Learning To See
American Sign Language as a Second Language
Publication Year: 1997
Published by: Gallaudet University Press
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Foreign language teachers often tell us that the goal of teaching a second language is to propel students beyond the limits of their own world, to encourage them to see through the language and culture of another people (Bugos 1980). Such a goal is entirely appropriate for teachers of American Sign Language...
1. More than a Gesture
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In 1965, an event took place that was to change the history of a language and its people.William C. Stokoe, Dorothy Casterline, and Carl Croneberg published their Dictionary of American Sign Language on Linguistic Principles. At the time, few people paid attention. Although American Sign Language (ASL) was the language...
2. American Sign Language in Perspective
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American Sign Language (ASL) is the visual/gestural language that serves as the primary means of communication of deaf people in the United States and parts of Canada. It is difficult to extrapolate the size of the deaf population because the United States Bureau of the Census has not included a question on hearing...
3. American Deaf Culture
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It is common for the general public to consider deaf people in this country as handicapped Americans with no further sense of identity as a people. This is far from correct. There exists a strong and tightknit group of people in the United States that identifies itself with Deaf culture (Wilcox 1989). As with any culture, its members share values, beliefs, attitudes, and, most importantly...
4. Teaching ASL
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The first step in designing any type of program that will offer ASL instruction is to conduct a needs assessment. As with any second language program, an analysis of the local academic and community environment is needed to determine the following (Crandall and Bruhn 1982, 79):...
5. Special Considerations
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In this final chapter, we will discuss several special considerations routinely reviewed by second language teachers of ASL. These will include the distinction between ASL programs and interpreting programs, teacher qualifications, and the ASL program’s relationship with the Deaf community....
Appendix 1: Selected Videotapes on American Sign Language and Deaf Culture
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Appendix 2: Selected Books on American Sign Language and Deaf Culture
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Appendix 3: Deafness-Related Organizations and Publishers
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Appendix 4: Colleges and Universities That Accept ASL as Partial or Complete Fulfillment of Foreign Language Credits
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Page Count: 160
Illustrations: 3 tables, 10 figures
Publication Year: 1997