One of the best American Sign Language courses for beginners
Rocket Sign Language goes above and beyond most ASL apps. Its comprehensive course starts with the basics and gradually builds you up to a communicative level. There’s also a big focus on how to sign to express the correct message behind what you want to communicate, and you’ll learn a lot about deaf culture.
- Learn to combine individual signs into phrases
- Detailed lessons
- Information about deaf culture
- You won’t learn as many signs as with other apps
- Lesson style get repetitive
Table of Contents
Rocket Sign Language Overview
Rocket Sign Language is one of the courses offered by Rocket Languages. It’s a developed ASL course that is best for beginners who want a strong foundation in the language. The course structure is well-defined and walks you through every step of learning ASL. Not only will you learn how to properly sign words, but you’ll also be able to form sentences and have conversations.
Rocket also includes tons of information on deaf culture, such as how to join a conversation with people who are signing and the importance of signing space. This takes their course a step further than some other apps that only teach individual signs, but not about the context in which they are used.
Rocket doesn’t offer a monthly subscription. Instead, you buy the entire course and have lifetime access to the material. There are two options for purchasing the complete Rocket Sign Language course. You can buy it with a one-time payment of $99.95 or use the 6-month payment plan which costs $20.00 per month. Rocket Languages constantly has sales, so you can usually get it at a cheaper price.
Other popular apps like ASL Bloom and Lingvano charge a monthly subscription. They typically range from $10.00-$18.00 per month. While Rocket’s price might seem steep in comparison, it does give you lifetime access to the course whereas a monthly subscription to a different app will cost more overall in a few months’ time. There are quite a few ASL apps and other resources available for free, but none are as comprehensive as Rocket.
Rocket Sign Language has an extensive trial. You get access to the entire first 2 modules (7 lessons each) as well as part of the third module. You can try every type of lesson they have so you’ll definitely get a feel if you like it or not before you buy. It’s easy to sign up for the trial. You just have to enter your name and email address, no credit card information is required.
Rocket Languages frequently runs sales and other discounts on their courses. When I signed up for the free trial, I was given an EARLYBIRD coupon code for 40% off. Rocket usually offers discounts around the holidays and events like Black Friday or back-to-school season.
Getting started with Rocket Sign Language is incredibly easy. After downloading the app or finding the Rocket Sign Language webpage, you create an account by entering your name, email, and password. That’s it. No credit card information is needed and since there’s only one level available, there aren’t any placement tests. Then you’re ready to start learning! Let’s take a look at some of the features that Rocket Sign Language offers.
Each module is divided into two types of lessons: ASL Lessons and Video Lessons. The ASL lessons are what make Rocket’s course stand out from others. They are detailed descriptions of a particular feature or grammar topic of ASL. You learn about topics like the importance of signing space, sentence structure, forming questions, and more.
Each lesson is a mix of written descriptions and short videos that show examples. Some of the written explanations are long, but it’s important that you read them carefully so that you understand what you’re watching in the videos. While it’s not the most entertaining way to learn, I found it to be effective. ASL is a unique language that has characteristics that aren’t used in spoken languages. The combination of text and videos helped me understand more completely.
The Video Lessons are more simple than the ASL Lessons and help you grow your vocabulary. Each lesson focuses on a specific topic like months of the year, occupations, and weather. For each word or phrase, there is a short clip of someone making the sign. You can slow down or speed up the video depending on your preference. After learning all the words, you practice them with the “Translate It!” feature. This is basically a quiz that shows you a sign and you choose the correct multiple-choice answer.
The ASL and Video Lessons are the main feature of Rocket Sign Language, but there are some other tools available. The most helpful is the sign dictionary. You can search for a word by a list of categories or type in a specific word you want to know. The dictionary was more extensive than I was expecting. The results showed the specific sign for the word, some sentences or phrases that had that word, as well as other related words.
Rocket Sign Language also has features that track your progress so you can see how much you’re learning. You can see how many points you’ve earned, your learning streak, and your position on the leaderboard. It’s not as interesting as other apps like Duolingo that give you rewards or other prizes for practicing, but it can keep you motivated and want to learn more every day.
Overall, I thought that Rocket Sign Language was an effective way to learn ASL. I know a little bit of sign language, but I’m still a beginner, but I never felt overwhelmed by the lessons. The course starts with the basics and it was easy to follow. Every lesson has multiple videos so you can see exactly how to make a sign. You can speed up or slow down the videos based on your level of comfort.
While there aren’t as many practice activities as I would have liked, I think it’s helpful to take a lesson or two and then repeat it again after a few days to reinforce the new content. I also thought that the dictionary was a useful tool because it not only shows you the word but also sentences that use that word.
One reason that Rocket stands out is the detailed information about deaf culture and the deaf community. I learned information that I never thought of before, such as the importance of non-manual markers and signing space. In fact, the first few lessons don’t even focus on learning signs. They are dedicated to learning about what ASL is and the deaf community.
Rocket Sign Language is a high-quality way to learn ASL effectively. But as with any app, it might not be the best choice for everyone. It’s meant for serious learners. It doesn’t have a lot of games or other kinds of gimmicks that some apps use to make it more entertaining. On a similar note, the practice activities available are quite limited and become repetitive.
You also won’t learn as many signs as you might with another ASL app. Some apps only focus on teaching vocabulary and you learn a lot of signs. Since Rocket has a more comprehensive approach to learning ASL, there isn’t as much dedication to learning lots of independent signs, but rather on how to become communicative.
Rocket Sign Language is an excellent choice if you want to learn ASL, but there are alternatives available. ASL Bloom, Lingvano, and The ASL App are popular choices that have a monthly subscription rather than a one-time purchase. Generally, they have less comprehensive courses but include more interactive features that are great for motivation. Another option for learning ASL is taking online classes with a tutor through a platform like italki.
ASL Bloom is the best alternative to Rocket Sign Language if you’re looking for an interactive way to learn. Both apps use videos that demonstrate the signs as well as incorporate important aspects of deaf culture into your learning. ASL Bloom has shorter lessons that move quickly. Rocket Sign Language has some written lessons which go into greater detail. They are both excellent options. You can test them both with a free trial to see which one you like better. You can also learn more about ASL Bloom in this ASL Bloom review
Rocket Sign Language is a self-paced course, while italki is a language learning platform that can connect you with an ASL tutor for live classes. Taking classes is one of the most effective ways to learn, but it comes at a premium price and will cost more in the long run than Rocket. I recommend starting with the Rocket course and gaining an intermediate level. Then, if you want to become fluent, taking classes on italki will help you reach the next level. You can learn more about the platform in this italki review.
The ASL app is exclusively a vocabulary app that teaches individual signs, whereas Rocket Sign Language provides a more comprehensive course. With the ASL App, you can learn a lot of signs quickly. It’s a simple and inexpensive app. It won’t teach you how to communicate, but it’s a good add-on in addition to the Rocket Sign Languages course to develop more vocabulary.
Lingvano is another quality option if you like a gamified experience while learning. It uses short, interactive lessons that use many different activities so you won’t get bored. It also has a unique feature that lets you use your phone’s camera in the app to see if you are signing correctly. Rocket Sign Language is better for someone who wants to eventually reach a fluent level of ASL, but Lingvano is more entertaining and would work better for those who prefer an interactive way to learn.
Rocket Languages is an excellent choice for popular languages like Spanish and French. It also has an high-quality American Sign Language course. The lessons are in-depth and cover useful topics to help you become conversational.
The best way to learn ASL by yourself is with a language app. There are many excellent ones available like Rocket Sign Language, ASL Bloom, and Lingvano. If you have the availability and budget, taking classes with a sign language teacher is also an effective way to learn.
You can learn ASL on your own. There are many resources available on the internet, some are even free, to help you learn. Many people like to use an app to learn, and others prefer to take a course or take live online classes with a tutor.
The best ASL app is Rocket Sign Language. It offers the most comprehensive course and will help you communicate in sign language. Rather than just learning individual signs like you do on some apps, Rocket helps you build up to sentences to help you communice. You also learn a lot about why things are signed the way they are.
This is an independent Rocket Sign Language review, and the company has not sponsored this article. To write this review, I signed up for the free trial to the app and used it for a few hours to thoroughly test its content and features. I also found additional information on the Rocket Languages website to verify my findings.