Through this service-learning course, students will continue their language training in American Sign Language (ASL) while focusing on research and applications primarily outside of the deaf community. Combining the works of Oliver Sacks (cognitive changes from sign language acquisition), Howard Gardner (multiple intelligence theory), and Marilyn Daniels (signing for hearing children’s literacy), students will participate in adding this visual and kinesthetic modality to elementary school language arts programming. The use of sign language for children with a variety of learning disabilities will also be examined and applied through the course service component.

This course focuses on developing proficiency in American Sign Language by addressing all skills of language learning, including both expressive and receptive skills. Students will gain an understanding of the unique cultural concepts and values of the Deaf community in the United States and work with children in a local elementary school.