School of Modern Languages

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American Sign Language

American Sign Language Program

American Sign Language, or ASL, is the dominant sign language of deaf Americans, including deaf communities in the United States and in some regions of Canada and Mexico. It contains phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax and pragmatics just like spoken languages. It is both a manual and a visual language; the information is encoded with the shape and movement of the hands and other parts of the body and also with facial expressions, including mouthing.

The ASL program offers a wide variety of courses for students in all its levels. ASL 101 & 102 introduce the student to the use of ASL, its grammatical rules and the cultural aspects of the deaf community. On the intermediate level, ASL 103 & 104 expand the information on ASL grammar, syntax, spatial referencing, and vocabulary development. These courses incorporate dialogues, short stories, narratives and conversations. For those who are considering becoming interpreters, ASL 110 represents an introduction to the field of ASL/English interpretation and cultural mediation. ASL 111 & 112 introduce to numerical and finger spelling systems in ASL; ASL 115 is an introduction to and application of classifier use in ASL. In the area of conversation, ASL 120, 130 & 140 are conducted without spoken English and help the student develop their conversational skills. ASL 125 is an introductory course that overviews the American deaf culture and its history. ASL 145 helps the student to observe, analyze and discuss specific aspects of ASL linguistics in natural use settings.


Faculty & Offices

Ignacio Ponce (H-314, (866) 646-1138)

Tara Kelly (H-312,

Michelle Walsh (H-310, ext. 6657)


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