Undergraduate minor: American Sign Language
Faculty: https://asl.uiowa.edu/people
Website: https://asl.uiowa.edu/

The American Sign Language Program offers an undergraduate minor. It also offers a number of courses open to all students. They include a four-semester course sequence in American Sign Language (ASL), and courses on fingerspelling, Deaf culture, ASL literature, ASL interpreting, and other topics. The four-course ASL sequence satisfies the World Languages requirement of the GE CLAS Core (see "Language for GE CLAS Core" below). Classroom instruction is supplemented by video materials and interactive software in the Language Media Center.

The American Sign Language Program is administered by the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

Language for GE CLAS Core

The following four-course sequence satisfies the World Languages requirement of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core. Students must demonstrate 75 percent proficiency in the expressive and receptive elements of each course in order to register for the next course in the sequence.

ASL:1001American Sign Language I5
ASL:1002American Sign Language II5
ASL:2001American Sign Language III5
ASL:2002American Sign Language IV5

Students taking more than one calendar year off from the American Sign Language (ASL) sequence are required to contact the ASL Program to schedule a placement test which will determine their placement in an American Sign Language I-IV course. Students are strongly advised to complete the ASL sequence without such a gap whenever possible. Students taking the placement test and not placing into the next course in the sequence may be retested before the class begins if they have undertaken a significant experience since the last placement test that might warrant retesting. All retesting is at the discretion of the ASL Program.

Undergraduate Program of Study

Minor

The Language Media Center (LMC) provides a wide variety of services and facilities to the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures, including a 54-computer Instructional Technology Center (ITC) and six "All in One" studios/small group study rooms, each equipped with video production and editing software. The LMC also has a digital media and hardware collection available for checkout.

Directed Independent Language Study (DiLS), administered by the Language Media Center in the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures, offers students guidance on engaging in self-instruction in languages that are not currently taught in the division. Any current University of Iowa student, staff, or faculty member who is interested in pursuing language study to enhance their professional research or academic profile can take advantage of this program. With the support of LMC staff, learners design their own study plans to learn basic language skills or improve upon existing skills in preparation for study or research abroad, and are paired with a language and culture consultant when possible. 

American Sign Language Courses

ASL:1000 First-Year Seminar 1 s.h.

Small discussion class taught by a faculty member; topics chosen by instructor; may include outside activities (e.g., films, lectures, performances, readings, visits to research facilities). Requirements: first‑ or second‑semester standing.

ASL:1001 American Sign Language I 5 s.h.

Conversational skills, basic grammar of ASL; introduction to the ASL cultural community through readings, videos. Taught in American Sign Language. First in a four-semester sequence. GE: World Languages First Level Proficiency.

ASL:1002 American Sign Language II 5 s.h.

Continuation of ASL:1001; emphasis on ASL grammar and syntax; focus on culture through readings, videos. Taught in American Sign Language. Prerequisites: ASL:1001. GE: World Languages Second Level Proficiency.

ASL:1101 Fingerspelling and Numbers I 2 s.h.

Development of expressive and receptive American Sign Language fingerspelling, loan sign, and number skills based on word, phrase, and number recognition. Taught in American Sign Language. Prerequisites: ASL:1002.

ASL:1102 Fingerspelling and Numbers II 1 s.h.

Development of expressive and receptive American Sign Language fingerspelling, loan sign, and number skills based on word, phrase, and number recognition. Taught in American Sign Language. Prerequisites: ASL:1101.

ASL:1500 Introduction to Deaf Studies 3 s.h.

Exploration of an overlooked American minority—the Deaf community; students challenge the medical model for deafness with discussions of Deaf experiences, American Sign Language, and Deaf culture; and cover various topics related to the Deaf community, such as Deaf history, audism, technology and accessibility, disability, communication options, education, ASL literature, media, and art. Taught in English.

ASL:2001 American Sign Language III 5 s.h.

Continuation of ASL:1002; emphasis on ASL grammar and syntax; focus on culture through readings, videos. Taught in American Sign Language. Prerequisites: ASL:1002. GE: World Languages Second Level Proficiency.

ASL:2002 American Sign Language IV 5 s.h.

Continuation of ASL:2001. Taught in American Sign Language. Prerequisites: ASL:2001. GE: World Languages Fourth Level Proficiency.

ASL:3001 American Sign Language V 4 s.h.

Continuation of ASL:2002; introduction to advanced grammatical constructions and vocabulary; improvement of conversational fluency as well as familiarity with American Deaf culture. Taught in American Sign Language. Prerequisites: ASL:2002 with a minimum grade of C.

ASL:3100 American Sign Language Conversation 3 s.h.

Improvement of receptive and expressive conversational ASL skills through small group discussion, class presentations. Taught in American Sign Language. Prerequisites: ASL:2002. Requirements: students who have not completed ASL:2002, but plan to take ASL:2002 concurrent to this course may enroll with consent of the instructor; please contact the ASL program for more information.

ASL:3200 Topics in Deaf Studies 3 s.h.

Current topics in Deaf studies; skill development in communicative fluency in ASL. Taught in American Sign Language. Prerequisites: ASL:2002. Requirements: concurrent enrollment in ASL:2002 if not taken as a prerequisite.

ASL:3300 American Deaf Culture 3 s.h.

Cultural practices, beliefs, and values of the American Deaf community. Taught in American Sign Language. Prerequisites: ASL:2002. Requirements: students who have not completed ASL:2002, but plan to take ASL:2002 concurrent to this course may enroll with consent of the instructor; please contact the ASL program for more information.

ASL:3400 Issues in ASL and Deaf Studies 3 s.h.

Current issues in American Sign Language and the American Deaf community, such as linguistics, culture, and literacy. Prerequisites: ASL:2002. Requirements: students who have not completed ASL:2002, but plan to take ASL:2002 concurrent to this course may enroll with consent of the instructor; please contact the ASL program for more information.

ASL:3500 Deafness in the Media 3 s.h.

Exploration of the construct of Deafness through mainstream media (e.g., commercial television, movies, fictional and nonfictional literature in print and on the internet); various ways Deaf people are constructed and presented for hearing audiences from the past 20 years. Taught in American Sign Language. Prerequisites: ASL:2002. Requirements: students who have not completed ASL:2002, but plan to take ASL:2002 concurrent to this course may enroll with consent of the instructor; please contact the ASL program for more information.

ASL:3600 American Sign Language Literature 3 s.h.

Introduction to the world of ASL literature, as recorded on videotape or film and in live performance; traditional folklore, storytelling, poetry, drama, oratory, jokes, and nonfiction narrative; analysis of genres in their social and cultural contexts as expressions of Deaf experience; how historical and current issues in Deaf culture are represented in literary form. Taught in American Sign Language. Prerequisites: ASL:2002. Requirements: students who have not completed ASL:2002, but plan to take ASL:2002 concurrent to this course may enroll with consent of the instructor; please contact the ASL program for more information.

ASL:3700 Deaf Gain: Reframing Deaf People, Cultures, and Languages 3 s.h.

With advances in genetic research and medical technologies, there may come a point in time when we are asked why should Deaf people and signed languages continue to exist, and Deaf studies' response to this question—Deaf Gain; students explore the cognitive, cultural, and creative aspects of Deaf Gain to develop an argument for continued existence of Deaf communities and their signed languages. Taught in American Sign Language. Prerequisites: ASL:2002.

ASL:3800 Independent Study arr.

An American Sign Language/deaf studies topic; individual study.

ASL:4201 History of the American Deaf Community 3-4 s.h.

Creation of a distinct language and culture of Deaf people in America during the 19th and 20th centuries. Taught in American Sign Language. Prerequisites: ASL:2002. Same as HIST:4201.

American Sign Language in English Courses

ASLE:2500 Introduction to Interpreting 3-4 s.h.

Introduction to interpreting; history and current nature of the field, available opportunities, certification, training, ethics. Taught in spoken English. Requirements: students should have some familiarity with a language not their own (spoken or signed); ASL:2002 is prerequisite for the ASL discussion section.

ASLE:3905 Teaching Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students 3-4 s.h.

Issues in d/Deaf education; management techniques, communication strategies, teaching strategies, instructional materials, hands-on activities, assessments, parent involvement; use of technology, ethnic and cultural diversity, classroom management, pre-reading techniques, literacy development, educational program options. Taught in English and/or American Sign Language. Requirements: for 4 s.h. option—concurrent enrollment in ASL:2002, if not taken as a prerequisite. Same as EDTL:3905.