American Sign Language 2b: Advancing Communication Skills

Course Overview

Units at a glance

Deaf people used to be called “deaf and dumb,” but the Deaf President Now protests held by the student body at Gallaudet University in 1988 proved that not only could Deaf students organize but also that they were articulate leaders who wanted to see Deaf people in positions of power. Together, we’ll trace this important event in Deaf history, and since such events don’t simply happen, but rather require a great deal of advance planning, we’ll also work on making plans in ASL by learning how to create lists, sequences, and rankings with the correct NMMs. Finally, we’ll delve into the process of researching Deaf topics while making sure to include Deaf perspectives from original sources—knowledge every ASL student should have!

S’up? Did you hear the news? How about see the news? Getting the news can be difficult if you are deaf, but new technologies have allowed for more captioning and more ASL video news sources to bring important stories to the Deaf community. Together we will learn how to tell a good story in ASL, whether true or fictional, and get some practice using ASL literature techniques to captivate your audience with your signed stories.

Aw, that’s just a story! But it might be a true story, even if it looks like it could be unbelievable. Isn’t that the fun of telling stories? They can be funny, unusual, crazy, and still be true at the same time. We’ll dig in to some funny stories, both fictional and true, while we learn more techniques for good storytelling and grammar. Plus, we’ll learn some cool ASL expressions, so get ready—you’re not going to want to miss the boat!

“Roses are red, violets are blue…” So much of the beauty of ASL literature comes from the visual splendor of the language, but did you know that you can rhyme in ASL? The traditions and forms of ASL literature are unique among literary arts in that they don’t have a written representation that can do them justice—you need to see the poems and stories performed to visualize and appreciate them. Playing with the language visually can be just as complex—or even more so—than written English. With unique practices of sequencing handshapes and varying signs, this poetry in motion must also, of course, be effectively communicated to an audience. Together, we’ll jump into ASL literature, discover how to apply the appropriate rules to create our own stories and poems, and learn about two prominent ASL poets.

Think of your dream vacation. Can you visualize it on a map? Mapping and indexing space are intrinsic parts of American Sign Language, but did you know that Deaf geography is contributing important insights to the wider field of geography? Deaf geography charts the cultural use of space, looking at how hearing and Deaf culture come into contact with each other in the physical world. Deaf space is also political, and we will talk about how important it is to Deaf culture. For more culture mixing, travel the world with ASL and learn how to describe your journey. Finally, we will quickly review some important grammar to take your signing to the next level of fluency, inviting you to become even more articulate in ASL.

Course Highlights

Plunge further into Deaf history and culture.
Explore the world of ASL literature.
Create your own unique ASL poems and stories.
Build upon previously acquired vocabulary.

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