Can You Teach Yourself Sign Language?

Learning new languages takes time and patience. The same goes for sign languages. Just like every other language, it requires time and good study materials to become competent in sign language. The best way to learn sign leagues is through formal instructions and practice. A trained teacher can show you the best ways to grasp sign languages. However, if you are unable to find a teacher, don’t worry. You can be your own teacher. There are many ways you can teach yourself sign languages while sitting in the comfort of your home. Stay with this blog till the end and find out how to teach yourself sign language.

The Parameters of Sign Languages 

There are 5  parameters of sign leagues you must know about if you want to learn sign language. These are 

  • Handshape

Every single language consists of its own handshapes. Some of the sign languages use the same handshape as other languages

  • Location

Location means the place where the sign is articulated. It shows the space where the movement takes place.

  • Movement

 Movement is implied between two different places of articulation. A sign can consist of an additional internal movement of the wrists or fingers. These are considered secondary movements.

  • Orientation 

           Orientation or palm orientation is the direction in which the palm is facing.

  • Non-manual Components 

Body language, head position, eye gaze, and facial expressions provide linguistic information in sign language. These are called the non-manual features.

Types of Sign Language 

There are different types of sign languages. These languages have different types of signs. Sign languages have a lot to do with your location and the verbal language spoken there. For example, the signs used in American Sign Language are not similar to the British Sign Language.

So, before you start learning sign language, you have to choose the right one for you. Then, you can start gathering your materials and begin your learning journey.

6 Ways to Teach Yourself Sign Language 

1. Online Videos

You can learn anything anytime you want while sitting right at your home, thanks to technology. Like every other subject, you can learn sign language through online videos. There are many YouTube channels and videos that can help you learn sign language on your own. These videos will teach you to sign from the very beginning. You can rewatch and pause the videos according to your preference. Therefore, you can learn at your own time and pace. 

2. Online Courses

There are many online sign language courses available. These courses are designed to provide you with a basic to advanced understanding of sign language. You can find courses on different types of sign languages. Some of these courses are free, and for others, you will need to pay. Online courses are a great way to learn sign language. These courses are designed by experts and allow you to learn at your preferred time. On top of that, these courses provide assistance to clear out all your confusion. There are many online courses that help you learn sign language and provide a certificate after completing the course. These certificates will be highly beneficial if you wish to pursue a career in the relevant industries. 

3. Apps

Surprisingly enough, you can learn sign language even from apps. There are many apps dedicated to teaching you sign language. You can learn the sign language alphabet from these apps. In addition, some of these apps work as sign language dictionaries, where you can search for words that you don’t know how to sign. 

4. Books 

If you are not comfortable with online learning, you can go for the traditional way, Books! There are a variety of books available on the market that can help you learn sign language. For example, you can get step by step learning guide books, sign language dictionaries and other types of books. However, there is a drawback to learning from books. When you learn from books, you can not see the movement of the hands. That is why it becomes challenging to understand the signs. 

5. Recorded Videos 

You have another excellent option for learning sign language, and that is watching pre-recorded videos. There are many DVDs created to teach sign language. You can get one of these DVDs and start learning sign language.  

6. Follow Interpreters 

Following a sign language interpreter is also another way to learn sign languages. Now you may ask where to find them? You can find sign language interpreters in deaf community events or other events. Sometimes Even concerts have sign language interpreters. Many channels have interpreters in their programs to interpret the show for deaf audiences. However, this process will give just the basic knowledge of sign language; it is not preferable for advanced learning. 

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