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Where to learn Australian Sign Language (AUSLAN)?

Here are some greats resources to start learning AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language).

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1. Hello Asphyxia WordPress Blog:

The Hello Asphyxia blog is run by an Australian girl called Asphyxia. She has developed an extensive and free AUSLAN course, where she runs through all the basic words and phrases that you would need when you are first learning Australian sign language (AUSLAN).

There are three levels in her free online blog, which consists of a set list of phrases and videos of her modeling how to sign those phrases. She also writes more broadly about deaf culture and hearing culture as well, which can help you understand a variety of different perspectives.

The Hello Asphyxia blog walk through the following phrases for Auslan sign language:

  • Fingerspelling
  • Greetings
  • Asking Questions
  • Conversation Vocabulary
  • Sign language to indicate purpose (will / won’t / can / can’t / etc.)
  • Sign language for babies
  • Animal Auslan signs
  • Transport signs (walk, run, etc.)
  • Signs about deafness
  • Communication signs
  • Pronoun signs
  • Frequently used words
  • People signs
  • and many, many more!

As you can see, the AUSLAN sign language online courses which she has constructed are very very comprehensive.

(Love learning languages? Then try the Extensive Reading strategy to learn language fast with no sweat!)

Asphyxia has also written a book called Future Girl which is a coming-of-age novel set in near-future Melbourne, as well as an exploration into d/Deaf identity. More details are on her website here.


2. AUSLAN Sign Language Youtube Playlist

This is the AUSLAN youtube playlist for Asphyxia’s online courses.

The sign language youtube playlist has all of the videos which go into all the basic signs that you need to learn AUSLAN sign language.

It is perfect for those who want to see all the videos in one concise playlist, as well as those who want to review the vocabulary and signs after learning them for the first time.


3. Sign Bank for Australian Sign Language (AUSLAN)

The somewhat official website of AUSLAN sign language has a free Auslan sign bank which is like a dictionary of signs.

The AUSLAN sign bank has 4921 signs in the AUSLAN dictionary at the time of writing and is always being updated based on feedback from the deaf community.

There are videos included so that you can see precisely how to sign each of the words.

(Read the “The Vegetarian” in Korean – all words and definitions explained here!)

There are no real levels included for learners of AUSLAN – so this resource is best used for a dictionary to look up or just to explore the many signs that are available to users or learners of AUSLAN.


4. Online Courses for Auslan Sign Language ($165)

The Deaf Society of NSW has different courses for learners of Australian Sign Language (AUSLAN). Some are face-to-face and some are online.

The online course which is for beginners of AUSLAN is called Sign Online and at the moment of writing costs $165.

The course has the flexibility of online learning. This means that you enrol at any time, and study at your own pace.

However, there are still some deadlines. After you have enrolled you have 8 weeks to finish 14 hours of content. So that means you only need to do around 1.5 hours each week for 8 weeks. Not that difficult for those really wanting to learn AUSLAN.

In the course you will learn:

  • greetings and introductions
  • giving and requesting personal details
  • counting in AUSLAN
  • fingerspelling in AUSLAN
  • asking and answering simple questions with who, what, when, where, etc.
  • communicating using practical vocabulary such as colours, days of the week and family

If you want more current details and prices, please see the course website here.


5. Movies and Films about the Deaf Community or Featuring the Deaf:

On Wikipedia you can find an extensive list of films which feature the deaf and hard of hearing.

Some of the films aren’t really about the deaf, but merely feature a minor character who is deaf.

Some other films have a main character or focus mainly on the deaf and the deaf community. These are more interesting for their new perspectives.

Some are pretty famous movies too such as A Quiet Place – which also has a sequel (A Quiet Place II) coming out soon. Some movies seem to be pretty interesting to watch too such as Babel which stars Brad Pitt in one of the four main narratives in the movie.


Summary:

There are a fair few resources for beginners to learn Auslan sign language. Some are free and comprehensive, while some cost money but are run by professional organisations.

All in all there is a lot to sink your teeth in if you want to Auslan sign langauge.

See you in the next post!

Peace!
A.J. McMahon
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(P.S. Got some books you want me to review? Then…)

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GoodReads: A.J. McMahon

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