Deaf Culture and American Sign Language Studies

Deaf Culture and American Sign Language Studies (DEAF) Courses

DEAF 310 American Sign Language I

  • Units:4
  • Hours:72 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area I; IGETC Area 6
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This is the first course in a series of five courses in American Sign Language (ASL). The instructional activities are based on an immersion approach, in which the learners develop language competency in source and target language. The emphasis is on non-speech communication. Topics include grammatical features such as adjective descriptors, differentiation between cardinal/ordinal numbers, contrastive structure, temporal aspect markers and temporal sequencing, conversational skills, narrative skills, and discussions with peers. This course is formerly known as SILA 305.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • assemble short sentence dialogs which demonstrate receptive and expressive competencies of targeted lexical and syntactical forms of American Sign Language.
  • compare and contrast the characteristics of the Deaf community and the Deaf community dynamic with the hearing community.
  • utilize appropriate vocabulary and communicative strategies using eye contact, body orientation, and social behaviors related to communication interaction.
  • demonstrate appropriate cultural interaction within the Deaf community.
  • demonstrate ability to communicate respectfully in a Deaf culture setting.

DEAF 312 American Sign Language II

  • Units:4
  • Hours:72 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:DEAF 310 or SILA 305 with a grade of "C" or better.
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 AND ENGRD 312 and ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 and ESLW 340
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area I; IGETC Area 6
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This is the second in a series of five courses in American Sign
Language (ASL). The emphasis is on nonverbal communication.
Topics include grammatical features such as adjective descriptors, differentiation between cardinal/ordinal numbers, contrastive structure, temporal aspect markers and temporal sequencing, conversational skills, narrative skills, and discussions with peers. This course is formerly known as SILA 306.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • prepare complex dialogues that demonstrate receptive and expressive competencies of targeted lexical items from situations or narratives that occur in daily life activities.
  • formulate targeted syntactical forms in ASL in dialogs.
  • select appropriate vocabulary and communicative strategies in imitating, conducting, and terminating dialogs.
  • analyze social customs and cultural interaction of the various groups within the Deaf community.
  • demonstrate ability to communicate respectfully in a Deaf-culture setting.
  • demonstrate appropriate cultural interaction within the Deaf community.

DEAF 314 American Sign Language III

  • Units:4
  • Hours:72 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:DEAF 312 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Advisory:Eligble for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 and ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area I; CSU Area C2; IGETC Area 3B; IGETC Area 6
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course is the third in a series of five courses in American Sign Language. It emphasizes expressive and receptive nonverbal communication skills between signers who have preliminary American Sign Language syntactical and lexical skills. It provides an understanding of deaf cultural processes by identifying behaviors and norms from activities assigned in the class. It also includes dialogs that involve asking, empathizing, negotiating and agreeing or disagreeing. The emphasis is on non-speech communication. This course is formerly known as SILA 315.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • appraise and demonstrate receptive and expressive skills of targeted grammatical features which include the following areas: numbers when expressing time, money, counting, dates and addresses concepts; frequency verbs when expressing time and duration; locative classifiers when describing buildings and floor plans; descriptive classifiers when asked to define and describe furniture, clothing, various objects and food dishes.
  • analyze lexical and grammatical patterns by signing selected or self-developed narratives.
  • compare and contrast social norms of Deaf people to those personal cultural experience in signed narratives.
  • demonstrate ability to communicate respectfully in a Deaf-culture setting.
  • demonstrate appropriate cultural interaction within the Deaf community.

DEAF 316 American Sign Language IV

  • Units:4
  • Hours:72 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:DEAF 314 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; or ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area I; CSU Area C2; IGETC Area 3B; IGETC Area 6
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course is the fourth in a series of five courses in American Sign Language (ASL). It emphasizes expressive communication skills that involve locating and signing interesting facts, making major life decisions, discussing health conditions, and using money. It incorporates information and activities previously learned about Deaf culture into these narratives. The emphasis is on non-speech communication. This course is formerly known as SILA 316.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • appraise and demonstrate receptive and expressive mastery of targeted grammatical markers which include: elaborations in narratives, dialogs, utilizing signs that describe specific facts, generalizations, theories, conclusions; describing major life decisions; discussing health conditions and using money.
  • formulate previously learned Deaf cultural experiences into narratives.
  • apply expressive strategies in signing longer and more complex narratives including use of characterization and narrative styles.
  • compose a lecture in ASL, incorporating complex ideas about health conditions.
  • differentiate how people share and describe major life decisions in ASL.
  • produce communication processes involving money related signs.
  • appraise the facts to explain, rephrase, demonstrate, or draw conclusions to clearly present factual information.
  • analyze the effectiveness of ASL performance generated by models, self, and peer by applying contemporary theories of performance assessment and peer review.
  • compare and contrast Deaf and hearing cultures.
  • demonstrate ability to communicate respectfully in a Deaf-culture setting.
  • demonstrate appropriate cultural interaction within the Deaf community.

DEAF 318 American Sign Language V

  • Units:4
  • Hours:72 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:DEAF 316 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area I; CSU Area C2; IGETC Area 3B; IGETC Area 6
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This is the last course in a series of five courses in American Sign Language (ASL). It prepares for the effective communication with Deaf people. It emphasizes expressive communication skills that involve narrating unforgettable moments, telling about accidents, and storytelling. It incorporates information and activities previously learned about Deaf culture into these narratives. The emphasis is on non-speech communication. This course is formerly known as SILA 318.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • appraise receptive targeted grammatical markers which include using role shift to enhance a story, maintaining spatial agreement when using role shift, sequencing classifiers, and timing of reactions to coincide with experiences and mishaps.
  • generate expressive mastery of targeted grammatical markers which include using role shift to enhance a story, maintaining spatial agreement when using role shift, sequencing classifiers, and timing of reactions to coincide with experiences and mishaps.
  • formulate essential skills for storytelling related to narrating unforgettable moments and telling about accidents.
  • incorporate key elements used in ASL storytelling to adapt written stories into ASL.
  • organize previously learned cultural experiences into narratives.
  • apply expressive strategies in signing longer and more complex narratives including use of characterization and narrative styles.
  • evaluate the effectiveness of model, self, and peer ASL performance by applying contemporary theories of performance assessment.
  • demonstrate ability to communicate respectfully in a Deaf-culture setting.
  • demonstrate appropriate cultural interaction within the Deaf community.

DEAF 320 Fingerspelling, Classifiers and Numbers

  • Units:0.5 - 1
  • Hours:27 - 54 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:DEAF 310 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course provides hands-on experiences with fingerspelling, classifiers and American Sign Language (ASL) numbers. Topics include expressive and receptive fingerspelling, classifiers, and ASL numbers techniques. This laboratory course enables ASL learners to develop, expand, and reinforce hands-on experiences with fingerspelling, classifiers, and ASL numbers skills while working independently, in small groups, and with media such as DVDs and recorded video clips in ASL that incorporate fingerspelling. Coursework includes study topics integrated with expressive and receptive fingerspelling, classifiers, and ASL numbers techniques. Students may register until the sixth week of the semester. This course may be taken up to two times, for a total of 1.0 unit, using different topics. Pass/No Pass only.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate basic receptive fingerspelling, classifiers, and ASL numbers skills with at least 70% accuracy.
  • synthesize basic expressive fingerspelling, classifiers, and ASL numbers skills.
  • demonstrate the ability to communicate respectfully in a Deaf-culture setting.
  • demonstrate appropriate cultural interaction within the Deaf community.

DEAF 351 Introduction to American Deaf Culture

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); AA/AS Area VI; CSU Area D3; CSU Area D7; IGETC Area 4
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course is a survey of four institutions which have critical impact on the psycho-social development of Deaf people: family, education, work, and society. It provides awareness and sensitivity to the unique challenges of deafhood and how they influence personal-social and communication competencies of the Deaf person. Selected visits to community events may be required. This course is formerly known as SILA 330.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • define culture and apply the definition by using examples of typical social norms of Deaf people.
  • identify the rules of Social Interaction in the Deaf community.
  • define language and apply the definition by giving examples brought out from experiences with Deaf people.
  • construct a detailed description of the census, racial/ethnic, education, employment, social/advocacy activities, family environment characteristics of the Deaf community.
  • narrate instances of bias connected to Deaf individuals and groups.
  • demonstrate appropriate cultural interaction within the Deaf community.
  • demonstrate ability to communicate respectfully in a Deaf culture setting.

DEAF 352 Introduction to American Deaf Education

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:DEAF 351 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Advisory:Eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b)
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course surveys topics related to educating Deaf children, adults, and individuals with additional disabilities. It also covers teaching methods and philosophies, school placement issues, child development, and methods of addressing developmental and linguistic stages. Selected visits to a residential Deaf school in Fremont and/or a local mainstreaming/Deaf program school may be required. This course is formerly known as SILA 332.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • validate an analysis of a topic from a research paper that relates to education of Deaf people.
  • distinguish and describe essential components of PL 94-142/Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  • differentiate characteristics of school placement sites for Deaf children and for young deaf adults who transition from a high school education to a post-secondary education.
  • list and describe the various hereditary syndromes that occur among Deaf children with additional disability conditions.
  • distinguish, assess, and evaluate family dynamics of Deaf children with hearing or Deaf families.
  • categorize and evaluate the research done on the effectiveness of the communication systems used by Deaf children in the educational system.
  • distinguish and assess developmental processes of cognitive theory as presented by Piaget and of the development of life stages as presented by Erikson.
  • demonstrate appropriate cultural interaction within the Deaf community.
  • demonstrate ability to communicate respectfully in a Deaf culture setting.

DEAF 355 Audism and Inequality of the Deaf

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:DEAF 351 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Advisory:SOC 320 and 320; AND eligible for ENGRD 310 or ENGRD 312 AND ENGWR 300; OR ESLR 340 AND ESLW 340.
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); AA/AS Area VI; CSU Area D3; CSU Area D7
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course focuses on topics in the field of race and ethnicity in Deaf community. It provides theoretical background and contexts of audism and oppression. It also covers the contribution of minorities including Deaf people to the United States as well as the sociological reasons for inequality of Deaf people in the United States.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • evaluate how social processes, social inequality, and social relationships have shaped the experiences of various minorities in the United States.
  • critique the processes of assimilation, accommodation, acculturation, and ethnogenesis.
  • identify social processes that lead to conflict and cooperation among Deaf and hearing people in the United States.
  • assess the outcomes and identify the origins of prejudice and discrimination against Deaf people in the United States.
  • demonstrate appropriate cultural interaction within the Deaf community.
  • demonstrate ability to communicate respectfully in a Deaf culture setting.

DEAF 370 Linguistics of American Sign Language

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:DEAF 316 with a grade of "C" or better, or placement through the assessment process.
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area II(b)
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course provides a foundation in American Sign Language (ASL) linguistics. Topics include theoretical knowledge and practical application of phonology, morphology, syntax, and sociolinguistics aspects of ASL usage. This course is formerly known as SILA 317.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • identify basic concepts of language.
  • analyze phonological aspects of ASL.
  • examine morphological structures in ASL.
  • produce appropriate syntactical structures in ASL.
  • appraise and incorporate features of ASL discourse.
  • demonstrate appropriate cultural interaction within the Deaf community.
  • demonstrate ability to communicate respectfully in a Deaf culture setting.

DEAF 380 American Sign Language Literature

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:DEAF 314 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU
  • General Education:AA/AS Area I; AA/AS Area VI; CSU Area C2
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course introduces American Sign Language (ASL) literature genres such as folklore and folktales, storytelling, visual vernacular, personification, classifier story, poetry, ABC and number stories and non-fiction narrative. Topics include analyzing and applying ASL usage in ASL literature genres.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • analyze and critique genres in ASL literature.
  • identify various techniques and styles of ASL literary works.
  • produce and perform different genres in ASL literature.
  • analyze ASL literary works for historical, social, and cultural messages.
  • comprehend literary analysis, significant linguistic and cultural aspects of ASL narratives.
  • demonstrate ability to communicate respectfully in a Deaf culture setting.
  • demonstrate appropriate cultural interaction within the Deaf community.

DEAF 390 Introduction to the Interpreting Profession

  • Units:0.5
  • Hours:9 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:DEAF 310 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course introduces general information about the field of American Sign Language (ASL)/English interpretation. Topics include regulations, certification and educational requirements, fundamental and requisite skills, the Code of Professional Conduct, and pay scale and job opportunities in the field of ASL/English interpretation. An overview of the Interpreter Preparation Program at American River College and hands-on experiences are incorporated. Pass/No Pass only. This course is formerly known as SILA 362.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • compile a list of regulations, ethics, certification, and educational requirements needed to enter the interpreting field.
  • assess the core interpersonal, intrapersonal, and linguistic competencies required.
  • identify job opportunities and pay scales available for interpreters.
  • choose a sequencing of coursework to follow in the Interpreter Preparation program at American River College.

DEAF 495 Independent Study

  • Units:1 - 3
  • Hours:54 - 162 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

Independent Study is an opportunity for the student to extend classroom experience in this subject, while working independently of a formal classroom situation. Independent study is an extension of work offered in a specific class in the college catalog. To be eligible for independent study, students must have completed the basic regular catalog course at American River College. They must also discuss the study with a professor in this subject and secure approval. Only one independent study for each catalog course will be allowed.


DEAF 499 Experimental Offering in Deaf Culture & ASL Studies

  • Units:0.5 - 4
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020