ASL Classes

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/guardians, grandparents, siblings, and extended members—and for school personnel who work with our students. ASL classes are offered on campus during the day and evening throughout the school year for both families and staff. Both in-person and virtual classes are offered.

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 phrases as well as Deaf culture and history.

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 7-9.4): Giving directions, describing others, making requests, talking about family, occupations, and routines, and attributing qualities to others.

  • ASL III (Units 9.5-11): Getting attention, negotiating a signing environment and interrupting conversations, asking for repetition, name signs, locating and describing things, and asking for solutions.

  • 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.
  • Handshape ASL: Expand vocabulary using one certain handshape.
ASL classes at MSD are not offered for high school or college credit.
Schedule for the 2022-23 Academic Year
Classes for the Spring Semester begin on February 5, 2023. Each class session is 15 weeks long.
 
Our classes are held both in person and virtually on Zoom this semester. 
 
ASL I
    • Sundays — 5:15pm to 6:15pm — Frederick Campus (in person)
    • Tuesdays — 4:15pm to 5:15pm — Columbia Campus (in person)
    • Thursdays — 5:30pm to 6:30pm — Zoom (virtual)
ASL II
    • Sundays — 6:30pm to 7:30pm — Frederick Campus (in person)
    • Tuesdays — 10:00am to 11:00am — Columbia Campus (in person) // Year-long, slow-paced class
    • Tuesdays — 5:30pm to 6:30pm — Columbia Campus (in person)
    • Thursdays — 9:30am to 10:30am — Zoom (virtual) // Year-long, slow-paced class
    • Thursdays — 6:30pm to 7:30pm — Zoom (virtual)
ASL III
    • Thursdays — 8:15am to 9:15am — Frederick Campus (in person)
    • Thursdays — 7:45pm to 8:45pm — Zoom (virtual)
Conversational ASL (after completion of ASL III)
    • Class is not offered this semester.
Handshape ASL
    • Tuesdays — 12:45pm to 1:30pm — Zoom (virtual)
ASL class for Spanish-speaking Families
Registration 
 
There are no registration fees; our ASL classes for families are free. Please note that registration is only permitted for families and caregivers of students enrolled at MSD. No exceptions to this policy will be made. If you are unsure which class to register for, please contact our ASL instructor to determine which level would be most appropriate. 
 
Debbie Myers, ASL Instructor
 
ASL Resources
For a list of recommended ASL resources, visit ASL Resources.