Teaching kids American Sign Language (ASL) can be challenging. It’s a visual language, so kids must be able to see the signs to learn them. And it’s a complex language with its grammar and syntax.
While signing is one of the best skills to learn online, especially during kids’ free time, only a few ASL resources offer this kind of content. One of the available learning platforms out there is the ASL Kids app.
In this ASL Kids app review, we will look at this app and see how it can help kids learn ASL. We’ll go through what you can expect in the app, how it works, and some of its pros and cons.
What is ASL Kids?
ASL Kids is an app that aims to teach kids aged 1 to 12 the American Sign Language. The app explains the most frequent signs from the ASL alphabet, fingerspelling, and baby sign language.
It uses all hand signs and features a large image and sound button to help encourage speech and hearing development. The kids will truly enjoy this application because they can work through it at their own pace.
This free app has all the functionality you can imagine, including 21 free signs and quiz games that kids can take at the end of each lesson to test their progress. You can purchase an optional pack of 50 additional characters to help your kids learn more sign languages.
The app is straightforward, and kids can use it without adult supervision. It doesn’t require an Internet connection and has no external ads or links. And because there’s no lengthy text, kids find it easy to understand the tappable images.
The application is available on both Google Play and the App Store.
- The interface is easy to navigate—images are clear and tappable
- The ASL signs are basic and easy to follow
- Interactive games and quizzes make learning fun
- No external links to ads
- It doesn’t require an Internet connection
- Apart from the videos, there’s separate audio that kids can play to learn how to pronounce a word
- Requires you to pay for additional signs
- It needs more content
- Videos and visuals could be bigger
Ease of Use
The interface of the app is easy to navigate and doesn’t need adult supervision. The images are clear and tappable, and the videos are basic and easy to follow. The separate sound button is a great feature to help kids develop their speech and hearing.
The app doesn’t require an Internet connection, so kids can continue learning American sign language anytime, anywhere.
Currently, the application offers 21 free signs and 50 additional ASL signs for purchase in the app. Although the content is good enough for kids to learn the basics, the app would be much better if it added more signs, visuals, and videos.
As well as the videos and visuals, the application has interactive games and quizzes that make learning fun for kids. You can replay the videos for faster memorization. The separate sound button is also a great feature that can help kids with their speech and hearing abilities.
It is a free app with in-app purchases. The 21 free signs are a good start for kids who want to learn ASL. If you want to unlock the full content of the app, you can buy the additional 50 signs for $1.99.
While there is no chat support yet, the ASL Kids app team still makes sure to read the comments and recommendations of the users for the app’s improvement. Users can reach them via email or through their Facebook page.
Most users agree that the app is excellent, but that the developers should work on adding more content so that the kids don’t get bored from practicing the same sign over and over again. They stressed that they are willing to pay for new signs.
The users also shared that the app is a quick and effective way for both kids and adults to learn to sign. Their kids liked the color and clear visuals, which made them more interested in learning.
Parents also liked that they didn’t need to give too much supervision while their kids were using the app.
Who is the App For?
ASL Kids is an app designed to help kids aged 1–12 learn American Sign Language. The app uses all hand signs and encourages fun learning for kids through the quiz and games sections.
The app is also for parents who want to be more involved in their child’s learning. With the help of the app, parents can monitor their child’s progress and see how much they have learned from the app.
Will Kids Really Learn ASL with this App?
The app is good enough to teach children the fundamentals of signing as it teaches common signs from baby sign language, the American Sign Language dictionary, and finger spelling. The kid can also learn at their own pace with minimal supervision from adults.
However, the app should include more signs if it is to be improved. If the kid is already familiar with the basics, the parents should buy additional signs to help them expand their sign language knowledge.
Aside from continuously studying online, kids should also have constant exposure and interaction with other people to give them more opportunities to learn signing.
How to Download ASL Kids
You can download the app on the App Store or Google Play. To find it, search for “ASL Kids.” Once you see the app, click “Install” and wait for its icon to appear on your phone. When the icon is there, the app is ready to use.
Is it Easier for Kids to Learn ASL?
While some children may find it easier to learn sign language than adults, several factors can affect a person’s ability to learn any language, including American Sign Language. Age is one of many variables influencing how quickly or easily someone picks up a new language.
Kids have an advantage in acquiring language skills. It is often attributed to children’s brains being more adaptable and better able to absorb new information.
Babies as young as six months old can easily remember signs. When they reach eight months old, they can begin to sign single words and copy gestures. At 24 months old, children can sign whole sentences or compound words.
The best age to start teaching sign language to kids is 6–12 months old, their gesture’s developmental age. Familiarizing them with signs early in their life will help them understand before they start copying whatever they see.
Benefits of Teaching ASL to Kids
There are many benefits to children learning ASL, we’ll take a look at some of them below.
Helps Develop Speech and Hearing
Learning sign language can help kids improve their language skills by learning another form of communication. Kids exposed to sign language babbled more and made more vowel sounds than those not exposed to it. Infants also recognize spoken words through constant exposure to sign language.
Teaches Patience and Communication
Because sign language is primarily visual, children who learn American Sign Language must pay close attention to understand what others say. It can be a challenge at first, but with practice, kids can develop the ability to focus and pay attention to detail.
By knowing how to sign, children can develop the ability to communicate with a broader range of people, furthering their social skills. In addition, it is a complex language with its own grammar rules, which helps kids learn about the structure of language.
Develops Cognitive Skills
Learning sign language has a positive impact on the cognitive development of children. It also helps kids to develop spatial awareness and fine motor skills. Children who learn American Sign Language demonstrate higher spatial understanding and problem-solving skills than those who do not.
Promotes Social Skills
Kids who learn sign language develop better social skills than those who do not. This is because ASL provides a way for children to communicate with each other without relying on spoken language.
Moreover, learning sign language gives children a better understanding of body language and nonverbal cues, which are essential social skills.
Strengthens the Bond Between Parents and Kids
In today’s world, it is more important than ever for parents and children to be able to communicate with each other. One way to ensure good communication is to teach them sign language.
Sign language ensures that parents and children can understand what each other are saying. This makes it simpler to resolve disagreements and puts everyone involved at ease.
Kids learn fast and can quickly catch up to their hearing peers in terms of language development. Learning sign language is an excellent way for kids to develop their communication, social, and cognitive skills. It also strengthens the bond between parents and children.
The ASL Kids app is one of the best ASL resources and can help you start teaching your kids sign language. The app is easy to use and includes games and activities to help kids learn sign language in a fun and engaging way.
While it needs more content, the app’s basic signs are a good start for parents and kids who want to be introduced to American Sign Language.