American Sign Language (ASL) is an AMAZING, beautiful language. ASL is an integration of expressive and receptive skills that includes fingerspelling, numbers, signs, phrases, sentences, and concepts. ASL is NOT an imitation of spoken and written English language. Deaf people belong to a cultural group that share a common language, traditions, values, beliefs, social habits, and etc. ASL has its own syntax and grammar rules. This course will provide students with information on general usage of signs, grammatical structure for simple and complex sentences, and appropriate cultural behaviors belonging to Deaf Culture. ASL has intelligent linguistic structures that are advanced and complex. The Defense Language Institute categorizes languages into four levels of difficulty for an English speaker to learn. Category I languages are easier to pick up, while moving on up through Category IV, language comprehension is more difficult.
Category I languages include Spanish and French
Category II includes German
Category III includes Farsi and Hebrew
Category IV includes American Sign Language and Chinese
*Sources: Defense Language Institute, ASLTA and ASL TEKS (2014).
Despite of how advanced this language is, learning American Sign Language is very possible as long students work their hardest and do their best. Those students who incorporate certain methods advised by the teacher into their daily routines to learn American Sign Language will help the student to have a higher chance to excel. The accomplishments that the students make in the end are very rewarding.