Ministry of Education
Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch

Ernest C. Drury

Strive for a Fulfilling Life

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American Sign Language (ASL) Curriculum

Rich experience in American Sign Language is provided to students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8. ASL is their first language just as English or French is for other students in Canada.

ASL Curriculum

  • Outlines expectations for Deaf bilingual students’ academic ASL and ASL literacy development.
  • Provides students with a first language base for the development of cognitive, creative, critical, analytical and literary skills.
  • Provides a first language foundation and support for Ontario Curriculum in both ASL and English.
  • Utilize ASL and multi-cultural heritage information in teaching

ASL Curriculum as a Study of a Language

  • Study of ASL structures, vocabulary, discourse, semantics, styles, registers and cultural markers found in ASL literary works and texts, lectures and interpersonal interactions
  • Study of how to produce language in ASL texts and ASL literary works that accurately conveys meaning and which appropriately and coherently provides information to support a point of view
  • Analysis of ASL literary styles and devices, cultural markers, registers, use of ASL distinctive attributes of localization, spatial reference frames, role shift, classifiers, non-manual grammatical markers and other linguistic features of ASL
  • ASL as a critical thinking and cognitive development language
  • Analysis of ASL as a repository of cultural knowledge and experiences

Benchmark

Having an ASL curriculum used as a study of language will provide our students learning benchmarks for their development and demonstration of expected ASL and ASL literacy skills.

ASL Assessment

ASL assessment identifies a student’s proficiency level in ASL. This guides educational programming. Results of such assessment are used to:

  1. make decisions about the kind of intervention a student requires to development in ASL
  2. determine a student’s cognitive and linguistic readiness for English reading and writing
  3. establish a baseline for a particular student’s ASL and English expectations and program.

“The most important aspect of the American Sign Language Curriculum will be the measurable progress our Bilingual ASL-using students show in their language and literacy development in American Sign Language.”

Heather Gibson, 2000