Knowing how to do American Sign Language (ASL) is a beneficial skill to have. It is helpful for communication in business, education, and social settings.
Aside from attending a sign language class, there are various other learning materials that you can use to pick up this skill. You can buy books, DVDs, or CDs, or search the internet for free lessons. You can even download an app on your phone to learn ASL. The Ace ASL app is one of the most popular ones available.
In this article, we will give you a detailed review of the Ace ASL app so that you can decide for yourself if it will be helpful to have to learn one of the best skills to learn online.
What is Ace ASL?
Ace ASL is a sign language learning app for iOS and Android devices. It is the first AI-based app to teach ASL and it helps students with fingerspelling or spelling out words with ASL signs.
The app was created by three deaf siblings, Melissa, Matt, and Megan Malzkuhn. Together with their lead Engineer, Tim Kettering, they wanted to make it easier for people to learn to sign, connect with the community, and provide immediate feedback on the signs.
The Ace ASL app started as a passion project that the siblings created on the side of their jobs. With the positive response they got, even when the app was still developing, their team bagged the People’s Choice Award at the Media Rise Festival in 2013.
- The interface is straightforward and user-friendly
- You will learn basic numbers and letters
- Features hand recognition technology that immediately tells if you are doing the correct sign or not
- Allows users to choose their dominant hand
- Allows users to set practice reminders
- Includes challenge setting and quizzes, where you can use your understanding of sign language or fingerspelling
- There are no live instructors
- The app is only helpful for ASL and fingerspelling—you will need to buy the premium version to access all the features
- It is not available offline
The Ace ASL app is a mobile application that teaches ASL to people of all ages. It provides diverse lessons and activities recommended for those wanting to start their sign language learning process. It’s affordable and is an excellent investment for anyone looking to expand their skill set.
Ease of Use
The interface is user-friendly, and the navigation is straightforward. Users can easily find what they’re looking for, and the video lessons are short and to the point. The Ace ASL app is an excellent way for novice sign language speakers to start learning.
The app displays letters and words to you and then watches you spell the word or form the letter using your camera. It then calculates a grade for you, allowing you to continue practicing.
The Ace ASL app offers various lessons, including fingerspelling and numbers. It also features hand recognition technology that immediately tells you if you’re doing the correct sign or not.
Its database has over 1,000 signs, with more than 500 still in progress. There are also video lessons and quizzes to help you master the material. The overall lesson content is basic but well-organized and easy to follow. It lets you learn at your own pace and allows you to select the degree of difficulty. If you’re up for a challenge, try changing the speeds and difficulties.
The Ace ASL app offers three significant sections. You can select the “Get Lessons” section for interactive learning of letters and digits in ASL. You can also watch native ASL users repeat, use flashcards and signing exercises to memorize, then take quizzes to assess your progress.
The ASL “Free practice” section contains the best exercises for both expressive and receptive skills. You can rehearse the signs or work on recognizing ASL signing from others and get immediate feedback.
In the last section, you can push yourself to see how well you recognize fingerspelling. The difficulty levels are Beginner, Easy, Normal, Hard, and Expert. Each level has ten units, and you must unlock levels progressively.
The app features videos of the signs that can be played repeatedly, in slow motion, or added to your favorites for easy access.
While YouTube tutorial classes frequently have students, the Ace ASL app instructors are all multigenerational deaf signers, native signers, or top-notch linguists. According to one of its creators, the team’s goal was to establish authenticity and trust with users.
Ace ASL is an effective way to learn signing. It’s user-friendly, and the video lessons are concise. The quizzes at the end of each unit help users assess their understanding of the material.
However, the overall progress depends on the person’s dedication to practicing and learning.
The application offers a “freemium” model. The basic packages of signs are included with the software, but users need to purchase extra packages such as “life events” or “mood swings.” The first interactive session is free, so you can test the AI-based feedback before making a purchase decision.
The current subscription fee for Ace ASL is $3.99 per month or $9.99 per year.
Most users are happy to know that, finally, there’s an interactive signing program. One user shared that the app can even read her hand in low light.
One of the users also shared that she tried the free spelling practice and eventually purchased the premium access. From there, she enjoyed the experience even more. She applauded the fact that the app allows you to practice fingerspelling.
In general, users are happy with Ace ASL, especially considering its affordable price. However, they are looking forward to more features being integrated into the app by the developers.
Their customer service team is generally responsive, although there are instances where it will take them a little longer to get back to you.
Who is it For?
The Ace ASL app is for those who want to learn signing for whatever purpose. It’s user-friendly, comprehensive, and best for beginners. The video lessons are easy to understand, and the quizzes at the end of each unit allow users to apply everything they have learned from the classes.
Will I Really Learn ASL with this App?
The Ace ASL app is a great way to learn sign language, but it’s essential to remember that it’s not a complete replacement for taking an actual class. The best way to learn ASL is by immersion in the language, which means using it regularly.
However, the Ace ASL app is an excellent tool for those wanting to learn the basics of ASL and it will build a foundation for further learning.
How to Download the Ace ASL App
The Ace ASL app is available for download on the App Store and Google Play. Search for “Ace ASL,” and the app should appear. Once you find the app, click “Install” and wait for the app’s icon to appear on your phone.
Once the icon is there, the app is ready for use.
How is ASL Different from Other Sign Languages?
ASL is a visual language that uses hand shapes, directionality, palm orientation, body language, and facial expressions to convey meaning. ASL differs from other sign languages because of its grammar, idioms, and vocabulary.
Different types of signing are developed in various regions, just like spoken languages. British Sign Language (BSL) is very different from ASL, even if both countries speak English. For example, ASL uses one hand for fingerspelling, while BSL uses two hands.
Although many sign languages overlap, someone who knows only ASL would not be able to communicate with someone who knows only BSL.
Why Should You Learn ASL?
- Improved communication skills—learning ASL can increase anybody’s capacity to communicate non-verbally
- A better understanding of deaf culture—by learning ASL, you will gain a better understanding of the deaf community and their culture
- A new way to express yourself—ASL is a visual language expressed through hand gestures, body language, and facial expressions, it is a unique way to communicate with others
How Long Does it Take to Learn ASL?
Learning any language takes time and practice, but some people learn ASL more quickly than others. It depends on your exposure to the language and how often you use it.
Some people can become conversational in ASL within a few months, while others may take years to reach that level.
Will I Get a Certificate After Finishing All the Lessons?
For now, there is no certificate provided after completing the lessons. However, the app does keep track of your progress and displays your completion percentage for each unit.
Knowledge of ASL is beneficial to many people for a variety of reasons. It is essential to communicate with those who are deaf or hard of hearing, and it can also be helpful in other situations.
The Ace ASL app is a great way to learn sign language. It’s user-friendly, comprehensive, and best for beginners. The video lessons are short and relatable for beginners.
We hope this Ace ASL review will encourage you not just to download the app but to really understand the basics of sign language and eventually learn more about it in the long run.