American Sign Language
The American Sign Language (ASL) department is a fairly new department on
campus with one full time faculty that began in Fall, 2002. Additionally there
are 5 adjunct instructors.
Currently, the level of technology in this department consists of a library of
videotapes for instructors to use in their classes.
The current ASL curriculum consists of a videotext which is now available to
students in DVD. Some ASL instructors have the DVD version, but several of the
classrooms that ASL gets scheduled into do not contain a DVD player.
An interesting note: The Instructor that teaches ASL III, brings his own
software to use. A Proxima projector is wheeled in to his classroom for every
The American Sign Language department offers ASL I, II, III, Deaf Culture,
and Fingerspelling. The impact of technology could enhance these courses
tremendously. Since sign language is a visual language, students need reflection
of their signing skill and interaction with Deaf people. Technology would
provide this through the use of digital camcorders, videotaped skills
assessments, and software tutorials.
Approximate Number of Students Served
For the school year 2002-2003, 723 students completed the ASL classes. In
the upcoming semesters, this number may increase as ASL now fulfills the foreign
language graduation requirement at SDSU. Also, an additional section has been
added to the Summer, 04 class schedule and the Fall, 04 schedule.
Many students are choosing vocations that require ASL fluency. Students
continually request advanced sign language course to further their language
acquisition. It is hoped that resources will allow continuing expansion of this
With the hope of program expansion, comes the hope of resources to acquire
technology. As equipment is acquired for this program, support will be needed in
the area of training instructors on using it.
The future hope is that a dedicated ASL lab will be established for students to
practice signs and have a place to do their assignments with a lab assistant
fluent in signs. If this comes to fruition, then technical support will be
necessary to keep the lab running smoothly.
Year 1 (2004-2005)
The first phase of this plan entails submitting a plan with a request for
funds. The funds would be used to purchase equipment that instructors have
wanted for awhile. As described earlier, the program doesn’t have any technology
other than videotapes. Instructors borrow these or bring their own. Funds would
allow this program to purchase equipment to enhance student learning.
Action to Meet Objective
The action needed to meet this objective is the submission of a plan to
acquire funds. Once funds are secured, the following types of equipment could be
purchased : Digital camcorders, ASL tutorial software, DVDs for student use, TV
Year 2 (2005-2006)
The second phase of this plan is to integrate the above purchased equipment
into the curricula. Faculty would be trained on the equipment and students would
be transitioned into the idea of being videotaped and using software with a
visual language. Additionally, all sections of the ASL classes would incorporate
software found in learning labs into the curriculum.
During this time, the department would work together with the Dean to secure a
classroom to dedicate to the ASL program. For example, should a classroom like
535B become available for the ASL program, equipment could be stored in this
room along with videotapes, DVDs, software, etc. The ASL courses could be taught
in here. When classes weren’t scheduled, a lab environment could be coordinated
for students to come in and use the equipment to enhance their acquisition of
Action to Meet Objective
The coordinator of the department would work with the ASL faculty in
training and using the newly acquired equipment. Staff development workshops
would be held to incorporate technology into the curriculum.
The ASL department will be working with Cuyamaca on increasing the unit value of
the courses from 3 to 4. If this is successful, the staff would meet to explore
teaching ideas to integrate the new equipment into the curriculum.
The ASL coordinator would continue to work with the Dean on exploring the
feasibility of a dedicated classroom for the ASL department.
Year 3 (2006-2007)
Continue working on securing a dedicated classroom for the ASL department.
Visit San Diego Mesa College’s ASL lab and Palomar College’s ASL Lab. Riverside
City College is another college with a well-known dedicated ASL lab.
Explore the possibility of designing the classroom to have “studio” type booths
with natural background lighting for efficient videotaping of students’ signing
Action to Meet Objective
Continue to network and stay in touch with San Diego Mesa’s ASL instructors
and Palomar College’s ASL program.
Continue working with the Dean on College support to expand and enhance the ASL
department and the acquisition of new technology.