The ASL Chat is designed as one-on-one service for students who use ASL as their first language and are able to hold a basic conversation in ASL.The purpose of ASL CHAT is to develop strong ASL grammar skills and understanding of Deaf Culture and History.

To request ASL Chat, please submit a referral request (via google forms)

ASL Chat – FAQs

What is ASL Chat?

The ASL Chat is designed as a one-on-one online service for students who use ASL as their first language and are able to hold a basic conversation in ASL.The purpose of ASL CHAT is to develop strong ASL grammar skills and understanding of Deaf Culture and History.

How do I know if my student is eligible for or needs ASL Chat?

If your student uses ASL as a first language, but has limited access to Deaf signing role models, your student will benefit from having access to more language models.  More importantly, all students using ASL as a first language would benefit from having a Deaf native user of the language as a role model.

How old should the student be in order to participate?

Students from K to 12, along with the support of an (S)EA present during the session.

How can I refer a student for this service?

The assigned Teacher of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing (TDHH) or the school’s principal or resource teacher or case manager submits a POPDHH Request for Consultation (via google forms). Parents should not be registering their children.

What are the technical requrements?

A computer or a tablet, a webcam and a robust internet connection. We offer ASL chat via Zoom or Whereby platforms.

What is the best location for these sessions?

Find a location free from distractions and visual interruptions. 

Who should accompany the student to an ASL chat session?

(S)EA/interpreter who supports the student should be present during the session to troubleshoot any technical issues and help the student to remain focused. In addition, the concepts covered by the ASL instructor will be good review for the staff and student when they continue the conversation offline.

Can a staff member from the neighbouring class or another student join to observe?

Only the staff member such as the (S)EA who supports the student daily can observe the session.

Can the student's siblings or parents join the session?

The family members of the student who is DHH are welcome to contact Provincial Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services who can provide ASL classes for family members interested in learning ASL.  Visit www.gov.bc.ca/deafandhardofhearingservices for more information.

Will an interpreter be available?

There are no interpretes during ASL Chat. The ASL instructor will communicate directly with the student in ASL.

Can a student or accompanying staff member use their voice to communicate with the instructor?

Our ASL instructor is Deaf and only uses ASL. To communicate with the instructor, the participant can sign or type out in the chat box.

Can the participants record each session for personal review?

Due to privacy concerns, this is not permitted.

What kind of learning takes place in an ASL Chat Session?

The instructor typically starts with some warm up conversation about the student’s day and then launches into a structured conversation focusing on several ASL concepts such as handshapes, classifiers, ASL number and ABC stories, story sequencing, comprehension skills, Deaf values and norms, ASL storytelling, Deaf history, critical thinking skills, and Deaf gain. The objectives are to provide good language role models for the student, increase their communication skills, ASL ability and personal identities.

Can the student ask the instructor for any questions connected to the classroom?

The student is welcome to share their interests with the instructor but the majority of the instructor’s lesson will focus on the ASL content planned for that day. Quick questions on specific vocabulary for classroom content or a way to sign a concept are permitted.  If the (S)EA/interpreter is looking for a more detailed explanation or a science theme or in-depth tutoring on signing a concept, they should contact the ASL instructor by email only (john@popdhh.ca) for an office hours appointment.

How long are the sessions?

Sessions are individually geared to the student’s maturity and language level, between 30 and 45 minutes.

Will the student receive a grade or report card?

The student will receive a report card at the end of the year and a progress assessment using a rubric for language goals listed below. There is no grade assigned to ASL Chat.  The instructor considers the following guiding principles in his evaluation:

    • Students will develop their communication skills in ASL by working through the development of the Communication Competency profile proficiencies in the BC curriculum.
    • Students will develop their positive personal and cultural identity by working through the development of the Positive Personal and Cultural Identity Competency profile proficiencies in the BC curriculum.
    • Language Goal 1: Student will use ASL for a variety of language functions.
    • Language Goal 2: Students will understand and use the appropriate grammatical features of ASL.