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American Sign Language is a language made up of only hand and facial expressions. At Boise State, it is a language that a lot of people decide to major or minor in. Taking a course in ASL can benefit those who are preparing for a career in special education. The class is very engaging, and good for those with experience and with no experience. Here is everything to know about ASL 101 at Boise State:

1. Presentations

There are two formal presentations during the semester, a midterm and a final. The idea of having to do a presentation in only Sign Language is very intimidating, however it is not as bad as you might think. Use websites like “signing savvy” to help with signs you might not have learned so far. The key to preparing for these presentations is to record yourself and watch it over and over in order to memorize it. 

2. Homework

You will need a laptop or a device that can play a DVD. With the textbook comes two DVDs that have videos that will be used for homework. The homework is usually very simple, either a written response or a short sign language video only seen by the instructor. The assignments take usually 20-30 minutes.

3. What to expect in class

The class time is mostly spent working in partners practicing conversation techniques. The instructor will teach the signs and the correct facial expressions and then have you work with a partner. Often times the class will play games using sign language only, like tick tack toe or hangman.

4. Attendance

Attendance was is not mandatory but it is highly recommended. Some signs and techniques and best learned in the classroom rather than online. You will also learn about the Deaf culture, which is very interesting coming from a Deaf professor.

5. The final presentation

Instead of a test, the final is a presentation on anything you want. The presentation must last 3-5 minutes and can be on the topic of your choice. Students usually presents on personal experiences or stories.

Overall, you will learn so much in this class which can benefit you in the future. The class is more of hands on learning, and less of busy work.  Practice is key, and you will only be successful with learning the language if you put the time in. If you try your best, and attend most classes, you will pass with an A. Good luck!


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Sarah Austin


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