Courses of ASL

Our sequence of American Sign Language (ASL) courses starts with two Elementary ASL semesters and continues with advanced courses following a pattern comparable to the programs for other languages. The design of the courses follows the guidelines set forth by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA). We don’t require textbooks in print because most of the ASL material is accessed through a website containing a wealth of videos, texts, and assignments. The ASL assignments are usually video recordings to post on an interactive video platform.

CLAC Courses in ASL

Starting in the academic year, advanced ASL students have the option to enroll in Cultures and Languages Across Curriculum courses which are primarily taught in ASL. Past offerings were  “Introduction to ASL / English Interpretation” and “Introduction to ASL in the Performing Arts”. Other courses in a similar vein may be offered in the future. Please check out Wesmaps for the offered courses.

Other Courses

For those interested in Deaf Studies, you may begin your journey into the Deaf World with an introduction to the Deaf experience with “Deaf Communities: Facts and Perspectives” [link to Wesmaps]. This course provides basic information on all things “Deaf” and covers cultural aspects, social outlooks, historical narratives, artistic expressions, applied technologies, among other topics. It is open to anyone and it is a great opportunity to attend lectures with an English/ASL interpreter. Some knowledge of ASL, while strongly recommended, is not a requirement to enroll in this course.

If you are not yet inclined to commit two or more terms to ASL or wish to experiment with non-verbal communication, we offer a stand-alone practical course of Visual Gestural Communication (VGC) with the only prerequisite of daring to use gestures in public. Communicating through gestures comes naturally to people interacting in different contexts because of their visual iconicity. In the course, the students learn and practice gestures in different contexts: with Deaf people around the world, with hearing people from other cultures, etc. As an outcome, the students will be more at ease to interact with anyone. VGC also serves as a confidence builder for public speaking, as a useful skill for performing arts, as an inspiration for ideas working with children, or as a recreational resource using ASL for fun with family or friends.