ASL alphabet

5 Quick Tips for Signing the ASL Alphabet

Signing the ASL alphabet should be pretty simple right? It's just some letters, after all. You'd be surprised at how often the alphabet is signed incorrectly.

Even taught incorrectly!

I know. It hurts me too.

Learn ASL in 31 Days: Day 13:: Fingerspelling + Practice Sheet

It's Fingerspelling Day! Okay, there are multiple fingerspelling days. Today is the first day, so it's super special.


You've been dying to learn ASL forever! Now you can! You'll learn not only vocabulary, but also grammar and all the skills the go along with ASL. For FREE! Pin so you can have easy access to all 31 lessons. Learn the proper fingerspelling technique so you can be a pro-signer! Grab the free practice sheet as well.


First: How did you do with Day 12? Did you like the money signs?


Have you been practicing your alphabet?  In front of a mirror??




If you haven't well.. shame, shame, everyone knows your name.

Get to it! You know how I feel about it, so don't let me down. No, it's not really about me.


I'm not telling you to spend hours and hours in front of a mirror signing and signing and signing. How about every time you go to the bathroom, after you wash your hands, sign your alphabet and a few signs? Then, every time you are near a mirror, do the same. Unless you're in public and are uncomfortable.


[Tweet "Learn to fingerspell like an ASL wizard! #SignItUp #31Days"]


>>>Turn on the captions!!  If you are viewing on a tablet or phone you can click this link to view it in YouTube. <<<

Remember to put on the captions. 




  • Remember to sound out the letters as you see them!
  • Look for the shape of the word -- this is a skill that will come with time and practice.
  • When you are fingerspelling a word don't spell it out with your mouth.

For instance, you want to sign your name.


You won't fingerspell ROCHELLE and say/mouth R-O-C-H-E-L-L-E


You fingerspell it and say Rochelle. You don't want to say Rrroooochhheeeellllleeee while it may take you a bit longer to fingerspell it than say it.  You'd fingerspell ROCHELLE and then you'd just say Rochelle, in real time, towards the end of your name.


Better yet, just turn off your voice and you won't have to worry about it.  It's okay to mouth words, often you will see people mouth words, or parts of words when they're signing. This is different than saying what you're signing.


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I teach in the videos with my voice off because if I were to talk and sign my signing would suffer. It's literally using two languages at the same time. If I were to speak French and Spanish at the same time, it'd be ridiculous and impossible. You can't speak them both at the same time. Also, the other suffers when you speak one. Now, I'm not dumb, I know speaking English and Signing are a bit different than Spanish and French. It is the same principle. Which is why when I do talk I do not sign at the same time.



 When you are signing, try not to talk.


You will see me in videos appearing to mouth some of the words.  For instance, with the sign WHO I will make the OO shape with my mouth.  For WHAT-DO I will make the same shape.  For the sign WHAT I will go W-then make my "what face" (we each have our own)!  For WHERE I would make the face as though I were saying WH with an added bit of quizzical-ness.


For compound words sometimes I'll mouth the beginning or ending sound, which ever is most natural.


Sometimes I don't mouth at all. Sometimes I will mouth the entire word. I have used mouthing words a lot when interpreting because several of my regular clients wanted me to while signing as it was their preference.


What does all of this mean to you?


Don't talk!

If you do mouth a word, make it a single sound -- This isn't law, just a suggestion.


I've included the answers here for you from the video.


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cat bat cab gab ham add pen men rip sip wit bob cob jog old boo mom rug tug gum hum lot tot cow dog pan few



I have also made a practice sheet for you to download!  Woot Woot!

[download id="1966"]  <-- Click to download


You've been dying to learn ASL forever! Now you can! You'll learn not only vocabulary, but also grammar and all the skills the go along with ASL. For FREE! Pin so you can have easy access to all 31 lessons


Use #SignItUp to connect with other people that are learning along with you!  You can ask questions, share tips and suggestions, and encouragement.

Do you like fingerspelling?

Do you feel like this?
Or do you feel more like this?

If you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends!

[Tweet "I can fingerspell like a wizard #SignItUp #31days"]


[download id="1966"]


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gifs courtesy: