How to Get Started With ASL for Kids
Learning American Sign Language (ASL) is a fun and engaging way to introduce children to communication and language. To begin learning the basics of ASL, explore educational resources such as books with ASL illustrations, and consider enrolling in comprehensive online classes. ..
ASL Basics: How to Use Manually Coded English (MCE) and Fingerspelling
Learning sign language can seem intimidating at first, but you can break it down into smaller pieces to make it more manageable. Manually Coded English (MCE) and Fingerspelling are two critical foundational elements of ASL that should be introduced to your child as early as possible.
MCE is a type of signed English that uses elements of ASL to communicate in English. It integrates the physical signs from ASL with the English grammar structure, making it an excellent intermediate step for kids who are new to sign language.
Fingerspelling, on the other hand, is a technique used to spell out words letter by letter, accomplished by sequentially forming each letter with the fingers. It’s commonly used for words or phrases that do not have a corresponding sign and is necessary for some concepts and names that don’t have distinct gestures. Moreover, by incorporating fingerspelling into their practice, learners can develop their reading and writing skills in sign language while expanding their vocabulary
Both MCE and Fingerspelling are simple and easy ways to get your child started on their journey of learning sign language. With practice, they can become proficient in no time!
Other resources for getting started with ASL for Kids
Here are some resources you can download and print from our video lessons: ASL resource
Sign Language Classes
You can find sign language classes in many community centers, libraries, or even online. These classes offer an excellent opportunity for kids to learn the basics of signing and begin their journey toward fluency. Additionally, it can be immensely beneficial to have someone available to answer questions and guide the learning process.
Online resources can also be a valuable tool for learning sign language. There are websites dedicated to teaching ASL that offer resources such as videos, tutorials, and quizzes. These can be used to enhance a student’s classroom experience or facilitate self-study. Additionally, there are tools such as ASL Flash Cards that can be used to practice vocabulary and comprehension skills
Clubs and Communities
There are often local sign language clubs or communities that hold regular events where you and your children can practice signing alongside others. These groups can also be great resources for finding ASL lessons, signing camps, and other relevant activities in your area.
If you prefer not to start your club, then consider joining an existing local ASL meetup or online ASL communities. Joining a community gives you access to numerous resources, including tutorials, videos, discussions, tips, and more that could give your child’s journey in learning sign language.
Lastly, don’t forget the most effective way to learn sign language is through practice! Encourage your child to use their new skills by engaging with family members or friends. This will help them develop confidence in their ability and also keep their skills sharp and up-to-date.