For every ASL textbook I buy, I usually get a DVD to go along with the book. The DVD can be helpful because a 2-dimensional drawing of a sign is limited in showing something used in 3-D. Also, the DVD has examples and lessons that go along with the book.
Though a DVD is useful, that particular media isn’t my favorite. I’d rather have everything on my laptop so I don’t have to keep up with the actual disc. Here’s what I do and perhaps it’ll help you as well.
First, download a copy of VLN. It’s a free, reliable media player that will play pretty much anything from any format. It’s my default media player on my computer for all videos. It works fast and every time.
From VLC, you can play the DVD right there. However, I’d rather have the content of the DVD on my computer. There is software out there to rip a DVD onto your laptop, but for these lessons, I’ve found it easier to just make a copy of the disc!
On a PC (I’ve not done this on a Mac), insert the disc and in your File Manager, find the DVD under the Computer settings (see image). You’ll find there are two folders on a DVD: one for audio, one for video. Copy both of those folders into a new folder on your computer. Once it’s finished, the DVD will be stored on your computer.
At this point, VLC should open up playing the DVD from your computer just as if the disc was inserted into the computer.
Now for the Monster Tip that I use to help me learn ASL from a video: Slow Down The Video! I’m still learning so when I watch them sign at normal speed, sometimes I’m missing a lot. VLC makes it easy to slow them down so I can watch and read the signs easier. To do so, you’ll see a little number just before the time display in the bottom-right of the VLC player. The default says “1x”. That means the speed is set to normal. Just click it and move the toggle switch down until you get it to a more manageable speed.
Hope this helps your learning as well.