Online basic ASL classes are available for DHH students and staff working directly with DHH students. The ASL classes teach common vocabulary related to a school environment and give students the opportunity to interact with each other and the teacher via video conference.
These classes are meant to teach the basics. They do not replace community courses nor provide certification at this time.
ASL Class – FAQs
What is ASL Class?
ASL class is a POPDHH service offered online to DHH students and staff working directly with DHH students. The ASL class teaches common vocabulary related to a school environment and gives participants the opportunity to interact with each other and the instructor via video conference. Even if the student’s first language is English, it is still beneficial to learn ASL. Typically, staff and their DHH student register for ASL Class simultaneously (two separate groups). Learning the same materials together helps facilitate quicker ASL acquisition. These classes are meant to teach the basics. They do not replace community courses nor provide certification at this time. Participants learn how to interpret non-verbal cues, fingerspell the alphabet, count numbers from 1-10 and some basic classroom vocabulary. Instruction includes ASL content such as handshapes, classifiers, number and ABC stories, story sequencing and comprehension skills.
How old should the student be in order to participate?
There is not a definitive rule for students’ ages but learning online can be challenging for students younger than grade 4. Students should be independent learners enough that they can interact online. If they are younger, they will need an adult supporting them to log in, help with technology and keep them on task since it is difficult for us to manage that through a screen.
How can I register for ASL Class?
To register for ASL class, please look for an announcement via POPDHH e-news, in the Fall, Winter and Spring. Not receiving our e-news? Email email@example.com to subscribe. The assigned Teacher of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing (TDHH) or the school’s principal, resource teacher or case manager can complete the registration form.
What are the technical and logistical requirements for ASL Class?
- A computer with a 13” screen or larger. Tablets and iPhone will not work as the screen is not big enough to show all participants’ videos.
- A webcam – so your face will be seen by the instructor and other students, and necessary for participating as it is an interactive course.
- A strong hardwired internet connection.WiFi connections tend to cut out.
- Speakers. There will be times when an interpreter will be part of the course to help students engage in discussion.
- Environment: A location free from distractions or visual interruptions. A quiet space without light shining behind and a full close up view of the participants where their head and hands are visible on the screen.
- An adult to accompany students for the first session (and subsequent sessions if the student may struggle to self-monitor in a challenging online class setting) if applicable.
What platform does ASL Class use?
Can more than one staff or student join on the same computer?
Due to online structure of this class, we require participants to log in on separate devices.
What if a participant misses a class?
Please notify the instructor as soon as possible before the class, and complete the homework assigned to that week. We can try to schedule a makeup session to ensure all students are able to complete the course.
Can I join the class online before the session start time?
The instructor will begin the session 10 minutes before the session start time.
Do I need to buy any books? What other resources do you recommend?
You don’t need to purchase any materials. The instructor will send materials for your homework.
Do I need to print anything?
Participants are required to print materials in preparation for classes. Materials (participant package) will be sent to all participants via email one week before the class starts.
Will an interpreter be available?
Can the participants record each session for personal review?
Due to privacy concerns, this is not permitted.
Will the course be hard for a beginner?
This ASL class consists of 10 one-hour lessons. It teaches rudimentary ASL grammar and vocabulary. The instructor will use gestures and everyday examples to convey meaning. For success, participants are encouraged to work outside their comfort zone, use their critical thinking skills to decipher a visual language, practice spatial awareness, and do their homework on a regular basis.
Will I get a certificate at the end of the course?
Participants will receive an email confirming their participation in this course. No certificate is awarded. Participants will meet all requirements for the American Sign Language 6 and American Sign Language 7 BC curriculum content and competencies after participating in this course. See link below for more information on BC curriculum for ASL 6 and 7. https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/second-languages/6/american-sign-language
How do I improve my ASL skills outside of class?
- Review the assigned homework often
- Watch ASL Class videos on the POPDHH YouTube channel:
- Watch additional ASL content on the POPDHH YouTube channel:
- Find opportunities to engage with the Deaf community and search for online ASL content created by Deaf individuals.
Can I take an ASL Class if I do not directly work with a student who is DHH?
Due to high demand across the province, POPDHH reserves ASL Class for staff who work directly with a student who is DHH.
Can the student’s sibling(s) or parents join any session?
The family members of the student who is DHH are welcome to contact Provincial Deaf & 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.
Is there a Level 2 ASL Class for participants who complete Level 1?
POPDHH is in the process of planning a Level 2 ASL Clas.