ASL Beginner Course – ASL101

Overview of Course

Ten dialogs introduce over 200 new ASL signs. The dialogs in our ASL beginner course cover common phrases for greeting and departing such as "What’s up" and "See you later," expressing one’s feelings, talking about ASL, and going to a restaurant and other places. Many common ASL sentence structures are introduced during our ASL beginner course including those associated with asking questions, simple sentences, setting up the topic and following with a comment, and using negative signs. Information about the lives of people in the Deaf community is presented in ten segments that cover a look at a typical Deaf club, national organizations of the Deaf, Deaf sport, sign language interpreters, regional variations in ASL signs, closed captioning, and a joke that is popular in the Deaf community.

Overview of Lessons

1Here we go!Greetings. Common conversational phrases. Discussing ASL.Yes/no question. Question seeking information. Simple sentences. Facial clues.Popular conversational signs.A word about Deaf culture
2A word about learning ASLQuestion/answer conversation about learning ASL.Yes/no questions. Simple sentence. Topic/comment sentence. Facial clues.Yes/no responses. Signs that express feelings.A portrait of a Deaf club
3First step in learning ASL: PracticeSetting up an appointment to meet someone. Saying goodbye.Asking a question using a wh-word (i.e., WHEN). Topic/comment sentence. Placement of signs for time. Saying goodbyeNumber. Signs for time and departing. Directional verb-sign.Deaf sports
4Making conversationFormal manner for greeting. Common conversational phrases.Simple sentence. Yes/no question. Question seeking information.Directional verb-sign. Courtesy signs.National Organizations of the Deaf
5Ending the conversationInquiring about someone’s feelings.Facial clues. Yes/no question. Question seeking information. Topic/comment. Simple sentence.Signs that express feelings.A Deaf joke: The Deaf bank robber.
6Putting a face on your signsQuestion/answer conversation about feelings.Facial clues. Simple sentence.More signs related to feelings.Face values (Importance of facial expressions)
7Meeting someoneCasual start-up conversation when people meet.Simple sentence. Topic/comment sentence.Signs related to greeting someone when late. More courtesy signs.Sign language interpreters
8Making plans to do somethingPlanning to go out to eat.Simple sentence. Topic/question structure.Common fast food restaurant. Signs related to eating.Regional variations in signs
9Changing plansChanging plans after getting lost going someplace.Negation. Simple sentence. Topic/comment.Negative sign (NOT). Food signs.Insights into ASL
10Going placesConversation about going places.Simple sentence. Starting a conversation with WHAT-DO sign.Signs associated with places to go.Closed captioning.

Lesson Organization

Each lesson is based on seven easy steps:

  1. Learning the Signs
    There is a dialog between two people in each lesson. You are shown how to sign each ASL sign used in the dialog.
  2. Creating Sentences
    Each dialog is separated into sentences. A clear description is given of how the sentences are translated from English to ASL. You are shown how to sign each sentence.
  3. The Complete Dialog
    You watch and practice a dialog between two Deaf signers.
  4. Additional Signs
    Each lesson has additional signs for you to learn that are not in the dialog.
  5. Practice Activities
    Practice activities help you exercise your new knowledge of ASL. You translate English sentences to ASL. After you have done this, a single click shows you one way for the signing the sentence in ASL.
  6. Quiz
    Take the quiz to find out if you are ready to move on to the next lesson.
  7. Culture Information
    Each lesson ends with information about Deaf people and the way they live. This section provides insight and motivation for helping you learn ASL.

Final Exam and Certificate

After completion of the lessons, you can take the final exam for the course to test your newly learned ASL knowledge. Upon successfully passing the final exam, you will earn a Signing Online certificate of completion. The certificate is available online in digital form. You can print the certificate to mark your accomplishment.

Continuing Education- add to cart from drop-down menu at registration

Educator SCECHs - If you are an educator, you can take the above courses for State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH) for $95.00 per course. The SCECHs are issued by the Michigan Department of Education and sponsored by Michigan State University. You earn 15 hours per course. To receive SCECHs, you must log at least 15 hours online and fill out a Signing Online SCECH completion form. Sign, date, and send to Signing Online so that we can send it on to MSU for further processing and forwarding to MDE.


Tools to Help You Learn

With your enrollment, you receive complete access to several useful tools and resources to aid you in your learning, including:

  • Dictionary
    You have quick access to over 2000 ASL signs.
  • Fingerspelling
    ASL uses a manual alphabet where a different handshape is used to represent each letter of the alphabet. These handshapes can be seen at anytime.
  • Numbers
    ASL uses different handshapes to represent numbers. These handshapes can be seen at anytime.
  • Glossary
    At the click of a button you can refresh your memory about ASL rules and signing techniques.

How long does it take?

You are given six months to complete the course. The time it takes to complete the course will vary depending on your previous experience with sign language, ASL, and your own learning style.

With that said, the site will pace you so you can take at most one lesson per day. Each lesson should take you about 1-2 hours of online time. Therefore, a complete course would take 10 days, taking on average around 15-20 hours total to complete.

How much does it cost?

The cost to take this online course is $75.00. ($95.00 to earn SCECHs)

If you enroll in more than one course at a time, the course access duration will be extended. 

How do I enroll?

You may enroll below.