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American Sign Language Level 4

Course Code: MODL 1262
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

Continuation of Level 3. Students develop ASL vocabulary and appropriate signing registers as well as skills for role-shifting and point of view when narrating in sign language, including the use of three-dimensional space and placement. The course builds further knowledge and understanding of Deaf culture.

Course Content

The content includes:

  • ASL vocabulary and structures for sharing and giving opinions about tendencies, personal qualities (self and others), and comparing these
  • Depicting a timeline for personal goals and desires/dreams, and using 3D space to identify milestones
  • Discussing and comparing prices of product(s) such as airfares, food, restaurant meals
  • Two of ASL’s numbering systems – Cardinal numbers versus Price/Cost numbers
  • Understanding the Deaf community as a linguistic and cultural minority, not as disabled
  • Introduction to some themes in Deaf visual arts such as the significance of depicting hands and ears in paintings by Chuck Baird
  • Culturally appropriate norms of social interaction – appropriate level of “bluntness” and “directness”

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 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 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 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 moderate conversational ASL skill to do the following:

o    Share opinions about tendencies, personal qualities, as well as comparing these, while being culturally appropriate

o    Use a diverse vocabulary of ASL adjectives

o    Recognize and use different number systems (e.g. cardinal numbers versus pricing numbers)

o    Ask where to find a particular/item object in a room (spatial locatives)

o    Use geographic signs for provinces, states, and some countries around the world as part of a conversation about personal goals such as traveling, moving, volunteering/working or vacationing

o    Provide brief introductions to various notable Deaf communities

o    Narrate one’s version of a story, incorporating role-shifting with emphasis on personification and characterization

  • Narrate one’s version of a story, incorporating role-shifting with emphasis on personification and characterization
  • Recognize the significance of using appropriately direct messages, in keeping with the “bluntness” of Deaf cultural norms
  • Demonstrate the use of appropriate register in ASL when sharing and giving opinion
  • Recognize the significance and demonstrate the practice of informing a Deaf person of background noises and/or distractions

course prerequisites

MODL 1261 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.