Course Sessions
Summer Term Begins
Jun 25


American Sign Language (ASL) is the native language of deaf people in the U.S. and Canada. In this introductory ASL course, you’ll build your conversational skills to better communicate with the deaf individuals you encounter throughout your personal and professional life. Learn a vital skill that will open doors to a career as an ASL interpreter and help you advocate for the Deaf community.

Learning a new language is a great way to meet new people, familiarize yourself with new cultures and communicate with others. Our flexible, online courses are 8-weeks long and asynchronous to accommodate your busy schedule.

What will you learn in American Sign Language?  

Week One:
-History of ASL and the Deaf Community
-Conversation Strategies
-Nonverbal Communication
-Assignments: Gestures and Tracing

Week Two:
-ASL Grammar: Statements and Questions
-Vocabulary and Numbers
-Active Listening
-Cultural Corner
-Assignments: Gesture Review, Sign the Numbers, What’s the Number and Role Shifting
-Tutoring Meeting

Week Three:
-How Did You Get There?
-Knowing Your Locations
-Stories, Numbers and Fingerspelling
-Assignments: Cardinal Numbers 30-66, Spatial Agreement and “Down” Letters
-Quiz: Vocabulary

Week Four:
-Reference Space, Pronouns and Negative Responses
-Proper Syntax
-Asking for Personal Information
-Assignments: Dialogue and Write the Signs
-Tutoring Meeting

Week Five:
-Midterm Preparation and Exam

Week Six:
-Days of the Week
-Daily Activities
-Day/Time & When Questions
-Opinions About Chores
-Assignments: Sign the Months, Time and Fingerspelling G & H
-Tutoring Meeting

Week Seven:
-Classifier Categories
-Subject/Object Pronouns
-Family Member Descriptions
-Assignments: Building a Fire: Using Classifiers, Family Members & Mini Dialogues

Week Eight:
-Final Preparation and Exam
-Tutoring Meeting

Required Materials (Not to register for until first day of class):


Peter Cook Photo

Peter Cook

Peter Cook is Associate Professor in the Department of ASL-English Interpretation and an internationally known Deaf performing artist. Using American Sign Language, pantomime, storytelling, acting and movement, Cook has performed at numerous festivals across the country – the Jonesboro National Storytelling Festival, The Deaf Way II and at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Cook has an MA in Storytelling from East Tennessee State University (2011) and a BFA in Graphic Design from Rochester Institute of Technology (1986).

Course: American Sign Language 101

Taking ASL 1 will be an exciting, new territory for you! (Hands waving instead of clapping.) You are about to learn one of the fastest growing foreign languages. Yes, I said foreign language, you will soon realize that American Sign Language (ASL) is a language on its own. This course is designed to guide you in the clearest yet, challenging ways, and your instructor will help you to achieve this level of ASL.

Why ASL from Peter

Need more info?

Contact our advising team at or call 312-369-5646 (JOIN) to learn more and enroll.

Contact an Advisor