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American Sign Language

Program Overview

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.

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.

This program could complement 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 General Electives and could meet the GE humanities requirement.

Program Details

ASLS160 American Sign Language I

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.

3 units

ASLS161 American Sign Language II

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 I and includes additional Christian signs.

3 units

ASLS260 American Sign Language III

This course is a continuation of ASLS II. 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 II and continues to expand the range of Christian signs.

3 units

ASLS261 American Sign Language IV

This course is a continuation of ASLS III. 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 ASLS III and continues to expand the range of Christian signs.

3 units

ASLS301 Introduction to American 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 American deaf community. The course comprises lectures, guest speakers, videos, and text readings. Assessments involve in‐class exams, research papers, and in‐class presentations.

3 units

ASLS370 Worship and Creative Signs

In this course, students learn to sign Christian signs and creative signs beyond what is learned in ASLS I. 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.

3 units

ASLS375 Experiential Learning

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 skills and expose them to specific career opportunities.

3 units
  • Possession of an informed Christian aesthetic and the ability to apply their aesthetic to various art forms and artistic media.
  • An increased knowledge of the history of the arts and/or specific media and practices.
  • The ability to effectively analyze art forms from an informed artistic sensibility as viewed through the lens of a Judeo-Christian worldview.
  • Cultivated technical skill sets in various artistic areas.
  • Acquisition of a broad knowledge and aesthetic appreciation of music literature through study and performance.
  • The ability to effectively serve the church and/or the community through practicing his or her art form.
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American Sign Language


American Sign Language Minor

Program Advisor

Bobbette Long

Program Advisor

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