American Sign Language (ASL) is the language of the American Deaf community.
MSD provides American Sign Language (ASL) classes for all families and caregivers of students enrolled at MSD. The goal of the ASL classes is to increase access to communication at home and to strengthen bilingual development in ASL and English for deaf/hard of hearing children.
Our classes are for family members - parents, grandparents, siblings, and extended members - and for school personnel who work with our students. ASL classes are offered on campus throughout the school year for staff during the day and for families in the evenings.
Classes are small, interactive, and engaging led by Deaf, ASLTA-certified and/or ASLTA-trained instructors. We base our lessons on The Signing Naturally curriculum, which is widely used in colleges across the nation. In classes, families will learn ASL vocabulary and more about Deaf culture and history. ASL I and II are considered Level One while ASL III and IV are Level Two.
Level One covers: ASL Literature, vocabulary review and definitions, grammar notes, spatial referents, descriptive and locative classifiers, and basic sentence structure.
Level Two covers: ASL Literature, vocabulary review and definitions, narrative structure, transitions, grammar notes, various types of classifiers, and advanced sentence structure.
Updated class schedules are shared with families and the school community every semester. Classes are contingent upon sufficient enrollment.
- ASL I (Units 1-6): Introductions, sharing personal information (job, residence, family, likes and dislikes), and talking about surroundings and activities.
- ASL II (Units 7-12): Giving directions, describing others, making requests, talking about family, occupations, and routines, and attributing qualities to others.
- ASL III (Cumulative Review for Units 1-6 and 7-12, Units 13-14): Getting attention, negotiating a signing environment and interrupting conversations, asking for repetition, name signs, locating and describing things, and asking for solutions.
- ASL IV (Units 15-17): Telling about life events and weekend activities, describing disrupted plans using element classifiers.
- Conversational ASL: Various activities are set up for maximum language development through small group conversations and class presentations. Current issues and trends in the deaf community are also discussed. Participants will be encouraged to use more discourse markers with more advanced ASL vocabulary.
* ASL classes at MSD are not offered for high school or college credit.
If you are unsure which class to register for, please contact our ASL instructors to determine which level would be most appropriate.