ASL Bloom Review: Can It Help You Learn Sign Language?
Effective and fun ASL app
The ASL Bloom app is an enjoyable way to learn American Sign Language. The interactive lessons use videos that show how to make the signs correctly. Spaced repetition ensures that you’ll remember what you learned. The focus is on helping you put words and phrases together to have a conversation, not just learn random vocabulary words. It’s best for beginners. Because it’s a new app, the content is still being developed. Intermediate learners will need to find another resource.
- Great for beginners to learn from zero
- Build up from words to phrases to sentences
- Learn about deaf culture and useful tips about ASL
- New app, still developing content
- Additional practice activities are basic
Related Language apps
Table of Contents
ASL Bloom Overview
SignLab is a Norwegian startup with the mission to bring sign language to the world. They began with NSL (Norwegian Sign Language) and have quickly introduced other languages. ASL Bloom is the app and computer platform for American Sign Language.
Shockingly, only 1 in 10 parents of deaf children know how to sign and more than 90% of children with severe hearing loss don’t attend school. These are eye-opening statistics that SignLab hopes to change. They are trying to make learning sign language affordable and available worldwide so family, friends, and educators can interact with and support the deaf community.
ASL Bloom is an effective app for beginner ASL learners. The lessons start with the basics and gradually combine words into phrases and sentences. The design makes it easy to learn, and the spaced repetition helps you review and remember new words. Each word and phrase has a video so you can see exactly how to sign the word and practice along. I’m an ASL beginner, and learning with ASL Bloom didn’t feel overwhelming. The lessons were entertaining and kept my attention.
ASL Bloom Price
The ASL Bloom pricing plan is straightforward. You have the option to pay yearly or quarterly. As of now, there isn’t a monthly payment option. The cost of an annual ASL Bloom Premium subscription is $98.99 per year ($8.25 per month). If you prefer to pay quarterly, you can pay $47.99 every three months ($15.99 per month). The Premium membership gives you access to all the lessons and features currently available, as well as any additional content that’s added in the future.
The yearly subscription is the better deal of the two options. If you pay quarterly, it’s almost double the price. The price of ASL Bloom is similar to other apps with a complete course, like Rocket Sign Language. Other apps, such as The ASL App or Pocket Sign are ASL vocabulary/flashcard apps that offer the option to pay on a monthly basis. There are other free resources online for learning ASL, such as the Sign School app.
ASL Bloom Free Trial
ASL Bloom let’s you access three units of content for free to test out the app. Each unit has 5-6 lessons so you can get a good understanding of how the app works and if you enjoy using it or not.
ASL Bloom Discount
Currently, there are no discounts available for ASL Bloom Premium access.
ASL Bloom Review: How It Can (or Can’t) Help You
Getting started with ASL Bloom is easy. You just download it from Google Play or the App Store and then jump right into learning. Later, you’ll be asked to register your account, but you can try it out without signing up for anything. You can also use ASL Bloom on your computer, but to sign up for the Premium subscription, you have to do it through the app.
The lessons are laid out in a clear order so you know where to start. The video lessons begin with the basics and don’t assume you have any previous knowledge of ASL. The lessons kept my attention because there are a variety of different lesson types. Some focus on learning new signs, some show conversations between two people signing, and some teach interesting information about deaf culture.
Getting started with ASL Bloom is simple, but learning ASL can be difficult. Let’s take a look at some common challenges that language learners face to see if ASL Bloom can help overcome them.
Challenge #1: Beginning a New Language
ASL Bloom was made for beginners, so it’s a perfect choice for anyone looking to start from zero. The first lessons introduce the basics, such as greetings, introductions, and the alphabet. As a beginner myself, after working through the first few units, I felt like I was making progress, but never felt overwhelmed. One feature I liked was the ability to change the video speed to slow mode so I could get a clear picture of how to do the sign.
Challenge #2: Learning & Remembering New Words
If you complete the entire ASL Bloom course, you’ll learn tons of new words that cover the common topics. The lessons use spaced repetition. This means that you’ll practice the signs again to help you remember. The additional practice activities, flashcards and practice quiz, are helpful for reviewing the signs you already learned.
Challenge #3: Understanding & Communicating
Understanding the signs is easy. The videos clearly show you how to sign and the practice questions reinforce the new material. I also enjoyed the conversation lessons that show you how to put everything together. You can turn the captions on or off during the conversations to test your understanding and practice signing along.
Challenge #4: Making Language Learning a Routine
The design of the ASL Bloom app makes it easy to use. Since the lessons are short, you can do a few every day. There are also ways to track your progress. You get points when you complete lessons correctly and try to keep up your daily streak by completing at least one lesson every day. The app keeps track of how many signs you’ve learned. It was motivating to watch my number grow quickly!
Additional Languages Available
ASL Bloom is the American Sign Language App of the SignLab company. Since their mission is to bring sign language to the world, there are many other languages available. They began with Norwegian Sign Language and expanded into China and Indonesia. This year, they released BrightBSL for British Sign Language and ISL Journey to learn Indian Sign Language. They plan to release an app for German, Brazilian, and Italian soon, so keep an eye out!
ASL Bloom Review: Overall Learning Experience
ASL Bloom truly is a fantastic app for anyone that has ever considered learning sign language. The lessons were easy to follow and I enjoyed practicing signing. Since all the words and phrases had videos, it was easy to see exactly how the sign should look.
I’ve used other ASL apps before, and many are purely flashcard apps that teach you random signs. I liked that ASL Bloom, from the very beginning, helps you combine signs together to create questions and responses. The goal is to have conversations, not just learn vocabulary.
I thought it was useful that they have both the literal and figurative translations. ASL is influenced by English, but it’s not the same language. It has its own grammar and syntax. For example, in English, we say “What’s your name?” But in ASL, you use the signs “your + name + question.” Having this kind of translation was very helpful!
ASL Bloom also introduces information about deaf culture to help you understand how and why ASL works the way it does. In addition to being very interesting, I thought this was a very important feature. I never knew that people in the deaf community had a unique sign name instead of spelling out their names each time. Learning tips like this will help make interactions in ASL easier and show an understanding and support of deaf culture.
ASL Bloom Review: Areas of Improvement
I enjoyed learning with ASL Bloom and have very few bad things to say about it. The app is definitely meant for beginners. In total, there are 23 units. They focus on the most important vocabulary, but it doesn’t get much more advanced than topics like appearance, weather, food, etc. ASL Bloom was just released this year, so I’d like to see if they continue to develop their app and create new content.
Additionally, the practice activities appart from the lessons were a bit basic. They were helpful and reinforced what I already learned, but it was repetitive and I didn’t want to practice for very long. Hopefully they’ll continue to expand and improve on these features.
While it seems to be up for debate if mouthing is acceptable or not, I didn’t really like that the person who was signing would mouth the words. It made it too easy and I didn’t really have to remember the sign. I could just look at their mouth if I didn’t remember.
ASL Bloom Alternatives and Competitors
ASL Bloom is a well-designed and helpful app, but there are other choices available if it’s not the right app for you. The ASL App and Lingvano are similar to ASL Bloom. Rocket Sign Language is a good choice if you prefer to learn about deaf culture in addition to learning the language. If you want to learn with a teacher, you can take online classes on the italki platform.
ASL Bloom vs Rocket Sign Language
ASL Bloom and Rocket Sign Language both offer complete courses that help you build up to having conversations, as well as teaching interesting information about deaf culture. With Rocket ASL, you have to pay for the entire course up-front, which is about the same cost as a yearly ASL Bloom subscription. They both offer free content so you can see which one you is right for you before buying. You can also read more about it in this Rocket Sign Language review.
ASL Bloom vs italki
ASL Bloom allows you to study independently. Italki is a language-learning platform that connects you with an ASL teacher for online classes. Teachers set their own prices on italki, and understandably, 1-on-1 classes with a qualified teacher come with a higher price. I would recommend learning the basics with ASL Bloom, and once you finish the course, you can begin taking lessons with an italki teacher. If you’re interested, you can read more about the platform in this italki review.
ASL Bloom vs The ASL App
The ASL App and ASL Bloom were both created to help families and friends of deaf people learn how to sign. The ASL App is a flashcard app that can help you learn tons of new signs, and ASL Bloom offers a more well-rounded course. The price of the two apps is similar if you buy the yearly subscription to ASL Bloom. I prefer ASL Bloom because it focuses more on combining signs and becoming conversational.
ASL Bloom vs Lingvano
ASL Bloom and Lingvano are very similar. They both use short, interactive lessons with videos. They are almost identical in price. ASL Bloom has more content available, but Lingvano offers a monthly payment option. Since both have free content available, you can try them both out to see which one fits your learning style.
ASL Bloom Review FAQ
ASL Bloom is a language app that teaches American Sign Language. The lessons are interactive and you watch videos to learn how to sign. As you progress through the course, you also learn about deaf culture and other important information about ASL.
The cost of an annual ASL Bloom Premium subscription is $98.99 per year ($8.25 per month). If you prefer to pay quarterly, you can pay $47.99 every three months ($15.99 per month). The Premium membership gives you access to all the lessons and features currently available, as well as any additional content that’s added in the future.
You can teach yourself the basics of ASL by using a language app or other online resource. Using an app will help you learn, but if you want to reach a proficient level, it’s necessary to practice with someone who knows the language and can help you improve. You can take classes on a platform like italk or search for a local group class in your area.
If you know English, ASL is relatively easy to learn. You can quickly learn the basics by yourself, and there are many iconic signs that look like their meaning. It’s important to note that ASL is its own language and doesn’t just copy spoken English. There are different grammar and syntax rules that you must learn. As with any language, learning ASL doesn’t have to be difficult, but it will take dedication and practice.
About This ASL Bloom Review
This ASL Bloom review was sponsored by the SignLab company. Langoly is an independent site and we do not let sponsorship affect our reviews. We strive to provide our honest opinion in each review. To write this review, I used a premium subscription to the app and used it for a few hours to thoroughly test its content and features. I also found additional information on the ASL Bloom and SignLab website to verify my findings.