Discover the Best ASL Classes in NYC
American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language in contrast to most being auditory. ASL is a language intended to help people communicate through hand motions, shapes, and placement along with facial expression and body movement. The visual language possesses its own rules of grammar and syntax. Many high schools, universities, and other educational institutions in the United States accept ASL as a foreign language requirement needed for graduation.
There are plenty of options for learning American Sign Language in a place like New York City, which has several schools that offer training in ASL from expert instructors who can provide students with a thorough education. New York City offers a wide range of learning options from beginner-level to advanced ASL courses.
As with any language, ASL possesses regional accents and dialects depending on where people may be from, their socio-economic living environment, and other factors that can affect pronunciation whether spoken or signed.
Why You Should Learn ASL in NYC
People living in New York City should want to learn ASL for several reasons. As with learning any new language, learning ASL can contribute to improving brain functions by opening up new ways of thinking along with creating new methods for communicating with others. Of course, the main reason for learning ASL would be for communicating with the deaf or hearing impaired, who may be family members, colleagues, or students. However, acquiring skills with ASL can be used to help with community functions or lead to work as an interpreter or educator. Training in ASL can contribute to a career in education or providing interpretive services at churches, for meetings, or work in broadcasting.
Knowledge in ASL allows anyone with or without hearing difficulties to become involved in a variety of activities by simply expanding their horizons. As stated, the ability to communicate using ASL allows people to meet new people, give back to their community, or find a new career.
In-Person ASL Classes & Schools in NYC
While there are plenty of online courses available for learning ASL, many people simply feel more comfortable learning something new inside a classroom with an instructor standing right here in front of them. For those individuals, there are ASL courses available around New York City that provide opportunities for in-person training.
In-person training offers the benefit of learning among others by being able to make eye contact or pick up on subtle body language, which is especially important in a course for learning a visual language. Another benefit of occupying a classroom is the advantage of being able to personally interact with the instructor and classmates. While there are plenty of reasons for choosing online learning over having to attend in-person, the physical experience of sitting in a room with other people is difficult to argue against.
Anyone interested can learn ASL from the Sign Language Center, located at 39 E. 30th Street – Suite 2R in New York City, for the Level 1 ASL course. This program provides students with an introduction to ASL and Deaf culture. The course trains students with lessons for developing a strong basic vocabulary with an emphasis on syntax and grammar. Training emphasizes best practices for fingerspelling along with understanding space and gesturing.
This six-session course costs $225.
Prerequisite: This beginner level course lists no prerequisites.
Some students may choose to attend the Sign Language Center for the Conversational Class, which emphasizes conversation as a way of enhancing fluency with signing for new ASL learners. This course focuses on storytelling in order to facilitate better comprehension of the visual language through comfort and familiarity.
This six-session course costs $200.
Prerequisite: This course has no prerequisite but is listed as an advanced course, which indicates that some experience in ASL may be necessary.
Students can enroll at Wagner College Lifelong Learning, located at 631 Avenue in Staten Island, for the American Sign Language course that trains newcomers in the visual-gestural-kinesthetic method of communicating with members of the Deaf community. In this beginner-level course, participants will be trained on basic vocabulary and grammar for ASL. Upon completing this course, students will have developed the communication skills needed for interacting with family members, friends, and classmates who are deaf, hearing impaired, or non-verbal.
This 12-session course costs $259.
Prerequisite: This beginner-level course lists no prerequisites.
Anyone interested can attend Borough of Manhattan Community College, located at 199 Chambers Street in New York City, to enroll in the Introduction to American Sign Language course. This course is designed for students who have some experience with ASL and would like to enhance their skills for communicating with the visual language. However, this course can also help beginners with little or no knowledge in sign language by preparing them for further training.
This course trains participants in the fundamentals for ASL with lessons on hand shaping, facial expressions, vocabulary, syntax, semantics, and phrasing that allows them to participate comfortably in signed conversation.
This eight-session course costs $465.
Prerequisite: This beginner-level class lists no prerequisites.
Students must provide a valid ID.
Parents can take advantage of Look Make Sign, which is a free workshop offered through the Children’s Museum of the Arts, located at 103 Charlton Street in New York City. This workshop focuses on deaf children from six to 12-years-old, who are invited to explore museum exhibitions with their families. This workshop is provided by the Children’s Museum of Arts’ gallery with a teaching artist and an American Sign Language interpreter.
This ASL-only workshop is offered for free to members of the Deaf community.
Virtual ASL Classes & Schools
Working every day in a city like New York can make finding time for learning any new language or getting to a classroom difficult, if not impossible. Because of this, virtual learning offers a useful option that provides hands-on training in ASL from expert instructors who can help students learn language skills for contributing to community activities that include interpreting for church services and other types of meetings or finding careers as interpreters or educators without ever having to leave home to attend class.
Live online training provides convenience for learning how to communicate and contribute to the Deaf community for personal, social, or professional reasons.
People interested in learning ASL through live online training can enroll with Continuing Professional Studies at Bank Street for the American Sign Languages Module 1 online course, which provides beginning students with an immersive option for learning ASL. The main objective of this course is for students to learn how to fluently communicate with the deaf or hearing impaired along with exploring alternative methods for communicating with hearing children who have language disorders that may affect their ability to comprehend spoken English. Lessons explore aspects of Deaf culture along with how ASL has become an essential component in everyday communication.
This four-session course costs $425.
Prerequisites: This beginner-level class requires no prerequisites.
Students must have an Internet connection and administrative access on their computers and laptops.
Students can enroll at Los Angeles City College for the American Sign Language for Adults online course. This program strives to make participants comfortable with learning how to sign. Students will learn the basic language structure of ASL with an emphasis on Deaf culture. This course emphasizes fingerspelling, facial grammar, facial expressions, and receptive skills for communicating through sign language.
This five-session course costs $55.
Prerequisites: This beginner’s course has no prerequisites.
This course requires the book American Sign Language Workbook: Exercises to Build Your Signing Vocabulary.
People can enroll at the Sign Language Center to take the Level 6 ASL online course. This program immerses students in training for not only learning sign language but becoming familiar with Deaf culture. This course is designed for students with advanced ASL training. Lessons include using ASL-related media like film, vlogs, and deaf humor as well as Deaf culture related political topics, education, and social events. Students will also discuss deaf idioms, slang, and topics related to ASL.
This six-session course costs $225.
Prerequisites: Students must have completed the ASL Levels 1 through 5 courses.
Individuals interested in learning ASL can find training at ABC Languages SF, which offers the ASL | Total Beginner online class. This course trains students who have little or no knowledge of ASL in learning the language. Lessons emphasize communicating with the deaf or hard-of-hearing who may be the students’ family members, friends, or colleagues. Skills in American Sign Language can be used to participate in Deaf community activities or pursue careers in education or interpreting for corporations, government agencies, or media outlets.
Through this course, students will learn basic ASL conversational skills, grammar, and vocabulary for developing a better understanding of the language for personal and professional goals.
This eight-session course costs $350.
Prerequisites: This beginner-level class lists no prerequisites.
Students must have a dependable Internet connection along with a computer or electronic device in order to access this virtual learning course. The school recommends accessing the course five to ten minutes before the start of class to assure being able to set up the electronic devices and connections.
Some students may choose to enroll at the Sign Language Center for the Conversational Class, which is an online course that focuses on conversations for enhancing fluency for ASL students. This course places an emphasis on storytelling that can lead to a better comprehension of the language through comfort and familiarity.
This six-session course costs $200.
Prerequisites: This beginner-level course requires no prerequisites.
New York City College of Technology offers the online Children’s Basic American Sign Language course for introducing young people to ASL. This beginner’s course teaches children how to use sign language for communicating through lessons on the alphabet, numbers, colors, and other everyday topics like family, pets, and places for carrying on general conversations with the visual language.
This eight-session course costs $165.
Prerequisites: This beginner-level course lists not prerequisites.
Private Group ASL Classes in NYC
Anyone interested can use CourseHorse for staging live group class events in New York City related to various subjects. While CourseHorse has no directly related ASL team building events listed, groups can use the website’s contact form to book ASL courses for private group events. CourseHorse also allows clients to adjust the group size after booking an event if needed. CourseHorse also provides customers who book private group events access to the education provider’s existing network that includes print and digital publishers.
ASL has become accepted by many universities as a foreign language for meeting course requirements in order to graduate college. Skills in this visual language open opportunities for not only new options for communication but create new possibilities for socializing and contributing to the community or local churches as well as careers as interpreters or educators.