The Lethbridge-Layton-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre is proud to offer courses in American Sign Language to anyone who wishes to acquire a new and unique skill in sign language.
What is American Sign Language?
American Sign Language or ASL is the official language of Deaf people in North America. It is primarily used by the Deaf individuals to communicate with each other, as well as with the larger hearing world. Interpreters for the Deaf and hearing professionals often use ASL to communicate with their Deaf and hard-of-hearing clients.
It is commonly believed that ASL is a word-by-word imitation of English, but this sign language uses a different grammatical structure altogether, and as any hearing language, it has the history and culture of North America Deaf communities embedded within it.
Not having a vocal component does not make ASL any easier to learn. Unknown to most people, sign language requires facial expressions to convey context and spatial dimension to clearly express oneself. Whether it be poetry, lyrics, philosophy or politics, ASL can easily be used to instruct, inform or illustrate an abstract concept just as simply as any spoken language.
Why learn ASL?
The advantages in learning ASL can be applied both to your personal and professional goals. This language is key to interacting with a Deaf or hard-of-hearing family member or friend, whether it be a newborn or an older relative, a neighbour or a close friend.
It is also just as valuable in your workplace, especially if it serves a Deaf or hard- of-hearing clientele, or if you work closely with other Deaf employees. Employers are always looking to hire personnel with various skills and attributes. By learning how to sign you can easily bridge the gap to an untapped market of Deaf and hard- of-hearing-individuals, or brainstorm with a Deaf or hard-of-hearing fellow co-worker.
ASL for visual interpreters
By registering into several advanced courses in ASL at the Lethbridge-Layton-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre, you may also want to pursue a career in visual interpreting for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing. In fact, the courses offered at our Centre are an excellent first step in obtaining your interpreting certificate later either at the provincial or federal level.
ASL courses at Lethbridge-Layton-Mackay
The Lethbridge-Layton-Mackay Rehabilitation Center offers courses in ASL beginning from the 100-level up to the advanced 300-level. A student who completes the courses within the entire ASL program will possess the ease of communicating with the Deaf, hard- of-hearing or any other ASL students. He/she will also have all the tools necessary to begin a venture into the professional ASL/English interpreting vocation if so desired.
By teaching you the intricacies of ASL, our Centre will also expose you to the Deaf culture and history. You will be able to access a different world through discourse, debate and conversation as simply as you would in your native tongue.
All courses last 10 weeks, at a frequency of one three-hour class per week. The courses are normally held in the evening.
ASL course levels
100-level: 101, 102, 103.
The 100-level courses work to build and solidify a student’s basic knowledge in ASL. Simple greetings, everyday conversational topics, finger-spelling, constitute the main curriculum of these courses as the students learn all they can at the basic level.
200-level: 201, 202, 203.
These courses focus on the description of objects, personal history, and sharing one’s opinion on different topics. The student gains the confidence to socialize with the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community easily.
300-level: 301, 302, 303.
This final stage of the ASL program is the most rewarding as it empowers students to fluently narrate complicated scenarios with their own personal signing style. Students are challenged by incorporating the abstract into their signing by conveying ideas that do not have a straight-forward description. Defining illnesses and instructing others on the rules of a game are examples of skills students must practice in order to become fluent signers.
Registration and contact Information
For more information, please contact: