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Multilingual and Multicultural Education Department



WLC
World Languages and Cultures


American Sign Language (ASL)

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    Resources for American Sign Language (ASL)

  • American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language used predominantly in the United States and in English-speaking parts of Canada.  ASL is accepted by many high schools, colleges, and universities across the United States (including LAUSD, the University of California and the California State University) in fulfillment of world language/language other than English academic requirements.

    With signing, the brain processes linguistic information through the eyes. The shape, placement, and movement of the hands, as well as facial expressions and body movements, all play important parts in conveying information.
     
    Sign language is not a universal language -- each country has its own sign language, and regions have dialects, much like the many languages spoken all over the world. Like any spoken language, ASL is a language with its own unique rules of grammar and syntax. Like all languages, ASL is a living language that grows and changes over time.

     

    Source: National Association for the Deaf, http://www.nad.org/issues/american-sign-language/what-is-asl
     

     

Why Learn ASL?

  • The study of ASL and deaf culture reaps many benefits.  Here are just a few of the reasons to learn ASL.
     
    • ASL is the fourth most used language in the United States, and its use in the U.S. dates back to over 200 years.

    • Learners develop an understanding and appreciation of, and gain unique access to, the Deaf Community and Deaf Culture not only in the United States but also in anglophone parts of Canada.

    • ASL is recognized by the University of California and the California State University as a way to fulfill the world languages admissions "a-g" requirement.

    • There are many employment and career opportunities for ASL interpreters/translators as well as opportunities for advanced studies and research.
     
    Careers in ASL  
     
     
    References:
    https://www.byui.edu/associations/asl
    http://www.jobjournal.com/article_full_text.asp?artid=955
    http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/topics/careers2.htm
    http://www.ncaslta.org/asl-as-foreign-language-fact-sheet-sherman-wilcox.html 
     
     

LAUSD American Sign Language Course Descriptions