Course Sessions
Fall Term 2 Start
Oct 23


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.

Why Learn Sign Language?

At some point in your life, you’ll need to communicate with a deaf individual – whether it’s a family member, a coworker or a client. Those with conversational ASL skills serve as the link between the Deaf community and the hearing world.

Learning a new language is also a great way to meet new people, familiarize yourself with new cultures and express yourself creatively – ASL is a form of visual storytelling that’s widely used in the performing arts.

What You’ll Learn:  

  • Develop conversational fluency in American Sign Language (ASL).
  • Recognize and produce signs in ASL with appropriate non-manual behaviors and grammatical features.
  • Develop expressive and receptive ASL skills by discussing topics including exchanging personal information and talking about surroundings, residences, families and activities.
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