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Sign language class builds a community of learners

ASL students engage with each other as they learn new concepts.
ASL students engage with each
other as they learn new concepts.

Behind-the-scenes in American Sign Language IV (ASL 202).

Inside the classroom: Using a total immersion approach, students communicate using hand shapes, movements and facial expressions, with no auditory input. In this advanced class, students practice skills, develop conversational competence and grammatical knowledge. Although the classroom is quiet, students are communicating and laughing and learning together.

Student voice: “I went through high school reading lips. I started trying to teach myself ASL from a book. Since I had no one to practice with, I didn’t get very far. I’ve gained a lot from simply relating to my teachers, because they are all deaf. I’m going to a deaf university in the fall, so learning ASL opened new doors for me. I’m excited because I can understand more now; it’s like the whole world has opened for me.” – Kelly Hernandez

Kelly Hernandez practices ASL.
Kelly Hernandez practices ASL.

Why this class sizzles: “This class is designed for students in the sign language/interpreting program, future teachers of the deaf, and for those who wish to be able to communicate with deaf co-workers, clients and patients. This exciting and fun class includes a variety of interesting and challenging activities designed to make learning ASL natural and enjoyable. Students participate in deaf events and practice their signing skills with deaf people in the Hampton Roads area. As a deaf professional, I am able to provide personal experiences and anecdotes that illustrate the topics of discussion and situations which may arise.  Students are excited about this interactive course, because it provides them with the opportunity to be involved with the deaf community through various activities.” – Deandra Wood, ASL instructor