Sign language is known as the third common language used in the United States, as it is the traditional language used by the people with hearing and speech disabilities. In the US, American Sign Language (ASL) is the official sign language used by almost all the institutions while in the UK, there is a sign language designated as the British Sign Language. At the same time, many other countries have adapted the use of sign language to suit its language requirements and therefore might differ slightly when it comes to expressing cultural or region specific gestures.
However, although it is a natural sign language that can allow a person to break the language barrier and communicate with people with hearing and speech disabilities, the resources available for learning such a language was minimal several years before. However, organizations that recognized the growing demand and the interest among the public to learn sign language as the second language ventured into distance learning as a mode of disseminating sign language courses.
Being a visual language that make use of gestures, hand movements and facial expressions; many sign language trainers opted to choose video and imagery as favorable modes of sign language training in recent times. Thus, it did not take much long before such training programs to invade the Internet as it provides an abundance of multimedia options to disseminate the sign language to its intended audience. Therefore, online learning has become one of the main modes of training sign language particularly for the ones who are interested in learning the language as a hobby.
Among the websites that provide sign language training free, American Sign Language University at www.Lifeprint.com is a great resource. It provides around 50 free lessons in relation to various aspects of sign language training while a complete dictionary is also available for references. The site also provides valuable links to books and other sign language learning resources available in the web as well as physically in various locations. When the users need advice and counseling with regard to expanding his or her career as a sign language interpreter or as a teacher, the site will provide the same as and when requested.
www.schoolofsignlanguage.com is another site which contains multiple resources to learn sign language online for free. It makes use of video, pdf’s, posters as well as images to train its users online on the basic communication skills. However, the courses, which are offered for a cost by the British Sign Language could be accessed through the given links.
In addition, www.youtube.com would be a great resource for those who want to learn sign language on their own way and with a basic understanding, it is possible for a person to even master the language without having to pay for courses or having to travel physically to locations which teaches the sign language.
Determining exactly what the areas are that need to be focused on during sign language training would make it easier for a person to search and find free online training for that particular area. Making use of several sites instead of one would also be useful as each site may address the same learning content at various depths.
Thus, learning sign language online without having to spend is possible although in order to become a sign language professional, one should look for college level courses or university level degrees either online or on-campus, which may be available for a course fee.