Curriculum in Teaching American Sign Language (ASL)

Curriculum for teaching students ASL as a second language (L2) has been developed and standardized for a high quality of instruction and learning since the 1970s.

Dr. William Stokoe, the father of ASL linguistics, discovered linguistic features in American Sign Language (ASL) in the 1960s. His linguistics work was published in the late 1960s and 1970s, including the first ASL dictionary. Since then, ASL has been recognized as natural and true like any spoken language.

In addition, ASL courses had been bloooming popular since 1970s, especially in the 1980s in the United States and Canada. Today ASL is the third most studied language in the U.S. higher education (as of Fall 2013, reported Modern Language Assocation).

ASL 101 + ASL 102 curriculum

The level 1 typically consists of two semester courses ASL 101 and 102 (or ASL 111 and ASL 112 respectively or its variants at universities and colleges), each 60-65 credit hours (120-130 hours total).

The ACTFL-standard textbooks, that are commonly acceptable, are Signing Naturally Level 1 and Master ASL Level 1.

ASL 201 and ASL 202 curriculum

The level 2 usually consists of two semester courses ASL 201 and 202 (or its variants such as ASL 111 and ASL 112), each typically of 60-65 credit hours (120-130 hours total).

The recommended ACTFL-standard textbooks are Signing Naturally Level 2 and Master ASL Level 2 .

ASL 301 + ASL 302 curriculum

The ASL level 3 usually consists of two semester courses ASL 301 and 302, each 60-65 credit hours (120-130 hours total). A recommended textbook is Signing Naturally Level 3.


Kim Brown Kurz, Phd; Marty M. Taylor, PhD. Learning Outcomes for American Sign Language Skills Levels 1-4. Download this document in the public domain at

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