American Sign Language

American Sign Language (ASL), the fourth most used language in the U.S., embodies the thoughts, experiences, and values of Deaf culture in the United States and English-speaking parts of Canada. Linguistically complete, it has its own structure, idioms, topic-comment syntax, and grammar. Facial features, such as eyebrow motion and lip-mouth movements, are also significant in ASL as they form a crucial part of the grammatical system. ASL incorporates hand shape, position, and movement; body posture and movements; gestures; facial expressions; other visual cues; and makes use of space surrounding the signer to describe places and persons that are not present. Ethnicity, age, and gender affect ASL and regional usage and jargon contribute to its variations.

Courses Offered at WSU

CSD 270 American Sign Language I
Focuses on the use of American Sign Language as used by the American deaf community. Development of basic communication skills leads to basic conversational skills in ASL.

CSD 370 American Sign Language II
Increases vocabulary and speed of the use of ASL. Focuses on a greater fluency in expressive and receptive skills. Develops intermediate conversational skills. Prerequisite: CDS 270

CSD 470 American Sign Language III
The students will demonstrate expressive and receptive mastery of targeted, context specific commands, questions and statements in ASL, as well as be exposed to ASL as a foreign language. Exposes students to the life and experiences of Deaf people. Prerequisite: CDS 370.

CSD 480 American Sign Language IV
Increases vocabulary and speed of the use of ASL. Focuses on a greater fluency in expressive and receptive skills.  Develops intermediate conversational skills. Prerequisite: CDS 470.

CSD 518 Deaf Culture
A survey of Deaf Culture that examines the various cultural aspects of the deaf community. It presents the interrelationship of the language and culture along with a study of socialization, norms and values.

CSD 520 ASL: Nonverbal Communication
Non-verbal way of communication which forms an integral base for communication in American Sign Language.  This course will emphasize the use and understanding of facial expression gestures, pantomime and body language.  Role play and acting out will be required as part of this class. Prerequisite: CDS 370 or instructor consent.

CSD 740C Selected Topics in American Sign Language
Prerequisite: CSD 270.

Sign Language Interpreter Certification

The Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH), which is part of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, is the certifying agency for interpreters in Kansas. All working interpreters, regardless of experience, must be registered with KCDHH and take the Kansas Quality Assurance Screening (KQAS) to be certified. For details about the KQAS testing process, go to www.dcf.ks.gov/services/RS/Pages/KCDHH/KQAS.aspx.

Foreign Language Requirement

Students who wish to fulfill their foreign language requirement with American Sign Language may seek permission to do so by submitting a written request to their college's exception committee.

ASL Foreign Language Curriculum