Learning a second or third language doesn’t just expand your knowledge, but it can also let you form a connection with others. And we’ve spent a few weeks with the Complete 2021 American Sign Language Master Class.
For $19.99, you’ll gain lifetime access to five courses comprising more than 75 hours of content. And we’ve found that it’s an excellent option for beginners to learn foundational skills for American Sign Language. The main courses are split into three levels. The fourth and fifth courses are more specific: Baby & Toddlers Sign Language and Scuba Diving Hand Signals.
We’d recommend starting with Babies & Toddlers, as it starts with the basics and really the foundational portions of American Sign Language. You’ll gain an understanding of the most often used signs like family, colors, numbers, food and music. It also dives into the manual alphabet — a cornerstone of the language — and verbs. After this, Level 1 will recap many of these lessons but expand into everyday phrases.
Level 2 teaches verb tenses (past, present and future) while also expanding on language categories. Level 3 moves into signing vacation, weather, colors, money and comparisons, among others. It also teaches deaf etiquette, which we appreciated. The history of ASL and its context is explored in many of the courses, along with do’s and don’ts and the importance of signing with a steady hand.
The 2021 American Sign Language teaches words, phrases and signs through visual diagrams and videos that you can engage with. We had three qualms with the videos specifically — for starters, videos don’t autoplay, which breaks the rhythm of taking the class and learning. You’ll need to click the play button each time a video appears. Second, you get only one or two views of the signs in the video when it’s most helpful to see the sign from multiple viewpoints to understand it. Lastly, these aren’t the sharpest videos on the internet. Truthfully, they fall in the land between low resolution and high resolution.
Each lesson, regardless of the course, ends with a quiz to recap and test your knowledge. They’re not as complex as an intermediate or advanced learner would need, but for beginners, they are engaging and a way to measure progress. And if you’re looking to learn American Sign Language, this Master Class is an excellent place to start for $19.99.