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Sign Language Courses

Learn sign language and the evolution of the language today on edX! Whether or not you already have conversational ASL skills, take ASL courses to learn basic signs and even become an ASL pro.

Why is Sign Language Important?

Sign language is a method of communication for the deaf and hard of hearing. Like spoken languages, it has unique rules of grammar and syntax. One of the most famous sign languages, American Sign Language, is used by around one million people. The deaf community promotes language skills through school and home learning methods and advocates for ASL as a standard method of communication. Schools such as Gallaudet University promote inclusion and accessibility rights in addition to providing quality education specifically for deaf people. Signers frequently experience discrimination in accessibility, but the long history of sign language is a vital part of the expansion of rights for the deaf community. The language has native signers just like any other human language, and young children today have access to more resources than ever.

Learn Sign Language

Whether you want to know the history of sign language or are pursuing fluency beyond fingerspelling, edX.org has asl courses and certifications designed with leaders in the field of language studies. The classes are built to meet you wherever you are, studying from home and on your own schedule. You'll be able to complete courses at your leisure for free or receive official certification for a fee. The structure is accessible to a variety of needs and allows students to study at some of the leading institutions of higher learning.

Sign Language Courses and Certifications

Georgetown University offers a full certification course in ASL designed to introduce students to the history of the language and its development. This course is designed to go beyond simple ASL instruction and introduce the linguistic theory behind the development of visual languages. Individual courses introduce basic concepts of gestures that gave rise to the ASL alphabet and how the influence of hearing parents affected the course of the language's development. Students will also understand how the culture of the child influences learning sign language and the way that different sign languages arose in response. Students will also understand the deaf culture and how deaf studies have influenced language learning within the community both for deaf children and hearing children of deaf parents. The interplay of hearing people with the deaf community is a final consideration, along with the job prospects of a variety of communities within the broader deaf community.

Building Sign Language Understanding

The deaf community has had a profound effect on English and the culture of the United States. Whether it's ASL, British Sign Language, or other variants, the work of the deaf community to bring understanding to modern culture is extraordinary. edX can provide a path for a more in-depth understanding of sign language history as well as many other fields that interest you. You can begin your journey at your own pace and allow edX and partner institutions to build a foundation of learning.