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Learning Recommendations: C- or better recommended in English class for students entering 10-12 grades.

General Description:  American Sign Language 1 (ASL) introduces students to this visual/gestural language and the community of people that use it. You will learn the basic vocabulary, grammar, and culturally-appropriate uses of ASL through natural, everyday conversational situations. In order to progress, it is important that students become comfortable using their bodies and “listening” with their eyes. To encourage and foster the development of these skills, voicing in the classroom will be minimal. 

Course Goals: The overall goals of ASL I are for students to understand basic dialogues on a variety of everyday topics of conversation, and feel comfortable being able to converse in the language, as well as being aware of Deaf culture and the general rules within the community.

Content:  ASL 1 covers Units 1-6 of Signing Naturally (2014).  Units include vocabulary and grammatical structures relating to the topics of:

  • getting to know you
  • exchanging personal information
  • discussing living situation
  • talking about family
  • talking about activities
  • storytelling

Fingerspelling, use of space and non-manual signals, and conversational strategies are included, as well as brief historical perspectives of ASL, cultural norms and behaviors, and deaf-blindness.

Strategies: Students will learn through a combination of:

  • Vocabulary building through classroom learning
  • Skill and knowledge enhancement exercises                                
  • Finger spelling, numbers and core vocabulary review
  • Dialogues, modeling, copy-signing and performances        
  • Cultural and grammatical readings
  • Activities and small group work
  • Required out-of-class Deaf cultural experiences


  • Fingerspelling drills
  • Video comprehension
  • Vocabulary review
  • Deaf Cultural experiences, including write-ups
  • Additional ASL- based assignments

Tech Prep Eligible:  This course is CTE Dual Credit approved and articulated with Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Students who demonstrate proficiency of the college course competencies with a ‘B’ (3.0) or better grade may be eligible to earn college credit through the Tech Prep program. Students MUST register for CTE Dual Credit while they are enrolled in the high school course and also are required to pay a non-refundable $46 annual consortium fee.

Course Fee / Materials:  writing utensils, paper, internet- connected devices preferred