Sign Language and You

Is Sign Language Hard to Learn?

Helpful tips for parents feeling overwhelmed learning ASL

Many parents who are learning ASL are doing so for their child or for a member of their community. What’s so challenging about this is that life often gets in the way of smoothly attaining these language goals. What’s more, with all the information out there on learning languages, it can be difficult to separate useless information from helpful advice. Here are a few tips to help you through the process:


Learn in bulk

Setting weekly goals can be an effective method for learning ASL. Commit to memorizing up to 50 words a week, and you’ll be signing in no time! It’s especially helpful if these words are related to one another, so they can be re-learned and reviewed in an organized fashion. It never hurts to change your goals depending on the week too! Reach out to your kids or community and see what they’re learning that week. It may be beneficial to learn alongside them! Knowing you have a committed friend or family member engaged in the material can help you stick with a pace of learning. It also gives you a chance to practice and hone your skills with a real conversation partner!


Start with useful phrases

It can feel daunting to take on a large amount of vocabulary in seemingly endless topics, but it’s best to start with words and phrases that will be of use to you and your community first! Learn the words that have the most meaning to you; that way, when starting conversations, you’ll have a base that is familiar to you. The more interesting and relevant these words are, the more likely you will remember them! As with any other language, you’ll learn more quickly the words you repeatedly put into practice. In this case, those words will be the ones that actually come up in conversation. Think about what you want to say to your children and your community, and use that as a jumping off point to fluency!


Balance class, apps, and conversation

Learning any language is easiest when the sources of your learning are diverse. ASL is no different! If possible, balance classes, apps like FactSumo, and small conversations until you build confidence in signing. Repetition is key, but you can quickly become bored if you try to only approach signing through one avenue. Technology has advanced to a point where anyone can learn in any way they want, anywhere! If you aren’t in a class with a certified professional, use any spare time to catch up on signs you may not be familiar with. It’s amazing how quickly five to ten minutes of practice a day can add up to a noticeable difference in just a few months!


Measure in minutes

No one should expect to be fluent in any language within a short amount of time. Learning as something as vast as a language takes patience, consistency, and lots of motivation. That’s why it’s best to measure your progress in conversation. Start with a very attainable goal of being able to sign with someone, back and forth, for one minute. Sounds easy, right? When you think you’ve mastered it, move to three minutes, then five. And so on. The more comfortable you are signing to someone for prolonged periods of time, the better you’ll become! It helps, in this instance, to have a good conversation partner, but if no one is around in your community, or your child is at school, you can always use a mirror and some easy to find conversation topics online!


With FactSumo, convenience and confidence are our priorities. We leverage technology to customize a learning plan that adapts to your studying needs, while utilizing an easy-to-use interface. Learn at your own pace and boost your confidence by beginning your path to success with FactSumo!