Which sign language flash cards are best?
Millions of people around the world use sign language as their sole means of communication, so it’s no wonder that many people are interested in learning it. Children and adults alike can take classes to learn American Sign Language, or they can practice at home using educational tools such as flash cards.
The best sign language flash cards are detailed, easy to read and accurate. If you want comprehensive cards with full-color photographs, Barron’s 500 American Sign Language Flash Cards are the top pick.
What to know before you buy sign language flash cards
Reasons to learn sign language
Although ASL is primarily used by people living with hearing loss, they’re not the only ones who can benefit from learning it. As with any other language, learning sign language can provide a great mental workout and let you emotionally connect with people who have a different background. ASL is actually the third-most-popular language studied in the United States, so you may have more opportunities to converse than you realize.
Because it is so rooted in hand movements and visual comprehension, learning sign language can also help increase your reaction time and improve hand-eye coordination. This is particularly true for children learning ASL.
If you have an infant or young toddler, you can also teach them baby sign language. Although it’s an entirely different language, using flash cards to teach your child baby sign language can help you communicate with them months before they’re able to express themselves verbally.
How flash cards work
There are different tools available for learning sign language, from smartphone apps and books to posters. Flash cards are commonly used because they can make learning fun, fast and competitive.
These cards usually have one side devoted to a question and another that displays the answer. Either alone or with a partner, the user can flip through the cards repeatedly until the brain makes a natural connection between the question and the answer, thereby enhancing what’s known as “active recall.” This learning technique can be effective, and much more enjoyable than reading a textbook.
What to look for in quality sign language flash cards
When choosing sign language flash cards, start by considering the content included in the set. If you’re buying the cards for a child, they may enjoy simple, age-appropriate subjects such as animals, simple vocabulary terms or the alphabet. Most adults will learn better with complex concepts and conversational terms. Choosing a deck of cards that isn’t age-appropriate can be frustrating or boring for the user.
Some sign language flash cards have a small hole punched in the corner with a metal ring that holds them all together. This keeps the cards organized and makes flipping through them quick and easy. Look for a ring that can be opened and closed so you can rearrange the cards as needed for new challenges.
Most sign language flash cards are 3 by 5 inches, which is the standard size of most index cards. Some flash cards designed for children are considerably larger to allow more room for big, colorful illustrations. When choosing your deck, the key is finding cards that can be easily flipped and held.
How much you can expect to spend on sign language flash cards
The cost of a set of sign language flash cards will usually depend on their size and the number of subjects covered. Most basic decks cost less than $50, with most products sitting at around $10-$30.
Sign language flash cards FAQ
Is sign language universal?
A. No. In fact, there are hundreds of sign languages all over the world. For example, a person using American Sign Language may not understand someone using French Sign Language and vice-versa. Even within ASL, there are dialects and “accents” that can change from person to person, depending on region, age and other factors.
Can baby sign language delay speech?
A. There is no evidence that teaching an infant baby sign language can lead to a delay in speech. On the contrary, research reported by the National Institutes of Health actually suggests that baby sign language can be a great tool for teaching early communication skills and encouraging social development in babies.
What are the best sign language flash cards to buy?
Top sign language flash cards
Barron’s 500 American Sign Language Flash Cards
What you need to know: This kit contains hundreds of cards with a metal ring and full-color photographs.
What you’ll love: Barron’s is a well-known publisher of educational materials. Each card shows photographs and descriptions of hand and arm motions, making it a useful tool for older kids and adults alike.
What you should consider: The cards are relatively thin and probably too complex for young children interested in learning ASL.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top sign language flash cards for the money
Trend Enterprises Sign Language Pocket Flash Cards
What you need to know: These cards are simple and affordable, featuring basic information for children and beginners.
What you’ll love: The deck comes with 26 cards teaching the alphabet and 26 cards teaching basic phrases like “please” and “thank you.” The set is affordable and compact enough to fit in a pocket.
What you should consider: The content is simple and should only be used as a brief introduction to sign language.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Hubble Bubble Kids American Sign Language Flash Cards
What you need to know: A solid choice for young learners, this comprehensive set contains 180 illustrated flash cards.
What you’ll love: The purchase comes with three decks covering a wide variety of subjects, including the alphabet, animals and descriptive terms related to the weather. Each card measures 3 inches by 5 inches, and they’re thick and durable.
What you should consider: Some users received decks with missing cards.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.