A free online course with lessons, quizzes, tests, vocabulary and a really, really a good teacher! The following is from http://lifeprint.com/asl101/lessons/lessons.htm – ASL University:
Dear ASL Heroes,
Allow me to share with you this bit of information from an article in Perspectives in Education and Deafness:
“There are more than 500,000 words in the English language, but a person who masters only 250 words will recognize more than two-thirds of all words shown in television captions—provided the 250 words are those that are most frequently used. Equally dramatic, a beginning reader could be taught just 10 words—the, you, to, a, I, and, of, in, it, that—and then recognize more than one out of every five words. Mastery of the top 79 words means being able to read half of all words captioned.” Source: Perspectives in Education and Deafness, Volume 16, Number 1, September/October 1997
What if we were to apply that same concept to learning sign language?
The main series of lessons in the ASL University curriculum are based on accelerated language acquisition techniques that make use of “word frequency” research. (What are the most common concepts and words used in everyday communication?)
I took the most frequently used concepts and translated them into their ASL equivalents and embedded them into the lessons starting with the highest frequency of use language concepts.
Thus the lessons are designed to help a student reach communicative competence very quickly– based on science combined with over two decades of real world teaching experience.
The order in which content is introduced is a balance between “functions” (what you want to do or accomplish) and “language frequency” (what you most often say to others to accomplish those functions). Thus while some of the lessons may seem to be random, in actuality each vocabulary concept was specifically selected to expedite (speed up) the rate at which you can actually use the language for everyday communication tasks.
— Dr. Bill