Top Youtube ASL Storytelling To Keep Your Loved Ones Entertained
What is YouTube ASL storytelling? How can this keep your loved ones entertained. Aside from entertainment value, are there any other benefits to this?
YouTube ASL is a specific niche in the popular tube site that caters to the needs of deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired individuals. It is also a popular form of education and entertainment for all types of viewers all over the world.
YouTube ASL is ASL literature in a more popular form targeted at providing education and entertainment to viewers all over the world. Most YouTube ASL channels are ran by independent content creators churning out clips on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis.
These YouTube ASL sites have thousands of followers and vary in popularity, content and production quality.
Table of Contents
What Is ASL Literature?
“ASL is visual literature, meaning stories are preserved and passed down from generation to generation by the act of signed storytelling instead of spoken or written down. ASL is not a written language but this is not an uncommon occurrence in the world. Languages that do not have a written form produce a specific type of literature called “oral literature.”
Just like traditional literature, ASL literature is a way to pass down stories through generations. The only difference is the manner in which it is told which is through sign language. One of the earliest forms of what is now called YouTube ASL was filmed in 1913 by the National Association of the Deaf.
Captioning, however helpful it may be, has a downside. Captioning relies heavily on verbal language and it is just the transcription of the words spoken which benefits normal hearing people more than those with hearing issues.
It makes understanding the language too convenient and learning the proper hand signals gets lost as the younger generation tend to forget its importance. Parents are still encouraged to find good role models to help teach ASL properly.
Signing is still the main manner in which deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired individuals communicate. Some would argue that texting is a quicker way to do that but that would mean being too reliant on technology just to have a conversation. What if the batteries run out?
These videos are archived to preserve them for future use. This ensures that future generations can enjoy these films in the future and glean educational and entertainment value from them.
ASL Literature include ABC Stories, Classifier Stories, Folktales, Handshape Stories, Jokes, Humor, Puns, Number Stories, Poetry
Challenges ASL Students Face On A Daily Basis
Students with speech and hearing challenges still face a lot of learning difficulties today. There simply is still a limited amount of resources available for learners with these disabilities. Although the number of resources available are definitely more than what was offered in the past, it is still not enough.
Another obstacle these learners face is the financial challenge resources pose. There are specialized schools for ASL learners and tuition is not cheap. A few lucky learners are born to families who have the financial resources or are able to find a sponsor to fund their education.
The rest have to struggle with exorbitant loans to continue schooling.
Lastly, some ASL students are born to families that cannot communicate as effectively as professional ASL speakers. This is a language that has to be learned. It also takes time to develop an entire vocabulary to bring the student to a level where they can effectively communicate their thoughts and ideas.
If it takes that much for someone to learn a language, what more for families who are used to oral speech for conveying their ideas? But this is not to discourage anyone as normal speaking adults have learned over time to communicate in ASL with success.
It takes time and devotion to learn it and it is worth the investment if only to watch your child blossom into an intelligent adult capable of conveying their ideas as efficiently as those who are not speech-impaired.
What YouTube ASL videos provide are resources that children with special needs can easily understand. As a positive side effect, families who take part in watching the same videos can learn alongside ASL students. This is an alternative form of education that is easy on the pocket with highly beneficial results.
Aside from the above mentioned challenges, there are more challenges ASL learners face that YouTube ASL might be able to
Since YouTube ASL is a visual learning tool, some of the challenges conventional classrooms pose can be eradicated.
Acoustics And Proper Seating
Not all ASL learners are completely deaf. Some simply have hearing difficulties which can be alleviated with the use of hearing aids. Nevertheless, acoustics and seating arrangements are the key to solving this challenge.
In a classroom setting, students should be arranged in a U shape so that everyone has full visual access to the screen. This allows everyone to see who is speaking and participate in the discussion, if necessary.
External noises should be dampened by using full carpeting on the floors and sound deadening foam on the walls. Even the A/C unit has to be positioned in a way that it provides comfort but with little to no noise so as their hearing aids do not pick up and amplify the rumble from the cooling equipment.
Lights Emit Sound?
Fluorescent lights produce a sound that hearing aids and cochlear implants pick up. This ambient noise has to be detected using a special gadget and eliminated to ensure the classroom is suitable for learning for ASL learners or for playing YouTube ASL lessons.
There should be enough light to make the room feel more conducive to learning and it should be positioned in a manner that it doesn’t throw shadows or cause a glare to the students when the teacher is moving about.
Breaking Down The Language Barrier
ASL is not universal. Just like the different languages in the world, it differs from region to region. Make sure to address that by providing a translator who can sign it in the language the student is native to.
Lip reading is another manner that children can join in on the conversation but teachers have to understand that only half of spoken English is distinguishable through lip reading. Teachers also have to ensure that their lips are in full view of their students for this to happen.
Deaf Students Often Fall Behind When It Comes To Experiencing The World Around Them
Children absorb knowledge constantly through their surroundings. Noises, conversations, music, these are just some of the things normal people take for granted. It takes extra effort for deaf or hard of hearing children to experience this making their experiential opportunities limited.
Every Child Learns In A Different Manner
Everyone learns in a different manner. some are more visually oriented, some rely on what they hear and others need to combine actions to learn better.
For deaf students, the challenges faced are the manner in how they learn plus the obvious physical obstacle that prevents them from getting normal education.
To add to that challenge, one child may learn in a different manner from another one even if they are in the same class.
Teachers have to put extreme care in ensuring that everyone’s needs are attended to so as to ensure that there is no resulting academic gap within the same class. Different methods have to be employed and no assumptions should be made so everyone gets equal learning opportunities.
Society’s Effects On Deaf Children
No matter how much society has become more mindful about the plight of individuals with hearing or speech issues, feeling like an outcast is still a daily challenge these children have to face.
Most deaf children still feel ostracized although there are no external factors pushing them in that direction which leads to inattentiveness or drifting off during classes.
This lack of engagement has a negative effect on their education which could set them back a grade or two unless special measures are taken to ensure they are brought back into the fold and encouraged to participate.
One way to do that is ensure seating arrangements are done to increase their visual scope of what’s happening in the classroom. Breaking the class into smaller groups is another way to do that. Watching YouTube ASL with the rest of the class is another good way to encourage participation and inclusivity.
One of the many difficulties deaf or hard of hearing children face is the schedules of their special classes. Some teachers are simply tied up with other priorities and cannot make it to their scheduled sessions.
The fact that there is a limited number of teachers for special needs children is also another compounding factor.
These are just some of the challenges ASL learners face on a daily basis and some of these can be addressed by subscribing to YouTube ASL sites we’ve listed below.
Emergence Of YouTube And Other Tube Sites As Learning Tools
Although YouTube started out as an entertainment site for videos, it quickly became a resource for people to visit and learn stuff from. To date, YouTube is second to Google as a search engine which makes it seem that these two have a monopoly on knowledge because they are under one corporate umbrella.
The YouTube app is one of the most heavily downloaded apps on the market today besides being a pre-installed app on most new phones with the Google suite platform. This instantly makes YouTube the default app for videos on millions of phones worldwide.
As a learning tool, YouTube offers millions of videos created by amateur and professional content creators alike. The YouTube ASL niche is actually one of the most oft-visited, viewed, downloaded, and subscribed share of the market as teachers, students, and parents find value in the videos provided.
Other Tube sites like Vimeo who started out in the same manner have also shifted to provide lessons online.
The great thing about this is that there will never be a shortage of YouTube ASL related content for millions of students all over the world.
What are the benefits of YouTube ASL storytelling?
Learning a language is not automatic. Not even for normal speaking individuals who seem to automatically talk in the language their parents teach them. It takes years of practice to reach a point where conversations can be had. This often starts with mimicry before comprehension sets in.
ASL learners also pick up the language in this manner. First by imitation, eventually through explanation and proper education.
The disadvantage lies in when the child’s parents are not aware of the condition or are unable to cope immediately. The delay in learning how to communicate has a long lasting effect.
YouTube ASL channels seek to educate and entertain both parents and child so that the learning process is enjoyable with benefits to all parties.
What To Look For
Now that you know that YouTube ASL storytelling exists, what are the things you should look for? What are the good characteristics of a good YouTube ASL Storyteller?
Here are some things to look for:
Uses Animated Facial Expressions, Body Movements, And Eye Contact Appropriately
Since YouTube ASL channels are visual in nature, the YouTube ASL speaker or video should be able to keep the audience’s attention simply by appropriately animated facial expressions.
Eye contact is also another way to bring the audience into the conversation as they feel there is a connection between the speaker and themselves even if the video is a pre-recorded clip.
Body shifts, miming, and other appropriate movements should also be incorporated into the videos to keep it entertaining.
Knows How To Use ASL Role Playing Methods
Oftentimes, YouTube ASL channel content creators have to emulate a conversation between two speakers.
Has A Wide Range Of ASL Vocabulary And Culturally Appropriate Stories
Since YouTube ASL channels cater to the educational needs of their audience, they should have a wide ASL Vocabulary to ensure excellent value. Since there are a lot of stories available for translation, having a wide ASL vocabulary range will come in handy. Care should also be taken that these stories are culturally appropriate for the specific audience.
Now On To The List
We’ve compiled a short list of YouTube ASL sites that you should check out. These YouTube ASL channels cover everything from daily life vlogs to music interpretations. Storytelling isn’t just about literature, so we tried to include the ones that are highly entertaining in this time and age.
These YouTube ASL sites are only a representative of an entire niche serving the needs of the deaf and hearing impaired. A quick search on the site should reveal more YouTube ASL sites that might be up your alley.
A deaf ministry who also has a large portion of the audience with normal hearing capacity. They produce at least two high quality videos per month with both sign language and captions for everyone’s benefit. This YouTube ASL site has been around since March 2013.
This site currently has 14.3k followers.
Amber Galloway Gallego
Amber Galloway Gallego is an ASL community interpreter from San Antonio, Texas. This site has been around since October 2011 and interprets music into sign language.
She currently entertains over 55,000 subscribers with her musical interpretations.
ASL Meredith – American Sign Language For Beginners
This YouTube ASL channel is a good jumping off point for those who want to learn how to sign. This channel has been a resource for ASL learners since March 2014 and continues to churn out 1 video per week. Topics covered include: tech, linguistics, education, health, lifestyle, and happiness.
ASL Meredith is followed by over 104,000 subscribers.
Ashley Clark Fry – Signed With Heart
Ashley Clark Fry is the person behind the YouTube ASL channel Signed With Heart. This channel has been around since September of 2014 and has around 179,000 subscribers.
Ashley Clark Fry uploads content daily and her main advocacy is to teach sign language through social media platforms.
ASL Anissa provides entertainment through music. She is, after all, a Music Therapy Major. Her channel has been around since April 2008 and you can find fun songs signed like Baby Shark, Moana’s “How Far I’ll Go” and Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect”. This is an age-appropriate site that many parents and children will enjoy together.
ASL Anissa is followed by over 66,000 subscribers and slowly nearing the 67,000 mark.
The Daily Sign
The Daily Sign follows Libbey, a Chicago resident who signs about daily life, music, and everything in between. It is a fun channel with enough entertainment and education to keep you glued for hours. She uploads at least one video per week and has been around since December 2014.
The Daily Sign is arguably the biggest YouTube ASL channel in this list with over 503k followers and subscribers. Not bad for a channel ran by a young content creator.
HandSpeak: Sign Language Online
A relatively new YouTube ASL channel, HandSpeak is still one of the best resources for storytelling with great videos exploring daily life, experiences, and other deaf and sign language related topics. This YouTube ASL channel has only been around for nine years since its inception in June of 2011.
HandSpeak currently has the the lowest number of subscribers and followers at only 2.8k people signed in.
Bill Vicars is a YouTube ASL content creator from Sacramento, California providing content for ASL students, teachers, interpreters, and parents of Deaf children. He produces five videos a week and has been in existence since March of 2007.
247k followers and subscribers have cemented Bill Vicars as a leading authority in all topics sign language related. That number continues to grow thanks to his awesome content.
This channel produces around 30 videos per year and has been around since 2009. It also has links to hundreds of other channels that are related to ASL and Deaf Culture.
There are currently 55,000 followers on this channel and is one of the most important resources you can find related to YouTube ASL.
YouTube ASL provides a very important service that anyone can benefit from. This is a service that is primarily targeted at, but not limited to, those who have hearing deficiencies. Even normal hearing persons can benefit from the lessons YouTube ASL channels provide.
This in turn can be used to communicate with those who have hearing issues. In fact, some parents turn to YouTube ASL sites to learn more about communicating effectively with their children. These videos are especially constructed in a way that topics are conveyed in the clearest manner for optimal learning retention.
YouTube ASL storytelling is also a fantastic way to tell stories that are passed down from generation to generation. This helps continue the tradition of handing lessons over to the younger generation in a context that they can easily understand. Stories have important lessons behind them and they need to be told constantly so as not to be forgotten in the passing of time.
Lastly, learning through watching videos isn’t just limited to watching YouTube ASL clips. As most YouTube clips now come with captions, deaf or hard of hearing students can learn about other subjects just by reading the underlying text in the videos they watch.
YouTube ASL is a very important resource that everyone should subscribe to if only to motivate the content creators to continue making videos that not only seek to entertain but to educate as well. You likes, subscriptions, shares, and continued patronage keep YouTube ASL channels alive.
So don’t be shy, click on like and subscribe. For more YouTube ASL related resources, we have that too.
I’m Nearing My Senior Age. Is There Still A Chance For Me To Learn ASL Properly?
Yes. Everyone can pick up the language no matter how old they are. As for how rapid the progression is from learning the basics to having full on conversations, it is entirely up to the learner and their level of commitment and devotion to learning how to sign.
YouTube ASL learning channels have different levels of difficulty and you will always find one appropriate to start with so you can begin the journey to learning how to sign effectively.
Will Students With Hearing Aids And Cochlear Implants Benefit From This?
Yes. Although the primary target of YouTube ASL is for those who completely lack in hearing, students with hearing aids or cochlear implants can still benefit from watching these videos. This is true even for those who don’t have any hearing deficiencies.
The benefits of watching YouTube ASL come in the form of learning how to associate the words and texts with the hand signs shown onscreen. With enough time, anyone can learn how to sign in a conversational manner.
Are There Any Words Lost In Translation When Converting Oral Speech To Sign Language?
Yes. Unfortunately, even the most skilled sign language translator can miss out on a few words. This is an extremely difficult task because it relies on actively listening to the conversation at hand and translating it in sign language in real time. The good thing is that, although it happens, it rarely does.
There are highly skilled interpreters who provide a relay type of service. This requires them to be constantly tested to ensure they convey messages in a timely and accurate manner verbatim. Watching YouTube ASL videos can also teach you how to become proficient in signing rapidly.
Do you want more teaching tips, resources for children with special needs and YouTube ASL sites for classroom and home learning purposes?
All Digital School has a rich collection of resources for children with special needs and advice for educators like you. We also have experts, teachers, and parents exchanging tips and information on our community boards. Do you want in?
You can also register via your Facebook or Google account. Click any of the buttons below.
Do you have more YouTube ASL sites, resources for special children and techniques for teachers that you’d like to share? We want to learn from you as well.
Let us know in the comments below!