American Sign Language (ASL)
Our ASL program has many options for you to choose from! We offer ASL classes for elementary through high school students (but if you don’t fit in this range, you’re welcome to join too!). Read on to learn more!
ASL is the third most used language in the US other than English, and its’ popularity in colleges continues to rise. Many students find ASL easier to learn because they do not struggle with the accent/auditory of oral languages. The upper-level ASL classes give students 1 of 2 of the language credits needed to graduate high school. The second language you take must be the same for both credits. Eighth graders are allowed to count this course for their high school requirements as well.
About The Teacher
Thia began learning ASL at St. Petersburg College. Her teachers recognized her talents and encouraged her to pursue ASL as a career. She was awarded Outstanding ASL Student of the Year the following year. She transferred to Gallaudet University, the only Deaf college in the world, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Interpretation.
A Note About ASL Instructors who are Hearing
Keith Cagle, P.h.D., formerly the head of the interpreting program at Gallaudet and now the Chair of ASL and Interpreting Education at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) supports both hearing and Deaf instructors for ASL courses for middle and high school students. The NTID (National Technical Institute for the Deaf) program for education is for both Deaf and hearing students. He also noted that the University of Northern Colorado’s MA in Teaching ASL program admits hearing students. He said “I know several hearing ASL teachers who were excellent and successful. Most of them are teaching in K-12”.
The American Sign Language Language Teachers Association (ASLTA) published a resource developed by Keith Cagle and William Newel, P.h.D. stating the following: “Non-native versus native teachers of languages is an issue debated among all foreign language teaching organizations. This issue is debated within the profession of ASL teaching as well. Like other professional organizations of language teachers, the ASLTA believes what counts most are the qualifications of the potential teacher. Most important are the teaching skills and knowledge of the potential teacher and the teacher’s ability to represent the language and culture as authentically as possible. Hearing teachers of ASL may bring special strengths to the learning experience for students. For example, knowing that a hearing individual has accomplished a native-like proficiency in ASL and an understanding of Deaf culture through interaction within the Deaf community can be inspiring to students of ASL. They may be able to see that it is truly possible for hearing people to learn and use ASL effectively. It is the policy of ASLTA not to discriminate on the basis of hearing status. We believe it is important above all that teachers are qualified and competent.”
Students will learn signs that will allow them to participate in basic signing conversations. The video lessons are engaging and fun for students. They have worksheets, coloring pages, games, and more fun activities to help their learning! Research shows that children learning a second language boosts problem- solving, critical thinking, and listening skills, in addition to improving memory, concentration, and the ability to multitask!
ASL 1: Beginner American Sign Language.
ASL 1: Students will learn signs that will allow them to participate in basic signing conversations. This includes understanding the grammar and sentence structure of ASL, and over 200 signs to allow them to use the language effectively! In addition to learning signs, students will learn the history of Deaf culture and etiquette when conversing with a Deaf person. There will be a Deaf guest who will share his/her experience and sign with the students.
ASL 2: Intermediate American Sign Language. (Prerequisite: ASL 1)
In ASL 2, students will build upon the skills they learned in ASL 1, by increasing their signing vocabulary; practicing their perceptive skills (seeing a sign and knowing what it means); and using their receptive skills with more “hands up” assignments. Students will learn more about Deaf culture and the Deaf community through their homework. They will have the opportunity to converse with a Deaf person and hear about their personal experiences in the Deaf world!
ASL 3: Advanced American Sign Language
(Prerequisite: ASL 1 and ASL2)
In this ASL 3 course, students will be expected to put in the effort to learn above and beyond what is required for their second language credit. This course is designed for students who have an interest in ASL; either as a possible future career or just out of the love of learning it! The students will learn more signs to allow them to converse at a higher level and do more assignments where they get their hands up!
Full Immersion American Sign Language
Our full immersion class is for students who are up for a challenge! This class teaches ASL using only ASL. Full immersion classes help students separate English from ASL and improves their perception of the language. We offer full immersion ASL 1 which follows the same curriculum as the other ASL 1 class above but without speaking during the lessons! Full immersion ASL 2 and 3 will be added in 2021.
- The course is designed to be a 32 week course.
- The homework assignments have students watch a video and write down what is being communicated and students will make a video of themselves signing.
- There are homework assignments for each lesson and 2 tests during the course. The tests are completed in a live online class setting as a project learning-based assessment.
- There are monthly help sessions using our live online classroom where students can join and ask questions.