American Sign Language Level 8

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
MODL 2164
American Sign Language Level 8
Modern Languages
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Contact Hours

Seminar: 4 hours per week

Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

Class activities may include lecture and language lab, demonstration/modelling, dialogue and small group conversational practice, course readings, videos, and shadowing language models, among others. 

Course Description
Continuation of emphasis on ASL narration skills, as in Level 7. This course guides intermediate-advanced ASL users to focus on developing skills in comprehending and using ASL narrative techniques, classifiers and locatives, and ASL non-manual markers with the mouth. Students will advance their skills in creating cohesive ASL discourse using appropriate discourse topic and transition markers. Students will also apply skills related to discourse mapping of ASL texts and reconstruct ASL discourse from diagrams of their own design. This course is required for students in the Sign Language Interpretation program.
Course Content

Sentence structures, vocabulary and narrative techniques: 

  • Non-manual markers made with the mouth
  • Rhetorical questions
  • Relative clauses 
  • Use of left/right space for comparisons
  • Constructed dialogue and constructed action
  • Time/tense markers and use of timelines
  • Discourse genres: instructional, argumentative, informational, expository & persuasive
  • 7 expansion/contextualization techniques

Building knowledge of ASL’s numbering systems:

  • Variations in context-specific ordinal number formats
  • Variations in context-specific cardinal number formats 
  • Money-related numbers and vocabulary

Narrating about major decisions, accidents, money management:

  • Discourse markers for sequencing, comparing, explaining
  • Related verbs and other vocabulary
  • Sharing and giving opinions

Introduction to Deaf advocacy organizations and events:

  • Local, provincial, national, international 
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate intermediate-advanced ASL narration skills to do the following:
    • Incorporate appropriate use of non-manual markers in signed utterances
    • Use appropriate register when sharing and giving opinion
    • Construct cohesive narrative discourse with appropriate discourse markers and pauses for topic transition/maintenance
    • Appropriately incorporate the narrative techniques of constructed dialogue and constructed action 
    • Use a wide variety of classifiers and locatives
    • Use appropriate number formats for particular contexts
    • Maintain appropriate temporal aspect and use time/tense markers
  • Analyze and diagram ASL texts to determine main points and supporting detail
  • Identify the 7 techniques for expansion/contextualization in ASL
  • Reconstruct ASL texts working from one’s own discourse map
  • Demonstrate versatility to produce ASL discourse in different genres
Means of Assessment

This course will conform to the Douglas College Evaluation policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. Typical means of evaluation may include a combination of:

  • Quizzes to evaluate factual knowledge of ASL & Deaf culture
  • Quizzes to evaluate receptive ASL skills
  • Demonstration of expressive ASL skills
  • Assigned dialogues and interaction
  • Attendance and participation

A sample grade breakdown for this course might be as follows:

Video assignment 1: 20%

Video assignment 2: 20%

Mid-term exam 1: 20%

Mid-term exam 2: 20%

Final exam: 20% 

Total: 100%

No single assignment will be worth more than 20%.

Textbook Materials

The instructor might choose an ASL textbook such as:

Smith, Cheri. (2008). Signing Naturally 3. Student Workbook. San Diego, CA: DawnSignPress.


MODL 2163 or Assessment