquiring new skills or hobbies, such as painting, French bread baking, or learning ASL online. Some choose to travel to destinations like Paris, London, Morocco, or Hawaii to pursue these interests, while others opt to learn ASL online from the comfort of their own homes.
Of course, you could spend much time and money on such an out-of-town excursion. But why not just use a long holiday to stay home and learn a second language like ASL? The idea of escaping the everyday grind and using your holiday time to learn this new skill in the comfort of your own home has many advantages.
If you’re already working remotely, this is a convenient option. And even if you work in a traditional office, studying ASL at home over a long holiday is easy and accessible. In this way, you can avoid the hassle and expense of commuting to an ASL class. In addition, during extended breaks from work, you have ample free time. So, why not take advantage of a long holiday or vacation at home by combining ASL learning with activities like going to the park or watching a movie?
Benefits of Learning ASL Online During Long Holidays
Learning ASL online enhances your communication skills and allows you to connect with the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing (D/HoH) community. Hearing people can expand their life experiences and relationships by learning ASL as a second language. In addition, ASL education offers students a chance to develop their interpersonal skills, increase their understanding of their own and other cultures, and expand their lifestyle options.
The decision to learn ASL also opens the door to many new careers and professions. For example, in medicine, dentistry, education, law, and other areas of work, the ability to interact with Deaf and Hard-of-hearing people through sign language is a great skill to have. Hiring fluent workers in American Sign Language is becoming more essential than ever for organizations that serve the D/HoH community.
And long holidays offer you large blocks of time to quickly sharpen your ASL skills in the comforts of your own home. Thus, you can improve your chances of enhancing your current career or switching to an occupation requiring ASL proficiency.
These jobs include being a counselor or therapist who works in schools or other environments where ASL communication is essential. People fluent in ASL are also regularly employed in local, state, and federal government agencies and law enforcement, the courts, and detention settings.
Some of the benefits of learning ASL at home during long breaks are as follows:
- Online ASL lessons fit into any schedule, and long holiday breaks provide ample time to pursue learning. The pace of society is increasingly hectic. While keeping up with a demanding work schedule, attending to family matters, and fulfilling other duties, we’re always running out of time. Learning ASL through online lessons during long holidays lets you master the language without upsetting your routine. And if you study ASL during an extended holiday or vacation, you can get in many practice hours before returning to your regular agenda.
- Online ASL videos let you learn at a comfortable speed. One of the most significant advantages of online education is that it enables you to learn at your own pace. When you study with other students in a classroom, the teacher can’t always stop the class to make sure you understand the material being taught. However, when learning American Sign Language online during a long holiday, you can pause and rewind as often as you like until you feel comfortable going forward. And the holiday break period’s leisurely atmosphere makes the learning experience much more enjoyable.
How to Get Started with Online ASL Learning during Long Holidays
To learn ASL, you need to use a different skill set and undergo other instructional methods than you would to learn a spoken language. For example, while listening is essential to understanding a spoken language, audio cannot teach ASL. Instead, becoming proficient in ASL requires either live or video-based instruction.
Do Some Research Before Choosing a Way to Learn ASL Online
For this reason, it’s essential to find a reputable online ASL video course such as those offered by Start ASL or find a qualified instructor for in-person training. To do so, you should do thorough research and check the online reviews and testimonials of various ASL schools and instructors.
It’s also essential to check whether a school has created a comprehensive and well-thought-out ASL curriculum. The course material should include everything you need to learn American Sign Language effectively and with the confidence that you’re learning the most up-to-date signs.
Set ASL Study Goals for the Holiday Period with an Action Plan
The list below is a sample action plan to learn some of the most common ASL signs during a long holiday period.
- Make a list of the signs you want to learn online.
- Draw or glue a photo of each sign on the front of a flashcard and the corresponding written word on the back.
- Learn five to six new signs each day during the holiday break.
- Revise the words daily using a spaced repetition approach.*
*Spaced repetition is a learning method that’s usually done with flashcards. Newly introduced and more difficult flashcards are shown more often, whereas older and easier flashcards are shown less often to use the so-called “psychological spacing effect.” Several studies have shown spaced repetition increases learning rates.
Other Ways to Learn ASL Online During Long Holidays
Besides flashcards, the following are some suggestions for practicing your American Sign Language skills during a long holiday or when you’re on vacation from work.
- Attend virtual meetings or in-person Deaf and Hard-of-hearing events in your area. You’ll quickly get to a conversational level when you immerse yourself in ASL through interactive dialogs with D/HoH community members at social events.
- Watch ASL videos or films. An example is SIGN, a short film about the bond between a hearing man and a Deaf man through brief scenes, music, and sign language. To get more information on ASL movies, you can go to www.aslfilms.com, the website of ASL Films. This independent production company is Deaf-owned and operated and makes movies and other feature film media in ASL for the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing community.
- Join online ASL discussion and practice groups. Learning is a journey, and regular use of ASL is the key to quickly acquiring conversational proficiency. That being said, one of the best ways to gain mastery is to participate in online discussions and practice groups. These groups also allow you to get immersed in Deaf and Hard-of-hearing culture. When immersed in the culture, you’ll find endless opportunities to use your ASL skills.
This way, you can learn about the rich and varied way of life pursued by the D/HoH community. You will also make many new friends because those who are Deaf or Hard of hearing typically appreciate it when a hearing person takes the time to learn ASL and communicate with them in their language.
Learning ASL Online during Long Holidays is in Step with the Times
American Sign Language is quickly gaining popularity in the United States, Canada, and other parts of the world. Current ASL users are estimated to be more than 2 million. And many others are interested in learning the language by taking online ASL courses. This fact alone makes ASL proficiency more vital in achieving a well-rounded background for communicating in today’s diverse, increasingly inclusive society. An easy and comfortable way to learn ASL online more quickly is to take advantage of your long holiday breaks.