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American Sign Language


ASL Minor


Requirement 1
Requirement 2

Career Options

Sign Language Instructor
Sign Language Pastor

Program Advisor

Lead Faculty, ASL

Program Overview

Why American Sign Language
The American Sign Language (ASL) Studies program prepares students for personal or professional related skills to be able to understand and communicate with the Deaf community in a Christ-centered faith-based setting. The vision of the ASLS program is to educate the WJU students about the Deaf community, which has its own culture and language. Through this understanding the students will have a better respect for the community as individuals in the world culture.
What to Expect
Students in the ASLS program will have the unique opportunity as the only Northern California ASL program that is Christ-centered. This will fulfill a need in our community to produce skilled Christian signers who can communicate and witness to/with our Deaf community. The ASLS program will prepare students with the basic courses needed if they desire to further or complement their education in the field of deaf education, special education, speech-language pathology, Deaf Studies, sign language interpreting, or other related fields of study.
Opportunities for Impact
This program could supplement any student’s learning in the field of Business, Creative Arts, Family and Children’s Ministry, Christian Leadership, TESOL, Liberal Studies, Pastoral Ministry, Psychology, Public Policy, Youth Ministry and Education. These courses add additional GE general electives and could meet the GE humanities requirement.

Learning Outcomes

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ASLS 160 ASL 1
This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of American Sign Language (ASL). It provides preparation for visual / gestural communication and includes basic information relating to Deaf culture, intensive work on comprehension skills, and grammatical structures. The course includes foundational Christian signs.
ASLS 161 ASL 2 (Prerequisite ASLS 160 ASL 1)
This course is a continuation of American Sign Language I. It enhances the student’s proficiency in ASL usage and stresses continued development of basic conversational skills with emphasis on vocabulary and expressive skills. The course also expands vocabulary and concepts acquired in ASLS 160: ASL 1 and includes additional Christian signs.
ASLS 260 ASL 3 (Prerequisite ASLS161 ASL 2)
This course is a continuation of American Sign Language 2. The course shifts from comprehension to production of ASL. It provides further study of vocabulary and grammatical patterns and continues to develop ASL competencies in numerous conversational settings. The course brings ASL fluency to a point of self-generated ASL for the purpose of furthering language use in ASL. It expands vocabulary and concepts acquired in ASLS 161: ASL 2 and continues to expand the range of Christian signs.
ASLS 261 ASL 4 (Prerequisite ASLS 260 ASL 3)
This course is a continuation of American Sign Language 3. It provides advanced study of ASL grammar and offers advanced development and refinements of ASL skills and fluency. The course includes intensive work on expressive and receptive skills. It expands vocabulary and concepts acquired in ICS161: ASL 2 and continues to expand the ranger of Christian signs.
ASLS 170 Worship & Creative Signs (Prerequisite ASLS 160: ASL 1)
In this course, students learn to sign Christian signs and creative signs beyond what is learned in ASL 1. Topics include Christian songs, hymns, prayers, poems and Biblical stories. The course also teaches students to sign in a creative way beyond basic conversational skills. Topics include signing songs, poems, skits, jokes, children’s stories, and more.
ASLS 275 Experiential Learning (Prerequisite ASLS 161: ASL 2)
This course expands the student’s knowledge of career opportunities in the field of Sign Language. Part of the course involves students assisting an instructor in an ASL classroom at WJU. The rest of the course is “in the field” at an appointed location of interest to the student. The objective of this course is to expand the student’s ASL skill and expose them to specific career opportunities.
ASLS 301 Introduction to Deaf History and Culture
This is a lecture course with no pre-requisite. This is not a signing skills class. Students study the history and culture of the Deaf community. The course comprises lectures, guest speakers, videos, and text readings. Assessments involve in-class exams, research papers, and in-class presentations.
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