ASL (American Sign Language) Alphabet | Jenna Nix | Skillshare

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ASL (American Sign Language) Alphabet

teacher avatar Jenna Nix

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (12m)
    • 1. Alphabet Intro

    • 2. Alphabet Teaching

    • 3. Alphabet Project

    • 4. Alphabet Practice

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About This Class

No prior experience needed.

This beginners ASL class will introduce and explain the concept of hand dominance and give a step by step instruction of how to sign the letters of the alphabet using American Sign Language. 

There is also an alphabet practice video with my best tip for increasing letter fluency. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Jenna Nix


Hi! I'm so glad you're here.

I taught public high school grades 9-12 for seven years. Over the course of those seven years I taught (and am certified in) American Sign Language for six, public speaking for five, and photojournalism for one. I absolutely loved my job! I love interacting with my students and watching them learn new skills and develop confidence!

I family expanded with my first son 6 years ago, and I've been home growing my family since then. I have three kids now, ages six, four, and two.

I am so thankful to be able to stay home with my children, but I miss developing relationships and having fun with students so I'm thrilled to be a part of Skill Share and have the opportunity to still be home with my kids, but also to be ... See full profile

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1. Alphabet Intro: Hello. In this video, I'm going to teach you how to sign the alphabet and American Sign Language. 2. Alphabet Teaching: Before we begin learning the alphabet first, I want to introduce to you the concept of a dominant hand. In sign language. You are going to need to choose which hand is going to be your dominant hand. It's usually the hand that you write with. So for me it's my right hand. I am right-handed dominant. But every now and then someone who's right-handed to fright feels more comfortable with their left hand as their dominant and vice versa. So I encourage you to kind of use both hands to see which one feels better and more natural to you. But once you decide that that's a hinge, you'll stick with I will always be your dominant hand. And that's kind of a very important component to sign language. So that'll be something I will reference in pretty much every video that I have, I will tell you which movement your dominant hand is doing and what your non-dominant hand is doing. So again, I'm right-handed dominant. For one-handed signs. Your dominant hand is the sign or the hand that's going to be doing those signs. So that's the baseline. Okay, So here we go. Let's go into the alphabet, a, B, C, D. So for D, D is sometimes tricky. All of your fingers are down touching your thumb except for the pointer finger that's like the stem of the d. So there's a circle with the stem D, E. All of your fingertips are resting on top of your thumb. F, G. And G would be like if you were showing someone, you know, it was this big, something really small, like you're pinching something small. Let's facing this way. H, and your thumb is right here. H I, J, J, K. So K is another tricky one. For k. You're going to make a peace sign and then put your thumb right here in between. That's how you make a K and it's kind of pointing upwards, K, L, M. So your thumb is kind of hiding underneath three fingers and it just peeking out. M n, you're going to move it over to now it's underneath to 0, P. So P is the same thing that K was. K is facing up, P is facing down. So again, you're gonna kinda make that peace sign. Put your thumb in the middle and then pointed down p, q, q is the same thing that g, g, Q, Q is pointing down. Are you're just going to cross over. You're going to cross your finger, palm out. S you're making a fist, your thumb is covering t. So remember we did m, then we scooted over one for n, o and then t. So that's kinda the progression of the letters throughout the hand. So T is hiding underneath just one. You, that was the same thing as H. And now we're pointing up for u, v, the peace sign, W, X, like a little pirate hook. Y, z. I would like to encourage you right now that if, if you feel confused or like it takes you a minute to figure out how to get your fingers to match what I'm doing. The wonder, one of the wonderful things about sign language is that it's muscle memory. And so the more that you practice this and the more you do it, your, your muscles will begin to remember what they're supposed to be doing. And so it will get easier as you go. Okay, so let's go over that one more time. A, B, C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y C. Okay, I hope you had fun learning the alphabet with me. Thank you. 3. Alphabet Project: Okay, the project for this class is going to be two things. First, I want you to sign the whole alphabet, a to Z. And if you need to sing along to help you stay focused and stay on track, that is totally fine with me. No judgment for whatever kind of singing voice you have. No judgment. I only just I'm looking at your letters. So feel free to do that if you want to. The second thing I wanted to do for the project is to introduce yourself. And you're going to introduce yourself using your first and last name. American sign language has different grammar than English. That which is why a qualifies as a foreign language. It has a different grammar construct. So in English we say my name is, and then you say your name. In sign language. You don't say my, you say I am named. You use name as the verb instead of a noun. So I am named. And then you're going to spell your name. So FirstName, pause last name. And you notice you just leave your hand in the same spot. In between the first and last name. You just do a pause between words. You don't have to like move it over and then keep moving it over because then it goes outside of the vision box. And so you want to keep it here, you just make a pause in between words. The other thing you may have noticed just now was that my first name has a double letter. So J E N, N. For N, N, I just did a little a, we'll call it a double take. Another option you can do is to do a slide. So I could do J, E, N N a. And it's really sort of a personal preference, some letters and makes more sense to do a double than a slide to, it just sort of depends. You have to kind of play around with it because certain words, the flow of the word makes more sense to do a double. Like for my name, the W is just a little bit faster. But some words it's easier to do the slider like l. L will be hard to kind of do a double. So if you have a double l, you might do the slide. Or like tt is usually going to be the double. But it's not wrong if you do the slides. So again, play around with that. Decide what feels comfortable for you. And then again in your video, I want you to practice saying I M named and then spell your name at whatever speed is comfortable for you. And then I also want you to show me the alphabet from a to Z and upload that as your video. I hope you're having fun and I look forward to seeing you in one of my other classes. 4. Alphabet Practice: This video is for additional practice with the alphabet. So I'm going to go through the alphabet at different speeds. And your job is to try to keep up pace with me. So we're going to start off sort of slowly. A, B, C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y, Z. Okay? Now we're gonna go a little bit faster and you're trying to keep up a, B, C, D E, F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y, Z. Okay? Now go a little bit faster. A B, C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y, Z. Okay? So just go back through those and you can practice at the speed that fills nice for you until you're ready to bump up to the faster speed. The goal is not to be able to do it super crazy fast. The goal is for it to feel comfortable for you and for your hand to just start to flow into the next letter. Again, not necessarily alphabet specific, but when you're spelling words. Another trick or not check, but another best practice tip that I have for practicing the alphabet is as you're driving around, if you're a passenger in the car, as you're sitting watching TV or your work and you're listening to the radio, or just observing, start finger spelling, this is the sign for spelling. Start spelling. Everything you're seeing and hearing. So like for me right now I can see my dog, DOJ, and I'm just sitting around so that my hand is right here in my lab, so it doesn't have to be a big deal. You can just do it in your lab so you can be present, but also be practicing here at the sign language or like the window W T them to view window. My computer. So you just practice as much as you can, whatever you can observe, observe visually or auditorily. Sign it, practice spelling it so that your spelling will do that natural flow that I was talking about, that would be the goal. And you will definitely notice improvement if you are spelling whatever you're seeing.