American Sign Language

University of Oregon College of Education professor teaching American Sign Language to student

University of Oregon College of Education professor teaching American Sign Language to student

American Sign Language (ASL) is offered as a 2-year language sequence and meets the second language requirement for the university bachelor of arts requirement.

Due to the overwhelming interest in our ASL sequence, we have answers to many frequently asked questions below.

  1. The ASL 101 class keeps filling up and I cannot get in:

Classes fill up quite regularly, BUT you should always check Duck Web, as student schedules change during the summer months and the first weeks of class.   

  1. Do you have a waiting list for ASL 101?

At this time, we are utilizing the DuckWeb computerized wait list. You may register through the UO computer system only. Contacting the department and/or the instructor of record will not place you on any waiting lists, nor can the instructor override the computerized wait list system. Sitting in class during the first week will not give you a spot in class.   

  1. I took ASL in high school/other college and think I can test into a higher level  of ASL

Our small faculty has limited time to meet with each individual student (especially during the final 2 weeks of the term). In order to begin the process of assessment and placement, please contact both Valentino Vasquez at vvasquez@uoregon.edu and Chad Catron at ccatron@uoregon.edu to request the assessment to determine your placement in our ASL sequence. We will assign you to either of us as we work with a number of students equally.

  1. We will contact you with instructions about the prompts you need to respond to in ASL and the submission will need to be via email with the video link (YouTube, Google Drive, or Office 365 with your University of Oregon account).
  2. After evaluating the video, we will contact you to arrange a conversational ASL session with us for several minutes. You will be video recorded which will be used to evaluate your comprehension and production skills in ASL.
  3. You will be contacted for placement recommendations. We can override the pre-requisite restriction so that you may register if space is available.
  1. I know enough ASL or I took enough ASL to be able to test out of the 2-year sequence, do you have proficiency exams?

As with all second language offerings at a University level, ASL proficiency examination is structured to test at a native-like proficiency level. Traditionally, students with Deaf families, or those who have been through an interpreting program will be able to test out of the ASL sequence. The examination is meant to be quite rigorous, and would be equal to testing the skill levels of a fluent signer in American Sign Language which is the score of “Intermediate/Intermediate Plus” for the Sign Language Proficiency Interview in American Sign Language (SLPI: ASL) rather than any form of English based signing. It is available at the University Testing Center at University of Oregon.

Please contact the Director of the University Testing Center, Jeff Bulkley, at bulkleyj@uoregon.edu for more information.   

  1. I want to major/minor in American Sign Language, can I do that?

The University of Oregon does not currently have a major/minor in American Sign Language. We offer a 2-year second language sequence including American Deaf Culture course. The University of Oregon does not have an ASL/English interpreter training program or ASL/Deaf Studies program. 

  1. What is the sequence we offer at UO?

The ASL sequence is as follows: 100 level = 1st year and 200 level = 2nd year

Fall TermWinter TermSpring TermSummer Term
ASL 101
(3 Sections)
ASL 102
(3 sections)
ASL 103
(3 sections)
Online ASL 201
ASL 201
(1 section)
ASL 202
(1 section)
ASL 203
(1 section)
Online ASL 202
Online ASL 201
(1 section)
Online ASL 202
(1 section)
Online ASL 203
(1 section)
Online ASL 203

As ASL is offered in a sequence, it is likely that all spaces will be taken by the current cohort. You will need to work on securing your space in class through Duck Web.  

Please Note:  Special circumstances do not help in overriding the computerized wait list system. No one will be admitted to a class above entry level ASL unless they pass the assessment and placement arranged by the ASL instructors.   

  1. What is the graduation requirement for 2nd language at the UO?

Two years of a second language: equal to successfully completing ASL 203 with a grade of C- or better.  

  1. What is the pre-requisite for this course?

Successful passing of Writing 122 or Writing 123 is necessary to register for ASL sequence coursework, in order to aid students in their success in a second language course. There are Honor’s College courses that meet these basic prerequisites at the UO.  

  1. Where can I go for more information about ASL classes in other areas or about becoming a Sign Language interpreter?

There are many websites that can direct you into programs. The most common referral is the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

If you do not see the answer for your question above you may certainly email the ASL instructors at the UO: Valentino Vasquez: vvasquez@uoregon.edu or Chad Catron: ccatron@uoregon.edu.


Courses

Successful passage of WR 122 or WR 123 is necessary to register for ASL 101, in order to aid students in their success in a second language course.

Taking writing classes in the same term as ASL will not override the prerequisite for the course.

ASL 101 First-Year American Sign Language
5 Credits — Prerequisite: WR 122 or WR 123 or HC 221H or HC 231H
Study of basic grammatical structure and vocabulary of American Sign Language, expressive and receptive finger-spelling, and introduction to American deaf culture.

ASL 102 First-Year American Sign Language
5 Credits — Prerequisite: C- or better or P in ASL 101 or equivalent
Increased receptive and expressive communication skills in ASL, and study of cultural values and behavioral rules of the deaf community.

ASL 103 First-Year American Sign Language
5 Credits — Prerequisite: C- or better or P in ASL 102 or equivalent
Concentration on understanding and acquiring advanced conversational proficiency. Emphasis on ASL classifiers. Continued study of deaf culture as a linguistic minority.

ASL 201 Second-Year American Sign Language
4 Credits — Prerequisite: C- or better or P in ASL 103 or equivalent
Applied conversational use of ASL through literature, narratives, poetry, and plays. Explores various underlying metaphors found in ASL literature.

ASL 202 Second-Year American Sign Language
4 Credits — Prerequisite: C- or better or P in ASL 201 or equivalent
Emphasis on more abstract and challenging conversational and narrative ranges. Lab and readings cover historical aspects of deaf community and culture.

ASL 203 Second-Year American Sign Language
4 Credits — Prerequisite: C- or better or P in ASL 202 or equivalent
Further emphasis on more abstract and challenging conversational and narrative ranges. Explores broader political and social activities of international deaf community.

ASL 301 American Deaf Culture*
4 Credits
Study of the relationship between small groups and dominant culture in the United States. Explore issues of language, culture, self-representation, identity, and social structure.

*ASL 301 American Deaf Culture fulfills a multicultural course requirement in Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance (IP).