Course Sessions
Fall 2 Term Begins
Oct 22


You're ready to turn your passion for American Sign Language (ASL) into proficiency. In this intermediate course, you will continue to develop conversational fluency in ASL while learning key expressive and receptive skills. Discover exciting career opportunities in interpretation, communication and storytelling as you learn from internationally-acclaimed ASL instructors. Not sure if you're ready for the intermediate course? This short survey can help you decide.  
  • Become conversationally fluent in ASL with weekly one-on-one feedback from instructors.
  • Immerse yourself in the rich culture of the Deaf community.
  • Learn how to effectively communicate in emergency and professional situations.
  • Work online at a fast but flexible pace.
  • Launch your career as an ASL interpreter.

Expand your ability to communicate fluently in American Sign Language. Our flexible, online courses are 8-weeks long and asynchronous to accommodate your busy schedule.

What will you learn in Intermediate American Sign Language?  

Week One:
-Describing People and Things
-Identifying Present People
-Describing Personal Items
-Describing Lost Items
-Cultural: Greeting

Week Two:
-Weather and Natural Disasters
-Weather and Temperature
-Weather and Elemental Classifiers
-Fingerspelling Z
-Assignments: Opinions about Weather, Travel & Disruptions, Elemental Classifier Story Activity
-Meet with Tutor

Week Three:
-Sentence Types
-Review: Statement and Questions
-Intro: Rhetorical Questions
-Commands, Conditionals, Negations, Assertions
-Assignments: Basic Sentences Receptive, Expressive: RH & Commands, Receptive: Negations & Assertions, Expressive: Conditionals & Topicalization

Week Four:
-Midterm Exam Prep
-Receptive Part
-Cultural and Language Part
-Meet with Tutor

Week Five:
-Injuries, Mishaps, and the Workplace
-Idiomatic Language, the Workplace, and Injuries
-Locative Classifiers
-Instrumental Classifiers
-Cultural Corner and Review
-Assignments: Idiomatic Language, Locative Classifiers Part 1 & 2, Instrumental Classifiers, Injuries Vocabulary

Week Six & Seven:
-Giving Opinions About Others
-Opinions About Tendencies
-Personal Qualities
-Comparing Personal Qualities
-Cultural: Interrupting Others
-Hand Shape Storytelling
-Assignments: Comparison of Two People – Use of Reference Space, Describing a person not present assignment

Week Eight:
-Final Exam Prep
-Receptive, Expressive, and Cultural
-Meet with Tutor

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).

Courses: Foundations of American Sign Language, Intermediate Sign Language

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
K. Crom Saunders Photo

K. Crom Saunders

K. Crom Saunders is an Associate Professor in the ASL Department at Colombia College Chicago where he teaches a number of ASL Linguistics, Deaf Studies and Interpreting courses. Saunders began working at Columbia in the Fall of 2009. He holds an MA degree in Creative Writing from California State University, Sacramento (2002). He earned his BA in English from California State University, Northridge (1996). Saunders is actively developing a body of research based on the representation of Deaf people in the media and how this ties in with the history and current development of ASL and Deaf culture.

Prior to joining the ASL Department at Columbia, Saunders taught a variety of ASL and ASL-English Interpretation courses at the University of Pittsburgh (2007-2009) and at the University of San Francisco (2007). Since joining Columbia College Chicago, he has helped to further develop the curriculum in the ASL Department and ASL-English Interpretation BA Program so students have a stronger foundation for not only their capstone courses, but also their careers as interpreters. Saunders also co-developed the foundation of the Deaf Studies BA Program and currently is the Director of the Deaf Studies BA Program.

Courses: Foundations of American Sign Language, Intermediate Sign Language