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American Sign Language Level 3

Course Code: MODL 1261
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Modern Languages
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 Weeks
Learning Format: Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

A continuation of Level 2, providing essentials of fundamental ASL structures for everyday interaction. Students develop their use of appropriate grammatical features and facial grammar, including non-manual signals, and develop their receptive and expressive signing skills. The course presents further insight into the Deaf community and Deaf culture.

Course Content

 The content includes:

  • Deaf cultural norms/behaviors of greeting, introducing, conversing and leaving
  • Appropriate vocabulary to maintain and carry on a conversation that includes a description of neighborhood and surroundings
  • Describing locations and how to go from one location to another
  • Forming requests and asking for advice
  • Producing cardinal numbers
  • Understanding the Deaf community as a linguistic and cultural minority, not as disabled
  • Culturally appropriate norms of social interaction – behaviors such as how to interrupt an ASL conversation between two persons, of whom at least one is Deaf

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  1. The Deaf community comprises a vibrant linguistic and cultural minority whose members are connected to each other through shared values, norms, art, traditions and especially the primacy of using a signed language.
  2. The creativity and strength of the Deaf community contribute positively to the larger human society; Deaf lives exemplify unique and enriching ways of seeing and being in the world.
  3. ASL (American Sign Language), LSQ (la Langue des Signes Québécoises) and ISL (Indigenous Sign Languages) are rich, visual-gestural languages used by Deaf people in Canada. Signed languages are distinctly different from spoken languages; they have their own syntax, vocabulary, grammatical structures, pragmatic norms, and literary forms.
  4. Studying ASL can be an exciting challenge for the majority of people who have only used language(s) that are spoken and auditory. Because ASL is a visual-gestural language, it requires the learner to use their eyes to take in linguistic information and to use their hands, face, and body to convey linguistic information. Even though spoken languages incorporate some form of gestural communication, the use of 3-dimensional space is an integral feature of the structure of ASL.

Methods of Instruction

Class activities may include: Lecture and language lab, demonstration/modeling, dialogue, and small group conversational practice, course readings/videos, among others.

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

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%.

Learning Outcomes

 Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to demonstrate conversational ASL skill to do the following:

  • Introduce and talk about themselves
  • Identify present people (in immediate surroundings, classroom, social event, etc.)
  • Incorporate cultural norms/behaviors of greeting and leaving - i.e. interrupting a conversation or a person
  • Make requests
  • Create agreements with conditions
  • Use agreement verbs (use of space, modify movement and palm orientation)
  • Describe and discuss neighborhoods – places, parks, shops, landmarks, surroundings (visual orientation and POV)
  • Give directions from one location to another and via which mode of transportation
  • Suggest and recommending a place(s) to go for dinner, coffee/tea, etc.
  • Demonstrate enhanced use in ASL of non-manual signals, depictive action, and facial grammar
  • Recognize and incorporate the key values of Deaf culture and community
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of some key Deaf norms of social interaction

course prerequisites

MODL 1162 or Assessment

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.