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Sign Language Teaching, Foreign Language Requirements for

  • By: Sherman Wilcox
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Interest in the teaching of signed languages such as American Sign Language (ASL) as foreign languages has become an American groundswell. Many colleges and universities now recognize the study of ASL and Deaf culture as a legitimate academic pursuit and accept ASL in fulfillment of their foreign language entrance and exit requirements. As of 2013, more than 160 American colleges and universities accepted ASL in fulfillment of foreign language requirements. In several states, ASL is mandated by law as acceptable in fulfillment of high school foreign language graduation requirements.

Questions often arise when the topic of teaching ASL as a foreign language is brought up. Understanding the facts surrounding the status of ASL as a language, its history, and the Deaf community is essential not only ...

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