University of Texas at Austin Second Year American Sign Language 3



ASL 312K 41300


University of Texas at Austin

Second Year American Sign Language 3

Course Syllabus



Debbie White


11:00 – 12:00 PM


MEZ 2.124



OFFICE HOURS: Thursday 11-12, Friday 12-2p.m.


Course Description:

Prerequisites: ASL 507 or equivalent with a grade of C or higher.

ASL 312K is a third-semester American Sign Language (ASL) course that emphasizes not only language mastery but also the understanding of Deaf culture, specifically its cultural values, attitudes, beliefs, social norms, and history.

Integrates and refines expressive and receptive skills in American Sign Language (ASL), including recognition of sociolinguistic variation. A practice oriented approach to language acquisition with demonstration of more sophisticated grammatical features of American Sign Language (ASL). Increases fluency and accuracy in finger spelling and numbers. Provides opportunities for interaction within the deaf community. Course requires significant time outside of class.

Course study includes ASL grammatical structures, non-manual behaviors, vocabulary and classifiers, fingerspelling and numbers, communication skills (conversations and discussions), and other language functions. Most of the learning activities are based on the text, Signing Naturally. These activities will include interactive activities such as locating things around the house, complaining, making suggestions and requests, exchanging personal information: life events, and describing and identifying things. Supporting studies include attendance of Deaf events, film and video viewing, ASL literary readings, and other analytical activities.

Course Rationale:

American Sign Language (ASL) is the fourth most commonly used language in the United States.

Estimates range from 500,000 to two million speakers in the U.S. alone. In addition, Deaf

Canadians are using ASL.

Required Textbooks:

1) Signing Naturally Level II, Student Workbook and Videotext.

Authors: Smith, Lentz, and Mikos

2) For Hearing People Only, Authors: Matthew S. Moore and Linda Levitan, 3 rd Edition

3) ASL 312K Course Packet (Speedway Copying & Printing, Dobie Mall)

4) One 2 GB USB Flash Drive

Course Requirements:


Please note that you are taking this course for a grade. Pass-fail is not an option in class.

It is essential that students make every effort to attend every class on time and be prepared to participate in all activities.

Attendance and Participation Policy (66 points): Class attendance and participation is worth 3 points daily.

Points begin to be counted on August 28. The total points for attendance and participation (33 days) come to 66 points. The exam days are not included. Also, please remember to bring your course packet to class at all times.

You should plan to attend class regularly, inasmuch as the material covered in class and participation in class discussion are vital to your performance in this course. Roll call is mandatory. It is your responsibility to check

Blackboard periodically throughout the semester to ensure that you keep current on your number of absences/tardy.

Reasons for excused absences include illness, family emergency, religious holiday, or attendance at official

UT events that require your presence (e.g., athletic events). Please notify me as soon as possible after you miss the class and when you will be absent for one of these reasons. Absences due to illness may require a doctor's note. No attendance points will be taken off if you have a valid reason. In the event that you miss the quiz for the reasons given, there will be no make-up; however, the denominator used in the determination of your grade will be adjusted accordingly at the end of the semester. The Blackboard does not reflect concerning the adjustment; however, the Excel spreadsheet is used to reflect it properly.

Late for class: Each tardiness and early departure of at least 5 minutes from class will be documented. Each total of three (3) tardiness and early departures will be counted as one (1) absence.

Rationale: This is a skill-developing lab course involving group and individual practice and skill development using visual gestural stimuli. There is no way to make up an absence. Missing class or being late to class really does hinder your progress. When you ask questions that may have been answered during the day you were absent or late, the other students suffer.

B. Avoid talking or voicing during class time. Once the instructor enters the classroom, please refrain from using voice. Talking without signing in the presence of a Deaf instructor or any deaf person is considered

RUDE in Deaf culture.

If you own a pager/cell phone, please turn it OFF as you come in class.

Eye contact in the class is very important. Disruptions such as ringing or vibration from the device break the eye contact as heads turn toward the source of the sound!

Rationale: 1) Skills depend on visual perception and memory. Use of auditory stimuli inhibits this learning process for both the person talking and for other students in the class. 2) In this class, students will experience cross-cultural interaction between Deaf and hearing people. It is important that students recognize and respect Deaf culture.

Lab Requirements:

C. Volunteer Assignment (200 points): You are required to do volunteer work with the Deaf for a total of at least SIX hours ( worth 10 points per hour plus 15 points of the supervisor’s evaluation for a maximum of 75 points per activity ). Your signing skills (125 points) will be assessed . Turn in your USB flash drive on

November 16.

One day late will result 25% off of the final grade. See the criteria for more details on your course packet.

All video and ethnographic assignments are due as scheduled for full credit . No late assignments will be accepted for those dates. You must go to MEZ 2.104 only to be recorded on camera in front of a Mac computer. No other place, such as your dorm room, your apartment, etc., is allowed. No points will be given if you attempt to divert from the requirements.

RATIONALE: Due to the large size of the class and the amount of contact hours per week, it is not possible for the instructor to give each student the desired individual time. It is important that students interact with other Deaf people in order to become fluent in ASL, and more knowledgeable about Deaf culture. Past experience has shown that those students who interact with d/Deaf people do far better on exams than those who do not.

D. EXAMS and QUIZZES (770 points): Three sets of exams will be given during the course of the semester.

The first exam will only be the comprehension part ( 100 points ) that is based on ASL 507. Two sets of exams will comprise of 1) comprehension part ( 100 points each ) and 2) expressive part ( 100 points each ).

Each exam may take up to two to three class sessions to complete, so plan to be in class on time during those test periods . Teacher will commence administering tests FIVE minutes after the class begins.

If you come in late, quietly take a seat and begin on whichever part teacher is on. Questions that you miss, because of your being late, will count against you. No make-ups for exams will be given! Do not miss during those exam days.

For Hearing People Only written quizzes (50 points): will include, but not limited to, True/False, based on reading of selected chapters of the textbook. First quiz is worth 24 possible points and second quiz is worth

26 possible points. Dates are October 2 and 23.

Announced Quizzes: (100 points). Six comprehension quizzes will be based on your classroom activities and assignments (textbook/videotext). The quizzes are worth 100 points. The lowest quiz grade will be dropped. No make-ups will be given for quizzes missed due to absence. If the absence is caused by extreme circumstances, the lecturer may consider adjusting your final grad points to compensate for the missed quiz.

Movie Quizzes (120 points): You are to watch three DVD movies in their respective order [See handouts].

The first two movies will have a multiple choice quiz. The first movie quiz is 20 points. It is due on September

25. The second movie is 100 points.

It is due on October 19.

Movie Reaction Video (60 points): The goal of this reaction is for you to express your thoughts, opinions or questions. The video must include the information pertaining to the questions [See questions handouts]. You are to answer each in a narrative way. Turn in your USB flash drive on November 6 . One day late will result

25% off of the final grade.


Your grade will be based solely on your classroom requirements as stated in your syllabus.


Grades will be based on a successful completion of thirteenth (14) exams/quizzes for a total of 770 possible points, in addition to 266 possible points for a successful and satisfactory completion of lab/volunteer assignments, participation and attendance for a total of 1096 possible points.

Cumulative Points


– 1063 = A+


– 1030 = A


– 986 = A-

985 – 954 = B+

953 – 921 = B


– 877 = B-


– 844 = C+


– 811 = C

810 – 767 = C-

766 – 734 = D+


– 701 = D


– 658 = D-

[100% - 97]


– 94]


– 90]

[89 – 87]

[86 – 84]


– 80]


– 77]


– 74]

[73 – 70]

[69 – 67]


– 64]


– 60]

**Note: A grade of D results in ineligibility for any future ASL courses.

Required University Notices and Policies:

University of Texas Honor Code

The core values of the University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the university is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness , and respect toward peers and community.

Use of E-Mail for Official Correspondence to Students

Email is recognized as an official mode of university correspondence; therefore, you are responsible for reading your email for university and course-related information and announcements. You are responsible to keep the university informed about changes to your e-mail address. You should check your e-mail regularly and frequently

– I recommend daily, but at minimum twice a week – to stay current with university-related communications, some of which may be time-critical. You can find UT

Austin’s policies and instructions for updating your e-mail address at

Policy on Scholastic Dishonesty:

Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibili ty of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of the University, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. For further information please vis it the

Student Judicial Services Web site at

Documented Disability Statement:

If you require special accommodations, you must obtain a letter that documents your disability from the Services for Students with Disabilities area of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (471-6259 or 471-4641 (TTY) for users who are deaf or hard of hearing). Present the letter to me at the beginning of the semester so we can discuss the accommodations you need. No later than five business days before an exam, you should remind me of any testing accommodations you will need. For more information, visit .

Behavior Concerns Advice Line (BCAL)

If you are worried about someone who is acting differently, you may use the Behavior Concerns Advice Line to discuss by phone your concerns about another individual’s behavior. This service is provided through a partnership among the office of the Dean of Students, the Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC), the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), AND the

University of Texas Police Department (UTPD). Call 512-232-5050 or visit

Emergency Evacuation Policy

Occupants of buildings on the UT Austin campus are required to evacuate and assemble outside when a fire alarm is activated or an announcement is made. Plaease be aware of the following policies regarding evacuation:

Familiarize yourself with all exit doors of the classroom and the building. Remember that the nearest exit door may not be the one you used when you entered the building.

If you require assistance to evacuate, inform me in writing during the first week of class.

In the event of an evacuation, follow my instructions or those of class instructors.

Do not reenter a building unless you’re given instructions by the Austin Fire Department, the UT Austin Police

Department, or the Fire Prevention Services office.