Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Here at Deaf Expressions, we offer both an American Sign Language class and a Conversational Sign Language class. Many people don't know the difference. Let's see if I can help clear some things up....

American Sign Language is a full, vibrant, foreign language with no association with English. It has its own sentence structure, grammar, syntax, and much more. If you're interested in learning Sign Language because you want to become a professional interpreter or you're a homeschool student wanting to learn ASL as a foreign language credit at most colleges and universities, this class may be the better class for you. We work from a very good book and the class is extremely challenging, with research papers and videos required. This is for the most serious student. It's also what I use and prefer. 

However, if you are just wanting to learn Sign Language because it looks neat or you want to converse with deaf people in a general way, it isn't necessary to learn the foreign language of ASL (though, again, I suggest you do). You can learn something called Contact Sign. That means that you learn true ASL signs, but you sign them in English word order. This is what our Conversational Sign classes do. We supply the workbook for this class. It's a lot of fun! With our Conversational Sign classes, we teach true ASL vocabulary (for example, we do not teach English signs like ARE, AM, etc.), but we put it in English word order.

We hope that helps clear things up and that you'll register for an ASL or CSL class soon!