1. Course Title: American Sign Language 3-4
2. Instructor: Natasha Escalada-Westland
3. Instructor’s Email Address and, if Applicable, Student Website:
[email protected]
[email protected]
4. Instructor’s Classroom Phone Number: 232-8452
5. Course Description:
Students will review ASL 1,-2. This course includes: the parameters of signed language; syntax; nonmanual signals and role shifting; the proper use of sign space; pronominalization; nouns/verbs; time
line; classifiers; pluralizations; deaf culture, fingerspelling and numbers. This course also includes the
use of conceptual accuracy, modulations, sight line, lexicalized fingerspelling, contractions, direct
address, conjunctions, model stories, history of sign, language variations, the sign continuum, and
how people hear. Because language and culture are inextricably linked, this course will also
demonstrate how ASL conveys the values, beliefs, customs, and history of American Deaf culture.
6. Textbook:
Master ASL Level One, 2006, Jason E. Zinza & Signing Naturally Level 2, Workbook and DVD, 1992,
Students in this class work from a class set of books and are not provided with an individual copy,
except by special request.
7. Other Required Materials:
Binder or large folder
Pen or pencil.
Desire to learn & enthusiasm!
Homework: 3-4 days/week, 15-20 min./night
8. Topics Covered in This Class:
Performance Goals:
Upon completion of this year-long course, the student will be able to do the following:
Understand and perform a sign vocabulary with a minimum of at least 2000 signs and
Demonstrate an expressive and receptive understanding of numbering systems used in ASL.
Demonstrate expressive fingerspelling with correct posture, placement, and rhythm & speed.
Demonstrate comprehension of fingerspelled words of 5 or more letters.
Demonstrate and describe complex sentence structure including dependent clauses.
Discuss Deaf culture and the deaf community and explain how it might differ from hearing
Provide and receive information (expressive/receptive skills) at the sentence and brief
narrative level in American Sign Language.
Course Outline
Outline: Unit Topics are outlined.
Fingerspelling and SignWriting will be addressed throughout the course.
Grammar and linguistic elements are outlined. Deaf culture will be addressed in various lessons for
each unit.
Semester 1
Describing People
Race/Ethnicity signs
Location changes
Descriptive classifiers
My Home & Community
(The concept of) Have…
Spatial Visualization
Using CL: Claw with spatialization
Money Signs
Using CL: bent V
Making Requests
Accepting/Declining offers
Asking for clarification
Money numbers
Making Plans
Foods & cooking
Signing “To Be”
Semester 2
SignWriting at the Sentence Level
Writing facial expressions
Complaining, Making Suggestions and Requests
Temporal inflections
Ask for permission & clarification
Express concern
Decline / Agree (conditional sentence)
Life Events - Narratives
Ask/tell when (dependent clauses)
Tell about life events (sequencing)
Ask about nationality
Narratives (contrastive structure)
Correct and elaborate
Recent Activities & Opinions - Narratives
Temporal sequencing
Time signs with durative aspect
Describing and Identifying Things
Descriptive classifiers
Instrument classifiers
Mouth morphemes
Element classifiers
9. Grading Policy:
Testing, Grading Scale and Categories
In order to pass a unit, students must receive at least 75% on Receptive and Expressive tests. These
will be taken by watching the instructor signing live or on video or by recording yourself signing or
signing live in front of the instructor. There are testing time windows, but students may retake all
tests until a score of 75% or higher is achieved, and students may test ahead if they have finished a
particular unit.
Grammar and culture knowledge tests include written English and SignWriting. Students may use
any notes they have written or printed and included in their ASL class folder. Grammar and culture
tests cannot be taken until a study guide and/or notes are completed.
Weighted Categories:
 Interpersonal & interpretive ASL skills
30% of weighted grade
(includes reading SignWriting)
 Presentational ASL skills
30% of weighted grade
(includes writing SignWriting)
 Grammar and Culture knowledge
25% of weighted grade
(Written English tests and assignments, some projects)
 Culturally Appropriate Behavior
15% of weighted grade
(use of visual communication and appropriate participation in class activities)
Grade Scale [applied after all categories are calculated (rounded up)]:
10. Late/Missing Work Policy:
Tests and assignments must be done to mastery. You must re-do assignments and tests until you reach
a score of 75% or higher to obtain mastery. All assignment grades will be finalized (and therefore all
assignments are due) at least 5 school days before grades are due at each quarter. Hand in
assignments to your labeled class tray on the table at the back of the room.
11. Interventions this Teacher Offers to Students Whose Performance Does Not
Meet Expectations:
The mastery expectations set out in the paragraph above are one form of intervention. Students who do not
retake or redo tests and assignments with scores lower than ~75% and/or whose overall class score is below
70% will be asked to discuss, then write and submit to the instructor a signed plan of action to raise their scores.
Parents/guardians, school counselors, administrators or other key staff or faculty members will be contacted
with the details of the plan.
13. Other Class Requirements or Expectations:
CAB Plan – Culturally and Classroom Appropriate Behavior – Earned Daily points: 10 pts. (Extra
credit is often available for observed extra effort)
You earn or lose points on a daily checklist according to your ability and willingness to adhere to
(Deaf and Classroom) Culturally Appropriate Behavior. As you gain knowledge and confidence, my
expectations will become higher. More Deaf cultural norms will be added and practiced as the year
progress. The basics are as follows:
 Visual communication - is expected for the majority of class time, as indicated by “The Sign”
located at the front of the room on the white board. “The Sign” will be orange with a picture
of signing hands, and means that you are to use sign language, not spoken language. You
may use Stickies for questions that come up during lectures or questions that you feel you
can’t express adequately using visual communications. Stickies are simply a sticky note on
which you can write your question or observation and give it to me or place it on my
computer screen. I’ll address the questions that come up as time allows during class.
 Eye contact – This will be hard for some of you at first because culturally, hearing people are
trained to mostly listen, and not all cultures value direct eye contact, some even disapprove
of it. You will be expected to watch the person who is signing in large, small and one-on-one
signing situations.
o Hat, Sunglasses & Hoodies – Please don’t wear them in class. A huge part of ASL is
facial expression and eye gaze. We won’t be able to fully access this part of the
language if you are covering it up.
o Clear sight-lines – If you can’t see the signer, move or let the signer know you can’t
see them. Communication is a two-way street.
 Distractions (tardies, food, phones, other electronics without permission, etc.) –
o Treat everyone in the room with respect. Simple. Effective. Remember it! Respect
yourself and others by focusing on our goal of learning ASL.
Set electronics to off/vibrate and in your pocket or bags. If devices cause a
continuing interruption, students will be asked to give up their devices to a monitor
or administrator.
o Be on time. The following tardy policy is in effect: minus 5 participation points each
tardy. If it becomes a habit and/or is disruptive, you will be referred for
detention/community service. Skipping out early is considered a “tardy” too.
o Keep it clean. No food. Drinks with lids only.
Attend class. Let me know if you will be absent. When you are absent, check missed work by
accessing my lesson plans or Power Points on line at Any
other handouts needed should be available in a location I have indicated in the room or
available for download on my website. Most students who attend regularly pass this class.
Students who are absent frequently often fail.
Academic Integrity. If you cheat or plagiarize individual work such as tests or written
assignments you will receive a score of zero. Your parents/guardians will be contacted and
you will be referred to administration for disciplinary measures.
Ask questions and get help. If you need further help or assistance beyond class time, please
don’t hesitate see me during lunch by appointment.
All school rules and regulations outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities or
elsewhere are, of course, in effect in this classroom as well.
Classroom Routine
We will use AMOST COMPLETELY ASL! Look at the “The Sign” when you enter the classroom to see if
you are allowed to voice. You will need to practice asking questions, making polite conversation and
using lots of gesturing and facial expression when you can’t remember a sign. Use a Sticky if you’re
As well as the expectation that you use ASL, this is how you can expect classes to proceed on a weekly
basis. There will be projects, and hopefully visitors that will insert themselves into our routine, and
of course, unexpected circumstances to deal with. The daily objectives will be displayed on the
projector or written on the board.
Bellwork (5 to 10 min.) – When you enter the classroom, briefly greet the teacher and other students
in ASL, find your assigned seat, get out your notebook, read and copy the objectives and
announcements and for the day and begin the daily bellwork practice.
After bellwork, the instructor will present a short vocabulary, grammar or culture lesson. Topics are
posted on-line at> ASL 1-2> Calendar. After the lesson, students will engage
in grouped or individual practice lessons.
Classroom Binders or Folders
Each of you will keep a binder. In it you will keep a list of objectives, notes and track your progress
towards the objectives (assessments). You need to keep graded assignments and test scores or
progress reports. Test answer sheets will be kept by the instructor and can be viewed on request.
Practice Groupings
Assigned seating will change on a bi-weekly basis. Sometimes you will choose practice group and
sometimes you will be assigned to practice with others. These groupings may change depending on
the goal for the day and what we are trying to accomplish.