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Sign Language Classes for Individuals

Learn American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf culture in small group classes.

Sign language classes at CHS offer you an enjoyable and effective curriculum to learn American Sign Language (ASL) through classroom instruction, videotext and role-playing, and also teach you about Deaf culture.

What is American Sign Language (ASL)?

American Sign Language (ASL) is the language of most Deaf Canadians. It is a visual language made up of specific gestures (signs), hand shapes and facial expressions. It has its own unique grammatical rules and sentence structure.

About CHS sign language classes

Our qualified Deaf instructors use Signing Naturally, a sign language curriculum developed at Vista Community College in Berkeley, California that teaches both ASL and Deaf culture to help you better understand the communication needs of the Deaf community.

A “no-voice” teaching method is used to reinforce the learning experience. You'll learn through classroom instruction and role-play, as well as videotext and a workbook. The videotext and workbook supplement and reinforce the classroom instruction so you can review, practice and retain what you learn.

Enrolment is limited to between 14 and 16 students per class depending on the CHS location to allow for student participation and individual attention from the instructor.

There are three course levels:

Level one (101, 102, and 103) is designed to introduce students to ASL. Concepts discussed relate to people, places and things within the immediate environment. Students learn to handle basic, everyday communication such as exchanging information, identifying/describing others, and asking for clarification.

Level two (201, 202, 203) emphasizes language in context: locating things around the house, learning numeracy, making requests with inflection, talking about life events and family histories, describing objects and having social conversation.

Level three (301, 302, 303) focuses on building narrative skills, moving from an informal to a more formal presentation, and on developing conversational skills used in everyday discussion.

How to choose your course level

If you have no previous knowledge of ASL, you begin with ASL 101. If you have some ASL experience, contact a CHS location where sign language classes are offered to discuss a placement test.

Who is eligible?

Classes are open to anyone 16 years of age or older with a minimum Grade 9 education.

When are classes held?

In the Spring, Fall and Winter sessions, classes are offered primarily in the evenings, Monday through Thursday. Check a location near you for more information.

How to register for sign language classes

For more information or to register for sign language classes, contact one of the CHS locations across Ontario that offers classes.

How long does it take to learn ASL?

Learning any language takes a great deal of time, energy and commitment. To be able to sign is only part of the process. You must also be able to understand ASL signed by a native user. People learn at different rates so it’s difficult to predict how long it will take to learn ASL.

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