Peer Tutoring follows a curriculum model of leadership, outreach, and pre-service teaching/education skills that empowers students to lead in the school by mentoring other students and engages them in the differentiated instruction process. Peer Tutors are trained in high-yield teaching and study strategies to help struggling students be more successful in their classes. Peer Tutors also work with various teachers throughout the school as student leaders in the classroom, engaged in both education and character development, which will carry beyond high school and into their post-secondary and professional careers.
American Sign Language 1 and 2 is a year-long course studying the language of ASL and Deaf culture.
Student Learning Expectations: Students will be able to have basic conversations in ASL incorporating the fundamentals of ASL grammar, vocabulary, fingerspelling, numbers, and culture. They will be able to demonstrate the ability to select, produce, and use appropriate sign choice for clear and accurate basic communication (needs, wants, opinions) along with the application of appropriate grammar and syntax (facial expression, body language, deixis, signing space). As cultural aspects of ASL are integrated throughout the course, students will have a basic understanding of Deaf culture, differences between Deaf and Hearing cultures, and insight of the experiences of being deaf when communicating in a hearing world.
21st Century Learning Expectations: Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate collaborative learning, critical thinking, problem solving, global citizenship, and innovation. Each student will demonstrate his/her individual skills in the areas of interpersonal and interpretive communication, literacy across the core content areas (print/manual/digital) via topics related to ASL, and global comparisons (English language vs. ASL, American Hearing culture vs. American Deaf culture, ASL as a basis for other manual languages, similarities/differences between spoken/signed languages). Integration/use of technology gives students a springboard toward mastery of expected ASL skills as well as a support for the basic knowledge of the culture and language.
What are we doing this year?
- Vocabulary: Expect a LOT of vocabulary – it’s the only way we can build on our signing skills! Between ASL I and II, there are nearly 1500 signs to learn.
- Grammar: Just like any other language, ASL has its own grammar, or set of rules for speaking the language. We’ll focus on standard sentence structure with some common variations (i.e. topicalization and inflection).
- Fingerspelling: The most difficult skill in ASL is fingerspelling – both for the speaker and listener. We’ll be working daily on improving our accuracy, fluidity, speed, and interpretation. As we gain proficiency in fingerspelling, we may begin incorporating more stylistic flourishes.
- Glossing: ASL is a visual language, and its written component is American Standard English. But ASL does not directly translate to written or spoken ASE. Glossing is the written form of ASL as it is directly signed. We’ll practice glossing to help us better understand ASL grammar and aid in translation.
- Continuous Improvement: ASL is as rewarding as it is challenging to master, and we can’t expect to be perfect signers overnight. Each unit builds on the previous work we’ve done, so it’s critical that we continuously practice to improve our skills.