The Study of Signed Languages
The signed language program within the Department of Linguistics has two main missions:
- to offer language instruction in American Sign Language (ASL), and
- to offer advanced training in research on the linguistics of signed languages.
Fulfilling the Foreign Language Requirement. Undergraduates may fulfill the College of Liberal Arts’ foreign language requirement by taking ASL courses. We encourage students to consult with their academic advisor about the requirements that are specific to their degree plan.
We offer a 3-course sequence designed to develop students’ language skill with the goal of reaching intermediate language proficiency: ASL 601D, 610D, and 311D. The titles for the courses are:
601D: ASL I Beginning
610D: ASL II Beginning, Second Semester
311D: ASL III Intermediate
Generally, 601D and 311D will be offered during fall semesters, and 610D will be offered during spring semesters.
All inquiries regarding ASL credit and/or placement may be directed to ASLassessment@austin.utexas.edu.
Upper Division Courses in ASL
Currently the Department of Linguistics also offers four upper division courses as part of its ASL Program.
- ASL 320: Advanced American Sign Language Conversation. The prerequisite for this course is ASL 312L (or 311D) with a grade of at least a C.
- ASL 326(= LIN 350): Signed Languages/Signing Communities. This course is an introduction to the linguistics of signed languages and is taught in English (or in ASL with an interpreter providing English translations). There is no prerequisite for this course. It is not assumed that students will have taken the ASL language courses. This course is generally offered as a Substantial Writing Component course.
- ASL 350: May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.
- American Sign Language Literature. This course will use ASL literature to expand ASL skills. Focuses on story telling, role shifts and classifiers.
- Deaf Culture. This course provides a thorough analysis of the development of Deaf Culture in America. Topics include: education of the D/deaf, Deaf films, preservation of American Sign Language, technology, services in the Deaf community, cochlear implantation, and more.
- ASL 357: This is an undergraduate research experience for working in the UT Signed Language Research Lab. Depending on the current projects of the Lab, the student will learn about and participate in experimental design, stimuli preparation, data collection, data coding, and data analyses for various ongoing projects. Students learn about various aspects of linguistic research.
The offering of certain upper-division courses may vary by semester. ASL 357 is the only upper-division course offered every semester. Please keep this in mind when you are planning which courses to take for your degree plan.
All general inquiries regarding ASL should be directed to the Linguistics Department by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: ASL courses are in high demand and are difficult to get into. If you began your ASL sequence at a community college, it is advised that you complete it there; we cannot guarantee there will be space for you if you transfer in mid-sequence.