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Classroom Bases Experience

Georgia State University

Applied Linguistics
Spring 11
ASL III 37.5 hours
Jonathan Shive
For my classroom-based experience I taught a spring semester course as an
instructor at Georgia Perimeter Colleges Sign Language Interpreter Program. This course
was ASL III, SLIP 1906. For our program we have been using the Signing Naturally,
Level 2: A Student Workbook and Videotext for two courses. We divided up this textbook
into two and used one half for ASL III and the other half for ASL IV. Yet after reviewing
out comes and how our students are progressing in relation to the rest of the interpreting
course, the faculty felt that there needs to be more of an emphasis on language and prep
for the students to succeed. So this year we have been changing it up. We used the Level
2 textbook for ASL III and the Level 3 textbook for ASL IV. That meant we expanded the
content in both classes. This required a lot of pre-planning to coordinate the two classes.
The instructional objectives for the ASL III class are as follows:

Accurately fingerspell and identify common fingerspelled words at a moderate

rate and presented in context.


Identify and produce numbers 1-1000 at a moderate rate within context.

Participate in ASL conversations on the following topics: locating things around
the house; complaining, making suggestions and requests; exchanging personal
information about life events.
After viewing narratives of the above topics, make appropriate responses.
Describe and/or demonstrate a variety of ASL linguistic features including: topiccomment structure, non-dominant hand as reference, descriptive, instrument and
locative classifiers, yes/no and wh-questions, recurring and continuous times
signs, temporal aspect, role shifting, inflecting verbs, conditionals, when clauses,
phasing for sequencing events, contrastive structure, possessive forms and nonmanual markers.


Produce known signs with the correct handshape, palm orientation, location and

Interact appropriately with the Deaf community.

This course was fairly straightforward. I only had to teach ASL III and ASL IV both in
7.5 weeks. That took time to review the syllabus and redesign to hit the more important
points. I did this with our director and a fellow instructor. We read over the course and
came up with a very good plan for instruction.
We kept the evaluation on the students the same. Students also had to attend 2
Deaf events and watch 2 movies related to Deafness or ASL. Reaction papers were turned
in, with critical thinking reflections on the activity. Other assessments included quizzes,
graded narratives and a final exam. This semester we also added the recordings of Lab
work. These were bookwork exercises students had to read and follow direction on
grammar usage. But the students had to video tape themselves signing these sentences
and turn them in.
Although, I felt a time crunch in getting in everything, I still tried to keep the class
open-ended and light. Students had the book and DVD homework they would do, and
class would begin with me answering questions related to this work. Next I would
generally, introduce the next lesson. The Curriculum is pretty prescribed, so I basically
followed the teachers book. But that was stifling and very well, prescribed. I would try
different approaches in presenting the information. I would either start with a story or
some discussion of the day and during that time, introduce vocabulary or grammar
features. I saw it as a diving board where I could take things Im learning at GSU and

apply them. I would introduce something; play with it in with students in pair or group
work and guided practice. I really like this time, because I can get my hands working
with them and really interact with the students, (the best thing about teaching)! I would
finish up typically with some large group work, either asking them opinion questions,
surveys, or just to make them discuss and communicate for themselves.
After completing this course and in preparation for the next course ASL IV, with
the same students, I see that having them complete the entire Level 2 book, as a benefit.
The largest draw back is the amount of time for the class. This is only a 7.5 week-long
class. Way too short in my opinion. However, I do know the reasons for this is the college
need to focus on numbers of students and statistics and not just language development.
Yet the good thing is our department is changing. We are now going to be offering a 4
year degree. So our classes will change, meaning the half semester classes are now full
semesters. I feel that will really mesh well with the expansion of ASL III and the newly
renovated ASL IV class.