Students who wish to substitute ASL for required foreign language credits will have the opportunity to register for either or both of eDynamic Learning’s ASL offerings: American Sign Language 1: Learn to Sign, and American Sign Language 2: Communicating. Both of these courses are certified and can be used to earn high school foreign language credits. ASL 1 will be available for enrollment on June 15 of this year and ASL 2 will be added to IVLA curriculum offerings in the fall of 2018.
American Sign Language is the third most commonly used language in North America and the fourth-most-studied language other than English at colleges across the United States (Modern Language Association, 2006). Dr. Sherman Wilcox, former chair of the department of linguistics at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque reported that “At least 150 postsecondary schools offer it [ASL] for foreign language credit.” Dr. Wilcox also notes that an estimated 100,000 to 500,000 Americans use American Sign Language as their primary language. This diverse group includes deaf native signers, hearing children of deaf parents and fluent deaf signers who have learned ASL from other deaf individuals.
About ASL Courses
IVLA’s course offering, American Sign Language 1, Learn to Sign, introduces students to the “language, grammar, and phonology” so that new learners can begin very quickly to communicate using ASL. Students will also study deaf culture, including “social beliefs, traditions, history, values, and communities influenced by deafness and which use sign language as the primary means of communication.” (Source: eDynamic American Sign Language course description.)
American Sign Language 2, Communicating, builds on skills taught in ASL 1. Students will “expand [their] knowledge of the language as well as the understanding of the world in which it is frequently used.” Vocabulary building is one of the goals of this course, as well as teaching students to “interact, using facial expressions and body language.” ASL technology trends will be covered as part of the course and students will have the opportunity to explore education and career opportunities within the ASL community. (Source: eDynamic American Sign Language course description.)
Students wishing to substitute ASL courses for required foreign language credits should check with the college or university of their choice to discover whether or not the school will accept ASL credits in lieu of traditional language credits. The University of New Mexico maintains a full list of universities that accept ASL in fulfillment of foreign language requirements. You can find the list here: http://www.unm.edu/~wilcox/UNM/univlist.html.