EDUDEAF: ASL Literature

Key Words: Curriculum Materials, Language, college

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Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 19:46:09 -0700
Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Subject: ASL literature
To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

I am working with another teacher who is trying to get a student into university with ASL as a second language. The university has said that it will not accept ASL as it does not have a 'literature'. Well, WE all know that is WRONG,but where do I find the research to prove it. I know its out there but I don't have access to a university library at this point to find it. Can someone point me in the right direction and then I will follow up?

Thanks

Jeanne Shaw Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
SD #11 (Trail), British Columbia
Canada

Document 2 of 5

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Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 10:31:28 -0400
Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Subject: Re: ASL literature
To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

First, you need to make sure that you get a clear definition of what your university means by "literature". If the definition is "articles written *about* ASL", then you absolutely have a legitimate argument in saying that ASL has an extensive research literature, and one can even argue that it has an aesthetic literature (stories, folk traditions, etc). For this second one, you may want to try and argue an extension of what we think of as literature - meaning, not just the written word but also "oral" traditions (passed down person to person), videotaped stories, plays which were written to be performed in ASL.

However, many universities will define "literature" as research or stories written *in* the language. So, people taking French will read Moliere *in French*. Here you will have problems because it is going to be very hard to argue that there is any literature written *in* ASL, considering ASL is not a written language. All efforts aside to put ASL into writing (SignWriter, etc...), there is just not a body of any kind of literature written in ASL. Like I said before, you might want to try and argue an expanded definition of literature to include videotape or plays which were meant to be performed in ASL, but I really don't know how far you are going to get. Administrators are a prickly bunch. No offense to any administrators out there, but you have to admit that the beaurocracy of a university is pretty hard to cut through.

I think the best thing to do is to gather as much information as you can about all the other universities that accept ASL as a foreign language (University of Pittsburgh is one of them). You might even go so far as to get a letter from a dean at one of these universities stating the reasons that they accept ASL as a language which will fulfill their language. If you decide to do this, you can e-mail me privately and I will try to see what I can gather here at Pitt.

Good luck!
Leonore Rodrigues Instructor, English Language Institute
Graduate Student, Deaf Education
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsbugh, PA 15206

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Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 10:38:12 -0400
Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Subject: Re: ASL literature
To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

I know that in high school they accept *Sign Language* as foreign language credits. I believe this is throughout the state. I am not sure about college criteria, but if you could find other universities that accept it as a foreign language credit, this might help your cause.

Linda C.

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Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 11:37:57 -0500
Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Subject: Re: ASL literature
To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Sometimes I think we just need to challenge their paradigm. If you flip it around, a deaf student who cannot speak intelligibly would never get credit for a foreign language. Heck, if s/he can't *speak* English, he sure can't speak French (or German or Spanish...). If a student *can* get credit by demonstrating reading and writing mastery, but without the oral communication component, doesn't it make sense that one should also be able to demonstrate the communication ability without a written component? The school's reasoning also eliminates Hmong as a "legitimate" foreign language.

Candy Krepel

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Date: Fri, 18 Oct 1996 19:46:00 -0700
Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Subject: Re: ASL literature
To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

>I know that in high school they accept *Sign Language* as foreign language credits. I believe this is throughout the state. I am not sure about college criteria, but if you could find other universities that accept it as a foreign language credit, this might help your cause.
Linda C.

For a list of Universities and Colleges that accept ASL for Foreign Language credit, check out www.sheridanc.on.ca/~cowley/aslcred.htm

Uploaded by: Jessica Soltesz/Kent State University/Deaf Education Major