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American Sign Language: Sample "ASL 1" Syllabus

Below is a sample ASL syllabus suitable for use in a traditional (non-hybrid / not-online) college-level ASL 1 course.



Syllabus "ASL 1"

Office hours:

Course Description:
Students will learn basic vocabulary and grammar of American Sign Language. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to exchange basic information about themselves and their families such as their names, where they live, and their interests. Through out-of-class readings, in-class discussions and demonstrations, and experiences within the deaf community, students are exposed to elements of the deaf culture and community. Therefore, there is a "NO-VOICE" policy for this class. When you step in to the classroom you are expected to not use your voice.

Required Materials:
Signing Naturally Level 1 Units 1-6

Not Required:
Cell phones, voiced communication, or electronic devices (during class).

Communication Policy:
Allowed methods of communication include sign, mime, gestures, and other non-voice communication methods. Write notes if needed. This practice provides experience as to how the Deaf communicate, and assists you in learning ASL. Please respect the signing environment and use ASL (and not your voice) to communicate your instructor and classmates during class.

Attendance and participation is CRITICAL and greatly influences your comprehension and speed in learning the language. This class forms a small community and your effort impacts the success of the group. Much of the work in this course is done in class. Please make every effort to come to class ready to learn and participate. Learning ASL is a progressive process therefore missing a class makes it difficult for you to catch up with other students. Your participation and enthusiastic involvement will help you learn and succeed with ASL.

Deaf Event:
Attend one out-of-class event or activity in the Deaf community and submit a typed paper after the event that summarizes your experience. Include who you met, what you learned, either positive or negative, and any comments you would like to add. Attach a picture of yourself at an identifying landmark or aspect of the Deaf Event. Go to for upcoming events. Deadline is April 27th for the paper.

Pop Quizzes:
There are 6 pop quizzes and 2 cumulative examinations and 1 final examination taken in class during the semester. Each pop quiz covers units you've previously viewed. The instructor will sign a phrase that a student will need to write down. The two cumulative examinations will include questions from the objectives in the units.

Individual ASL Reviews:
For the individual ASL review students will create a script of signing phrases that represent the vocabulary and phrases covered in the units and will then sign those vocabulary and phrases to the instructor. Each student will draw a lottery number for their allotted day and time to have their signing reviewed by the teacher.

Cumulative Examinations:
These are receptive tests in which the instructor signs various vocabulary or phrases and the student writes what is being signed.

Final Exam:
The Final exam will be a cumulative receptive exam. The instructor will sign and the students will write down what is being signed.

Deaf Event: 1 @ 40 pts = 40
Pop Quizzes: 6 @ 10 pts = 60
Individual ASL reviews: 2 @ 50 pts = 100
Two Cumulative Examinations: 2 @ 50 pts = 100
Final examination: 1 @ 100 PTS = 100
Total Possible points: = 400

Make ups:
You may miss one quiz or exam (other than the final exam) without penalty. The score will be replaced by applying the percentage you get on your Final exam to the possible score of the missed quiz or exam.

Extra Credit:
You may earn 40 extra credit points by attending an extra Deaf Event and submitting a summary paper (and photo).

JAN 25 First day of class/Unit 1
JAN 27 Unit 1
FEB 1 Unit 1
FEB 3 Unit 1
FEB 8 Unit 2
FEB 10 Unit 2
FEB 15 Unit 2
FEB 17 Unit 2
FEB 22 Unit 3
FEB 24 Unit 3
FEB 29 Unit 3
MAR 2 Unit 3
MAR 7 Review First Examination
MAR 9 First Examination
MAR 14 Individual ASL Unit 1-3 Review
MAR 16 Individual ASL Unit 1-3 Review
MAR 21 Spring Recess (No class)
MAR 23 Spring Recess (No class)
MAR 28 Unit 4
MAR 30 Unit 4
APR 4 Unit 4
APR 6 Unit 4
APR 11 Unit 5
APR 13 Unit 5
APR 18 Unit 5
APR 20 Unit 6
APR 25 Unit 6
APR 27 Unit 6 and Deaf Activity paper
MAY 2 Review Second Examination
MAY 4 Second Examination
May 9 Individual ASL Unit 4-6 Review
May 11 Individual ASL Unit 4-6 Review
TBA Final Examination

Prepare for each class by reviewing the vocabulary, phrases and videos for each unit. Most of class time will be used for reviewing and practicing the vocabulary signs and phrases learned in each unit. Come prepared to have constant conversations in ASL with other students.

Have fun!





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