Sign Language is becoming increasingly popular and there are more and more colleges that accept ASL (American Sign Language) as a foreign language.
American Sign Language, or ASL, is a distinct and fully developed language that has, among others, its own unique grammar.
Today, at practically all television news programs, we can see somebody translating the messages into ASL. That’s an interesting development, right?
It’s not only that many colleges accept ASL as a foreign language, but your GED diploma also allows you to go to college and study for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in ASL. More and more colleges offer ASL programs.
This article’s purpose is to provide information and resources on American Sign Language to individuals who take an interest in studying the language, to persons who want to learn more interesting facts about ASL, and to people who already engaged in ASL education, either as a student or as a teacher.
We understand that the topic of American Sign Language has an inherent relationship with many subjects of Deaf culture and deafness, and this post provides primary information related to ASL itself, while it offers only very limited information about other issues that are surrounding the world of deafness.
ASL – a distinct language
ASL is distinct from English or any other foreign language and distinct from other sign systems as well, both foreign-based and English-based.
Over recent decades, quite a few states passed legislation to recognize and identify ASL as a distinct foreign language. This enabled universities, colleges, and high schools not only to accept but also to implement the language, therefore fulfilling all requirements regarding foreign language with regard to hard hearing and deaf students.
American Sign Language is a visual/gestural language that is distinct from English or any other foreign spoken language. As stated above, if you pass the GED test you can go to college, and if you score in the college-ready range (165-200), you may have SAT/ACT or other requirements waived!
ASL is also distinct from any other sign languages used in different countries, and the language is distinct from any other English language-based sign system used in America, e.g. English manually coded systems.
We don’t know the exact number of people that use ASL but the language is the most widely used language in the U.S. for one-on-one communication.
ASL is used as a 1st or 2nd language by many Americans and estimates range from 200,000 to nearly one million individuals, including deaf native signers, children of deaf parents, and/or adult deaf signers that learned ASL from other deaf individuals.
Is American Sign Language (ASL) a Foreign Language?
ASL is a fully developed and distinct language with its own one-of-a-kind grammar. As said above, the language is distinct from the English Language and also is distinct from sign systems, both English-based and foreign-based.
During the past decades, ASL education has been experiencing increased enrollment because more and more individuals have become interested in learning the language.
A growing number of universities and colleges are actually accepting ASL classes in foreign language requirements fulfillment and an increasing number of universities and schools offer credit-bearing ASL programs.
Over the past decades, quite a few states have passed legislation to recognize American Sign Language as a foreign language. This enabled high schools, universities, and colleges to accept ASL in foreign language requirements fulfillment for both deaf and hard hearing students.
By the last turn of the century, almost 30 states had passed relevant legislation, and numerous universities and community colleges, including Georgetown, Brown, MIT (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology), the University of Washington, and Purdue, are accepting American Sign Language as a distinct foreign language.
These days, when you’re watching any police reporting, there is practically always someone present who will interpret the given information into American Sign Language, so also when you’re considering joining the Police Force, ASL knowledge may open up more career opportunities.
After earning a college degree and having considerable experience, ASL students may even study further to earn an MBA degree and use their knowledge on a broader platform. Check here to learn more about earning a bachelor’s degree from an American college or university.
Let’s look at a few questions that are often asked when it comes to ASL:
Is ASL a language?
Well, ASL is a fully developed, distinct language. ASL is just one of the world’s several hundreds of natural signed languages, including a complex grammatical structure.
ASL is US-based. How can it be a foreign language?
ASL is a language that’s indigenous to the U.S. and parts of our northern neighbor Canada. In the academic world, however, the place of origin of a language has little or nothing to do with whether it’s considered a foreign language.
To give you an example, Navajo and other American Indian languages are all across American accepted in fulfillment of foreign language requirements by numerous colleges and universities. Many programs are now referred to as second language programs instead of foreign language programs as many native students were born here.
Is there much ASL literature?
There is an extensive writing system for ASL, but none of these systems are used on a large scale for recording ASL literature. There is, however, a lot of ASL literature available in videotapes, movies, and CDs issued by companies like Sign Enhancers, and Dawn Sign Press.
Another excellent source of information on the folklore and heritage of Deaf people is available at the bookstore of Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.
Is learning ASL easier than other foreign languages?
ASL was developed as a gestural/visual language, so its grammar and structure are differing from that of other languages, including English, that were developed as aural/oral languages. American Sign Language (ASL) comes with a more complex classifier system and verbal aspect than English or other foreign languages.
Many ASL students feel it is more difficult and complex to learn than other oral languages.
List of universities that are accepting ASL as a foreign language
- Abilene Christian University
- American University
- Antioch College, Ohio
- Arizona State University
- Augsburg College, Minneapolis
- Baylor University
- Bethel College, Indiana
- Brown University
- Brigham Young University
- Butler University, Indiana
- Cabrillo College, California
- California State University, Hayward
- California State University, Fresno
- California State University, Northridge
- California State University, Monterey Bay
- California State University, San Marcos
- California State University, Sacramento
- Catholic University
- Central Washington University
- Centralia College
- Clark University, Worcester
- Clemson University
- College of St. Catherine, Minnesota
- College of Southern Idaho
- College of Staten Island
- College of St. Rose, Albany
- Dallas Baptist University
- East Central Oklahoma State University
- Eastern Illinois University
- Eastern Washington University
- Elms College, Chicopee
- The Evergreen College, Washington
- Florida A & M University
- Florida Atlantic University
- Florida Atlantic University
- Florida Gulf Coast University
- Florida International University
- Florida State University
- Fresno Pacific University
- Gardner-Webb University
- George Mason University
- Georgetown University
- Holy Cross College, Worcester
- Howard University
- Howard Payne University
- Illinois State University
- Indiana University
- Kent State University
- Lamar University
- Loyola University
- Lubbock Christian University
- Madonna University
- MacMurray College, Jacksonville, IL
- Maryville College
- Mary Hardin Baylor University
- Mass. Institute of Technology
- Michigan State University
- New College of Florida
- Neumann College, Aston, PA
- New York University, School of Education
- National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester, NY
- Northeastern University
- Ohio State University
- Oklahoma State University
- Oklahoma Baptist University
- Purdue University
- Pacific Lutheran University
- Radford University, Radford, VA
- Russell Sage College, Troy, NY
- Sacramento Community College
- San Antonio College
- San Diego State University
- Scripps College, Claremont, CA
- Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
- Southwest Texas State University
- Stanford University
- SUNY Buffalo
- SUNY Brockport
- SUNY Oswego
- SUNY Geneseo
- Stephen F. Austin University
- Texas A & M University, Commerce
- Texas A & M University, Corpus Christi
- Tennessee Temple University
- Texas Tech University
- Texas Woman’s University
- Texas Wesleyan University
- The University of Akron
- The University of Alaska, Fairbanks
- The University of Arkansas, Little Rock
- The University of Arizona
- The University of California, Berkeley
- The University of California, San Diego
- The University of California, Davis
- The University of Central Florida
- The University of Chicago
- The University of Cincinnati
- The University of Colorado, Boulder
- The University of Florida
- The University of Georgia, Athens
- The University of Hawaii, Manoa
- The University of Iceland
- The University of Iowa
- The University of Kansas
- The University of Louisville, Kentucky
- The University of Maryland
- The University of Massachusetts
- The University of Maine at Machias
- The University of Michigan
- The University of Minnesota
- The University of New Hampshire, Durham
- The University of New Hampshire, Manchester
- The University of New Mexico
- The University of North Carolina, Charlotte
- The University of North Carolina, Greensboro
- The University of North Carolina, Wilmington
- The University of North Florida
- The University of North Texas, Denton
- The University of Northern Iowa
- The University of Pennsylvania
- The University of Pittsburgh
- The University of Rochester
- The University of South Florida
- The University of Southern Florida
- The University of Texas-Austin
- The University of Texas-Pan American
- The University of Texas-San Antonio
- The University of Tulsa
- The University of Utah
- The University of Virginia
- The University of Washington
- The University of West Florida
- The University of Wyoming
- Utah State University
- Utah Valley State College
- Vassar College
- Washington State University
- West Virginia University, School of Journalism majors
- Western Oregon University
- Western Washington University
- William Woods University
- Wright State University, Ohio
- Xavier University, Cincinnati
- Xavier University, Louisiana
- Yale University
About the list: The list began some 20 years ago and was published by Sherman Wilcox from the University of New Mexico. We think it’s the most actual list so far.
Last Updated on April 6, 2021.