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ASL University: Lessons
Teachers everywhere are welcome to use the Lifeprint curriculum to teach your in-person classes.
Please know though that small improvements and revisions are made to the lessons frequently.  - Dr. Bill Vicars



ASL 1 01|02|03|04|05|06|07|08|09|10|11|12|13|14|15
ASL 2 16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26|27|28|29|30
ASL 3 31|32|33|34|35|36|37|38|39|40|41|42|43|44|45
ASL 4 46|47|48|49|50|51|52|53|54|55|56|57|58|59|60


►  Fingerspelling Practice:
►  Fingerspelling
►  Numbers Practice:

►  ASL 1: Practice Cards (.doc format)
►  ASL 2: Practice Cards (.doc format)
►  Powerpoints
 Quizzes  (Note: Check with your instructor! Different instructors use different quizzes. Dr. Vicars' students should use the quiz links from their syllabus.)

ASL 1:
Unit 1:  Lesson 1  |  Lesson 2  |  Lesson 3  |  Lesson 4  |  Lesson 5

Unit 2: Lesson 6  |  Lesson 7  |  Lesson 8  |  Lesson 9  |  Lesson 10

Unit 3: Lesson 11  |  Lesson 12  |  Lesson 13  |  Lesson 14  |  Lesson 15

Also: Basic Deaf culture, terminology, history, fingerspelling, and Numbers

ASL 2:
Unit 4: Lesson 16  |  Lesson 17  |  Lesson 18  |  Lesson 19  |  Lesson 20

Unit 5:  Lesson 21Lesson 22Lesson 23Lesson 24  |  Lesson 25

Unit 6:  Lesson 26  |  Lesson 27  |  |Lesson 28  |  Lesson 29  |  Lesson 30
Also: Additional Deaf culture, terminology, history, fingerspelling, and Numbers

Level 2 workbook (reasonably up to date)

ASL 3:
ASL 3 consists of Lesson 31 through Lesson 45. 


ASL 4:
ASL 4 includes Lesson 46 through Lesson 60.  The instructional videos are available for all of the lessons up through Lesson 60.
Practice sentences list: Level 4 Practice Sentences List [.htm] [not yet linked, for videos see: LIST]
ASL 4 Practice Cards: [ASL 4 Practice Cards (.doc)]

It is common for school districts interested in purchasing the Lifeprint curriculum to want an overview of the topics covered in the curriculum. 

Here is a list of topics for ASL1 and ASL 2, however, please do see my notes below.


ASL University Curriculum
ASL 1:
Unit 1:  
Lesson 1: Introduction

Lesson 2: Family

Lesson 3: Places

Lesson 4: Feelings

Lesson 5: Actions

Unit 2: 
Lesson 6: Colors & Time

Lesson 7: Food

Lesson 8: Clothes

Lesson 9: Things

Lesson 10: Animals

Unit 3: 
Lesson 11: Questions

Lesson 12: Routines

Lesson 13: School

Lesson 14: Seasons

Lesson 15: Careers


ASL 2:
Unit 4: 
Lesson 16: Activities

Lesson 17: Eating

Lesson 18: Travel

Lesson 19: Feelings

Lesson 20: Descriptions

Unit 5:  

Lesson 21 : Working

Lesson 22 : Money

Lesson 23 : Academics

Lesson 24:  Interactions

Lesson 25:  Directions


Unit 6:  

Lesson 26: Outdoors

Lesson 27: Cooking

|Lesson 28: Clothing

Lesson 29: Doing

Lesson 30:  Devices


Allow me to share a bit of perspective from an article in Perspectives in Education and Deafness that I also include as part of Lesson 1:


"There are more than 500,000 words in the English language, but a person who masters only 250 words will recognize more than two-thirds of all words shown in television captions -- provided the 250 words are those that are most frequently used. Equally dramatic, a beginning reader could be taught just 10 words: the, you, to, a, I, and, of, in, it, that -- and then recognize more than one out of every five words. Mastery of the top 79 words means being able to read half of all words captioned." (Source: Perspectives in Education and Deafness, Volume 16, Number 1, September/October 1997)


It is very hard for humans to resist the urge to want to learn a list of colors, a list of food, or a list of pretty much anything -- or in other words "topic-based" lists.  The problem is – learning topic-based lists actually slows down a student’s journey toward being able to hold real life conversations in the most efficient learning path possible.


The basis of the Lifeprint curriculum isn't a list of topics but rather the basis of Lifeprint is "frequency of use."


Thus the real topics in the Lifeprint curriculum are: 

Lesson 1: "very frequently used concepts," 

Lesson 2: “very frequently used concepts but slightly less frequently than Lesson 1.”
Lesson 3: “very frequently used concepts but slightly less frequently than Lesson 2.”
Lesson 4: “very frequently used concepts but slightly less frequently than Lesson 3.”
Lesson 5: and so forth through to lesson 60 and on into the vocabulary expansion series.

I’m not being facetious here. 

The lessons are not intended to be topic based.  Some of the lessons did coalesce somewhat into what could loosely be described as a “topic” (which is what I listed up above) but that is immaterial to the curriculum – teaching a series of topic lists is not the goal since it impedes rapid acquisition of language.

For example, the sign for “cousin” is not introduced in “Lesson 2” along with brother and sister even though ostensibly Lesson 2 could be labeled as the “family” lesson.    The sign for cousin is introduced in lesson 29.  Why? The reason why is because we don’t talk about cousins as much as we discuss most of the concepts in lessons 3 through 28.  If we give “cousin” space in an early lesson it takes away space that could have been invested in a more frequently used concept – which would slow down the student’s ability to quickly start having meaningful conversations.

The overall concept here is that in ASL 1 students learn and master 300 of the most frequently used signed concepts – not grouped by topic -- but rather introduced by frequency of real world usage.

In addition to those concepts students also learn fingerspelling, numbers, some culture, some history, a lot of terminology, and a significant amount of interconnecting information.  By interconnecting information I’m referring to how one sign relates to another sign and/or delimitations of signs such as the fact that the sign commonly glossed as “BED” can not be used to refer to the bed of a truck nor a flower bed.  The students also learn a significant amount of response vocabulary (via watching the interactive instructional videos) introduced when my student model responds organically to questions. The student’s responses are real and reflective of real world interaction but are typically not codified into the curriculum.  Thus we have a type of meta-information that is included throughout the curriculum but not listed under a “topic.” 

I could go on and on describing why “frequency” beats topic-based learning but really if someone doesn’t believe and get it (understand the efficacy of it) no amount of explaining is going to satisfy the person if they want to see a series of lists: Lesson 1: “classroom signs” Lesson 2: “family” Lesson 3: “places” ... yadda, yadda.

So rather than go on justifying frequency based instruction I’ll just share with you my favorite succinct but representative comment from the comment section under the Lesson 1 video at my YouTube channel ( )  
Trenell Taylor  • 2 years ago

“OMG...this is working. I'm getting it quickly. How do you do that?”


If the Lifeprint curriculum needs to be packaged a certain way to satisfy the “topic” itch – sure, we can do that.  However it is the “frequency” approach that results in the OMG reactions.

Warm regards,

William G. Vicars, EdD
Professor, American Sign Language


p.s. Here is a video lesson to get you started:  Lesson 01: