First of all, be sure to hire the correct tutor - obviously for ASL, it's best to learn from a fluent (high-advanced to superior) Deaf signer - however any deaf or hearing signer can't just teach you. Many untrained people often naively disseminate inaccurate information and so, a well trained, sensitive and patient ASL tutor is the best route to take to learning how to sign. I avoided saying "hire a certified" tutor because many professionals with a certificate are still sometimes not qualified. I cannot tell you how many time frustrated students have come to me at the last resort after going through various instructors with a degree/s and still not getting what they need the most. Although, I am certified as a Master tutor, the piece of paper is not what makes me a good tutor --- I got the certificate because I wanted to train other tutors or amateur teachers how to truly teach ASL. I am an excellent tutor from carefully observing, studying and finding helpful and useful skills for the real world. Please be aware as some tutors or teachers also insist that they are teaching ASL, but they're actually teaching Signed Exact English or contact language - again, make sure the instructor is giving what you truly need.
Now we got know which type of an excellent ASL tutor to hire -- for some folks who take an American Sign Language course - has to pass with a good grade to enter the ASL interpreting program (SLIP or ITP) will need to hire an ASL tutor. Most students have never been exposed to a foreign visual gestural language like ASL or even met a Deaf person before. Even CODA (child of deaf adults) are sometimes using outdated signs or has a lot to learn linguistically wise and theories of ASL interpreting that cannot be learned from home. It's quite disorienting for most new learners figuring out how to learn to use their eyes, hands and body in a completely different manner and especially how to think/understand ASL grammar. A well trained Deaf tutor will show you exactly what is crucial to learn and clarify contradictions that often confuses people in what to study exactly.
Did you know that 10% of students in every classroom has a learning challenge of some sort? There are students who has learning challenges - from mild to severe - a well trained & patient ASL tutor who understands different unique approaches to different learning styles will help you get a jump start in areas that are puzzling. I, having quite a few learning challenges myself, have figured out how to overcome my own learning blocks and I enjoy passing on clever tricks to others who wants a short cut in a safe learning environment.
Many people do not enjoy a standard over-crowded, fast paced classroom and struggle with schedule conflicts and prefers learning one on one. Then a lot of overwhelmed (and underpaid) teachers also do not want or does not have the time to answer numerous individual students' questions. Most burnt out teachers are too tired, too impatient or disorganized with their materials (I can't tell you how many crammed most important information that is NOT in textbooks or notes at the last minute right before the mid or final exams). And, sadly, yes, there are some teachers and even classmates who are bullies and create cruel and unnecessary hardship against some of the greatest and hard working students who want to pass. Here a right tutor can save your time, energy and point you to the right direction in covering all of your bases.
There are many other enthusiastic individuals who do not want to take ASL classes yet need of guidance of some sort from a well trained ASL tutor to help. These people can be new teachers teaching ASL and need some pointers; parents with deaf children or family with members who are Deaf or hard of hearing; professionals wanting to learn ASL for their customers;
free lance or V.R.S. interpreters who need a mentor to enhance their skills; home school students; and oral deaf or hard of hearing or late deafened individuals who needs a safe and fun tutor to practice refining their conversational skills to be ready to meet other fluent signers.
Hiring an ASL tutor can be the best decision you've made yourself - it's a gift of an investment that will reward you many times over in your lifetime.
You can now make an appointment for a free 15 minutes get-acquainted-with-you call to see if I can be of an assistance for you to master American Sign Language. 970-373-5354 or email me here.
*For those studying American Sign Language - most people take ASL classes to fulfill their foreign language requirement in order to graduate from high school or college.