American Sign Language 2

Mrs. Sonja Miller


Meet Level 2 Competencies in Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing and Culture as suggested by the State and ACTFL.  Competencies are available upon request.  Generally, after one year of ASL a student should be able to converse at a minimal level with another student or teacher about topics related to home, suggestions/requests, life events and descriptions of people and things.  Further, Level 2 has a greater emphasis on performance signing.  Students will learn to create and sign handshape stories, cheers and poetry.


The class will be taught using multi-modalities.  Students will be immersed in the ASL language and culture through reading, writing, listening and signing activities.  Students may watch videos, read stories, work on computer activities, complete text assignments, participate in group activities, sign sing, tutor other students,....


  • Students are to AVOID using their voice at all times.  This is a voice silent classroom except for areas of grammar that will be taught in spoken English but practiced in ASL.
  • Students need to bring paper, ASL binder and pencil every day. 
  • Cell phones and other electronic devices need to be off and out of sight.  Cell phones that are answered (ringing or texting) will be turned in to the cell phone box.  The student may retrieve the device at the end of the period.  Repeat offenders will need to drop their phones in the box at the beginning of every day until the end of the semester.  Lack of adherence to this policy will result in a referral.
  • Students are expected to be in their own seat when the bell rings. If the student is not physically sitting in the seat, he/she will be marked tardy.  Students need to make up their “tardy minutes” before the next day’s class (so after school, before school or during lunch).  Failure to serve the detention will result in ISS and a phone call phone daily, until the detention is served.  Six tardies (by school policy) results in a detention or referral.
  • All project work is expected to be completed at a passing level.  Any work not completed at a passing level (60% or higher) may need to be redone until it meets minimal passing standards. 
  • All work needs to be turned in on time for full credit.  The student’s grade may be lowered by 10% for each day the assignment is late.
  • All work must be student’s own work.  Unless specifically stated otherwise, any work turned in for a grade must be individually completed.  Any material used from other sources for project work must be properly cited.  Cheating and plagiarism are unacceptable resulting in a failing grade for the assignment.  If a student cheats and/or plagiarizes two or more times during their foreign language classes, the student may earn a 0% for the quarter in which the second incident occurred. 
  • Students need to make-up work missed due to an absence.  Students can get assignments from fellow students, check the classroom posting, check the calendar on Skyward or meet with the teacher the following morning. Asking for make-up work during class time is not acceptable.  Frequently, alternate types of assignments will need to be given. If the student is absent he/she receives one additional day to complete the assignment for each day of absence. 
  • Non disruptive (no crunchies or smellies) foods are acceptable in class with the exception of any/all milk products.  No milk products (this includes most coffee drinks).  Please note though, it is hard to eat and sign J

 Grading Standards:

All assignments will be graded according to the state suggested assessment criteria.

93%+                A                     

90-92%             A-                    

87-89%             B+                   

83-86%             B         

80-82%             B-

77-79%             C+                   

73-76%             C

70-72%             C-

67-69%             D+                   

60-67%             D                     

Below 60%        F                      no credit earned


Homework is important in the retention of a foreign language.  It will almost always be a review of learned material, given to practice and reinforce concepts and vocabulary. It is almost always the practice of signs.  It is often self selected from a menu of choices. 


Regular attendance is considered a high priority in this class.  Attendance and participation are related to the instructional goals and objectives of this particular course because much of the course content comes from non-book related activities.  We use a tremendous amount of Total Physical Response activities, which can not be replicated outside of class.  Further, it is difficult to practice signing outside of class time.

In addition to the above, students who miss class lose essential instruction. It is important for students to participate in all our activities as well as the benefit that other students gain from your participation.  ATTENDANCE IS CRITICAL FOR SUCCESS IN THIS COURSE. 

Please note:  Students who miss many class periods will frequently struggle to understand material and achieve the level of learning and grade desired.  Even school related absences can often have a significant negative impact on a student’s foreign language understanding and grade as the content missed can not be replicated well outside of class time.  Students are expected to report to the room at 7:45 on the day returning from an excused absence to discuss ways in which to learn the missed material.  Asking for make-up work during class time is not acceptable.  Frequently, alternate types of assignments will need to be given.

Grade Weights:

Unannounced quizzes/tests:  70 %

Projects/homework/classwork:  20%

Participation:  10%

There are a couple of critical factors in earning high grades in this foreign language class.  The first is to acquire all the information presented.  “Cramming” for a test in ASL is not effective.  All quizzes and all tests are cumulative.  Vocabulary from the day one lesson may appear on the day 150 quiz.  Material must be learned and retained from the first day of the first class in the first year to the last day of the last class in the final year. Flashcards are very helpful.

 Second, the student must actively participate both in and out of class.  To earn an A in the participation area, a student must

  • Act in the lessons and/or answer the teacher posed questions during the lessons
  • Appear enthusiastic during instructional time
    • Smile
    • Make eye contact
    • Nod
    • Make positive, appropriate suggestions
  • Ohhhh…..oh me oh my……….mmmmmmmm  SIGNED comments
  • Attempt to use ASL whenever possible in the class
  • Attempt to use ASL outside of class
  • Pay attention during class (know the answer when called)
  • Provide proof of practicing non-assigned ASL outside of class

The participation grade is based on the above criteria.  A rubric/checklist will be used to assess student participation and provide feedback on areas of strength and weakness within participation in the first year classes.  These rubrics will be kept in the student’s binder.  Grades for participation will be updated once or twice a quarter.

In the interest of promoting mastery of ASL at the novice level, most quizzes/tests/major projects (though a different form) may be retaken to earn a higher grade up until the last day of a quarter.  Major projects and tests are expected to be completed at a 70 per cent or higher.  Participation related grades can not be “retaken.” 

Supplies Requested:

      1.       pencil or pen

      2.       college ruled paper

      3.       three ring binder specifically for ASL

      4.      DRY ERASE PENS PLEASE.  I will provide one dry erase pen per semester.  Students need to provide any additional pens they might need.

 Study Skills:

Students are expected to learn and practice appropriate study skills while in an ASL class.  At all times, students need to maintain a binder with tabs, showing all of their work and studies.  Participation points, quizzes, and study skills will all be maintained in the binder. 

 Support Provided:

Student success is important to me and to the class.  I am available to work with students every morning from 7:40 until 8:15 and every afternoon until 3:15.  Additionally, I remain in my room at least one lunch period per week to help students.  If none of these times work, other arrangements can be made.