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Who doesn’t see someone signing and think to themselves, “Wow, that’s so cool! I’d love to learn that someday!”? Sign language IS a beautiful language, and as with any other foreign language it can help bring cultures together and lead us in appreciating the Deaf culture and the people that belong to it.

This class will begin at the beginning; however, it will increase in difficulty quickly. We will learn sentence types and sentence structure as well as hand shapes, classifiers, facial expressions, body expressions, lexical signs, time, and much more. Students will study a new vocabulary list each week. This course will teach interpretation skills while also strongly emphasizing conversation skills. As with any language, American Sign Language is a complex language with its own structure, rules, and exceptions, which is why it is considered a foreign language.

Homework will consist of reviewing vocabulary, learning Deaf history and culture, creating sentences, dialogue, and stories with the weekly vocabulary. Occasional quizzes and an assignment at the end of each semester will evaluate students’ knowledge of the vocabulary and the various concepts taught throughout the semester.

Please view prerequisites and required supplies below.


Note: Microphone and camera capability are a requirement for this dynamic class experience both in class and in use of the LMS. We do not recommend attending this course via phone or small tablet as students cannot see all the components well enough on small screens.

Course Details

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A camera for class-time is required to be able to see you signing the vocab and concepts during class. Also, a way to video yourself and upload that video to Canvas is required.

Deaf in America – Voices from a Culture by Carol Padden and Tom Humphries; ISBN: 9780674194243. (Used copies are fine!)

Kelli Mathews has loved American Sign Language and the Deaf community that communicates with it for more than 25 years. While living in the Ft. Lauderdale area, she interpreted professionally in her community as well as for a large Deaf ministry at her church for 12 years. Being involved in Deaf club, Deaf ministry, and Deaf people’s lives was a huge part of her life while living in Florida.

Check our calendar for start dates

4 reviews for ASL I (5/5 stars)

  1. Dana Robinson

    Mrs. Mathews is the most relatable and patient teacher I’ve ever had. I love my ASL family and I am so blessed to learn about American Sign Language.

  2. Maria A.

    My daughter enjoys learning ASL from Mrs. Mathews. The class is interactive, informative, and engaging. Mrs. Mathews is organized and communicates well with the students. If my daughter has a question Mrs. Mathews responds in a timely manner to address it. I highly recommend this course to any student interested in learning ASL and about the culture of the deaf community.

  3. Susan G.

    ASL 1 has been a huge blessing to my daughter! Ms. Mathews is organized and caring. She responds quickly to questions and gives specific, personal feedback on homework assignments. The class time is very interactive. Students have their cameras on and participate in class exercises, so that they can get immediate correction or help as needed. I appreciate the emphasis that Ms. Mathews places on deaf culture. This class is academically rigorous, but the expectations are clearly laid out. I never expected this class to cover so much grammar, sentence structure, facial expressions, etc.–far beyond just learning vocabulary. This has been a wonderful opportunity for learning! We can’t wait for ASL 2!

  4. Dawn

    My son had an amazing experience in Mrs. Mathews’s ASL class! The course is rich, comprehensive, and rigorous. When my son took his first semester of ASL in college, he asked his professor when they would get to rhetoricals. She was impressed that he had learned that concept in high school ASL. Though the course was challenging, Mrs. Mathews is patient and encouraging and truly cares about her students. As a result, my son enjoyed learning and made amazing progress in both signing and interpreting. Because of her experience as an ASL interpreter, Mrs. Mathews is able to help students better understand deaf culture and etiquette, too.

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