American Sign Language 2a: Communicating

Course Overview

Units at a glance

“See Spot run.” “See Spot run fast into the house to get his bone.” When building sentences in a language, you need many tools to make a beautiful structure. Just like Spot’s house is built with not just a hammer and nails, but also using things such as wood, paint, glass, and concrete, you’ll need a few extra tools and materials to build compelling sentences in American Sign Language. Here, we will start to gather those extra materials to make detailed sentences in sign language—you’ll be surprised at the cool ways you can add descriptions to other signs in ASL!

Learning signs in ASL lays the foundation for your visual communication, but now you need to bring your signing into the next dimension with extra tools—you can think of it as 3D ASL! We will add dimension to our signing with mouthing morphemes, locatives, and comparing and contrasting. In addition, we will practice using classifiers. These tools will allow you to expand your repertoire to give directions—around the house, around the school, or even around the whole town. Plus, learn a bit about how babies learn sign language and how this might give you clues to how you are learning ASL!

Life is full of unexpected events, some of them, unfortunately, are medical emergencies. Giving and understanding directions is obviously key to responding in an emergency, but it is also a necessary part of navigating everyday life. For example, if you visit a Deaf campus or event, you’ll also likely need these signs to find your way around. In addition to tackling some of these crucial signs, we will also learn about how ASL interacts with spoken language (imagine the potential challenges this creates in times of actual emergencies!) and how living languages evolve all the time.

Calling all introverts and extroverts! Do you like to hang around the house? Or are you happier running around town for fun? Here, we will get to learn the signs for our favorite activities and then practice some of the grammar and body language we have been learning about to give more meaning to our signing. From locatives to agreement verbs to eyebrow raises, there are so many factors that play a role in ASL. Plus, we’ll take a peek into the lives of hearing people who are born to Deaf parents, a famous Deaf musician, and the cultural differences that make communicating in ASL so different from English.

Everyday living doesn’t have to be boring anymore. You can use your daily activities to practice your sign language! Walk the dog, buy some groceries, brush your teeth. All while “talking” to yourself in ASL. People might think you are a bit crazy, but that’s okay—tell them you are learning ASL, teach them a sign or two, and they will be intrigued. Along with tackling various activity related signs, we’ll also delve into the different types and styles of signing that you can find in the United States, and all the advances in technology that have allowed Deaf people to express themselves and communicate more easily over distances.

Course Highlights

Gain additional vocabulary and confidence while taking your knowledge of ASL to the next level.
Communicate about everyday routines and activities.
Explore how expressions can enhance signs and lend dimension to conversations.
Dive deeper into the Deaf community and discover how culture impacts languages.

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