American Sign Language Minor

American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, complex language that utilizes specific hand shapes, hand positions, hand movements, body movements, and facial expressions to form words and sentences. It is the first language of many Deaf North Americans, and one of several communication options available to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or hearing. Even though ASL is used in America, it is a language completely separate from English. It contains all the fundamental features a language needs to function on its own--it has its own rules for grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. ASL is not universal, and many different sign languages have evolved in different regions of the world. Adults who wish to become fluent in ASL must dedicate time and extended practice to this effort, as is true for the acquisition of any second language.

The ASL minor is 24 credit hours and will enable students to acquire conversational skills in ASL and to develop an appreciation and understanding of the way in which people in the Deaf community live, think and communicate.

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Program mission

The mission of the American Sign Language (ASL) minor at Central Michigan University is to provide student-centered and community-relevant learning opportunities that prepare individuals to positively and effectively interact with members of the Deaf community.  Our program strives to assist students in acquiring competence in ASL, promote understanding of historical and current issues within the Deaf community, and positively impact society by spreading awareness and understanding of ASL and Deaf culture.