Discover Sign Language II

Take your sign language skills to the next level with additional vocabulary, grammar lessons, and cultural information. This course will help you build confidence in your ability to sign with the Deaf community.

6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
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Learning method

Course code: ds2

Learn to build phrases and sentences with the vocabulary you used in Discover Sign Language 1, as well as some new vocabulary. You will practice phrases and sentences by recording your own signing and uploading them for review. Not only that, but you will also continue to explore the world of Deaf culture by learning more about the history of Deaf culture in the United States, famous Deaf individuals, and the impact of recent laws and technology on the modern-day Deaf community.

What you will learn

  • How to apply phrases and sentences to hold basic conversations.
  • How to apply ASL grammar in conversations.
  • How to implement role shifting, noun-verb pairs, and directional verbs.

How you will benefit

  • Increased confidence in holding conversations in ASL
  • Increased receptive skills
  • Deeper understanding of the grammatical rules of ASL
  • Cultural fluency
  • Practice giving and receiving feedback

How the course is taught

  • Instructor-Moderated or Self-Guided online course
  • 6 Weeks or 3 Months access
  • 24 course hours

In this lesson, you will be reviewing some of the vocabulary from Discover Sign Language 1 and adding some new vocabulary. The objectives for this lesson are for you to be able to build and use phrases and sentences to be able to participate in a basic conversation in ASL. You will also apply ASL grammar to ask and answer basic questions about yourself. You will learn about the origins of ASL in the United States. By the end of the lesson, you will be creating a video introducing yourself in ASL.

In this lesson, you will focus on asking and answering basic questions. A lesson on non manual markers is included to meet the objectives of describing and implementing ASL grammatical features. You will practice these skills on five different scenarios. A cultural highlight regarding the Deaf President Now movement wraps up the lesson. Lastly, you will create a video of yourself signing for the lesson assignment.

In this lesson, you will focus on signs for emotions and feelings with the goal of being able to ask how someone is feeling and being able to answer if you are asked that same question. Often, conversations have a typical pattern: greeting, introducing yourself, asking about the well-being of the other person, responding, and then concluding with a farewell. Your objectives for this lesson include applying phrases and sentences to hold basic conversational skills while using basic signs for emotions. You will apply ASL grammar to ask and answer basic questions by asking how someone is feeling. Lastly, you will develop your understanding of ASL grammar by describing what role shifting means.

In this lesson, you are learning how to place a restaurant order in ASL using your existing vocabulary and learning a few more signs. It is fairly common for Deaf clubs to meet at local restaurants or food courts. You will use your emerging ASL grammatical skills to ask and answer basic questions while placing a food or drink order. The cultural lesson this time is on famous Deaf Americans.

In this lesson, you will cover vocabulary to answer questions on locating objects, and you will practice answers for when someone needs directions. You will learn how to ask where to find something or answer how to find something. You have learned how to ask, "Where is the bathroom?" But now you need to be able to understand the directions on how to get there.

In this lesson, you will be focusing on vocabulary for sports and recreation. Another common topic when conversing with a new person is "What do you do for fun?" While you learned some basic sports and recreation signs in Discover Sign Language 1, now you are going to expand on that topic with some additional vocabulary. Also, you will learn about Deaf Poetry and the Deaflympics.

Holidays and celebrations are a topic that frequently comes up in conversations. Most gatherings of friends and family are centered around celebrations. In this lesson, you will learn vocabulary for major American holidays and practice communicating appropriate holiday greetings.

This is an important lesson, as it is imperative for everyone to be ready for an emergency. As you go through this lesson, you will learn how to ask important questions in ASL during an emergency. You will also be able to recognize when someone is talking about an emergency situation. You have built quite a bit of vocabulary (128 signs!) so far, and you have been working very hard on putting it all together into grammatically correct phrases and sentences. That pattern will continue in this lesson. Lastly, the cultural note for this lesson is on International Sign—what it is and where it is used.

In this lesson, you will learn vocabulary for common jobs, careers, and majors to assist you with a common topic of conversation—"What do you do?" Or sometimes, "What is your major?" You will learn about compound signs during the vocabulary portion of the lesson and about the history of Deaf Education in the Deaf Culture section. Lastly, you will be asked to conduct an interview with a member of the Deaf Community.

In this lesson, you will learn vocabulary for weather and seasons. As in previous lessons, you will have the opportunity to observe and practice some language models. The Deaf Culture note for this chapter is about assistive technologies and how the Deaf community uses them.

In this lesson, you will expand upon your knowledge of ASL signs for family members. In Discover Sign Language 1, you learned the basics—mom, dad, grandfather, grandmother, and so on. In this lesson, you will expand your knowledge with some other extended family members, as well as nontraditional family members. After all, sometimes your neighbors and coworkers are as close (or closer!) as your family. You will have the opportunity to practice using the videos showcasing the language models. Lastly, the grammar section of this lesson focuses on Noun Verb Pairs.

In this final lesson, you will focus on colors and animals with the goal of signing a children's storybook as your final assignment. There are several practice activities leading up to the final assignment. The last grammar lesson focuses on classifiers.

Erin McHenry

Erin McHenry has been signing since 1996 and holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in Interpreting. She is an Associate member of the American Sign Language Teachers Association. Since 2003, Erin has been professionally interpreting across various settings including education, community, and medical. She has been both a staff interpreter and a freelance interpreter.

Instructor Interaction: The instructor looks forward to interacting with learners in the online moderated discussion area to share their expertise and answer any questions you may have on the course content.


Discover Sign Language 1 or equivalent.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.
  • Webcam

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.8 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Instructor-Moderated: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.​

Self-Guided: Your course begins immediately after you enroll.​

Instructor-Moderated: Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends. You will interact with the instructor through the online discussion area. There are no live sessions or online meetings with the instructor.

Self-Guided: You have 3 months of access to the course. After enrolling, you can learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the allotted access period. You will have the opportunity to interact with other students in the online discussion area.

Instructor-Moderated: The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release. However, you will have access to all lessons from the time they are released until the course ends.​

Self-Guided: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons within the allotted access period. Discussion areas for each lesson are open for the entire duration of the course.

Instructor-Moderated: Students enrolled in a six-week online class benefit from a one-time, 10-day extension for each course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.​

Self-Guided: Because this course is self-guided, no extensions will be granted after the start of your enrollment.

Yes! This course is designed to help you feel comfortable conversing with the deaf and hearing impaired community. You'll be taught conversational sign language that will help you introduce yourself and start a conversation. You'll also learn the alphabet so you can fingerspell names and words as well as colors, numbers, and common phrases that will help you form sentences. After completion of this course, you'll be able to sign!

Not necessarily. The Foreign Service Institute classifies the ease of learning a new language based on its similarity to English. While experts do not agree on which category American Sign Language should be placed, it is clear that is not listed in the easiest category because it is not similar to English. However, with dedication and the right training through our Discover Sign Language course, you will be using sign language to communicate in no time!

Hearing loss is much more common than many people think. In fact, nearly 28 million Americans suffer from some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss increases after the age of 65, and by age 75 nearly 50 percent of people will have at least some hearing loss. Learning sign language can help you better communicate with these people, and even someone in your own family who may suffer hearing loss as they age in the future.

No. Signed languages are no different from languages spoken all over the world. Different countries use different forms of sign language. Our Discover Sign Language course teaches American Sign Language (ASL) which is used in the United States, Canada and some parts of Mexico. ASL is also used in some countries in Central America, Africa and Asia with modifications.

Learning sign language could help you in your job. The Americans with Disabilities Act sometimes requires companies to have an interpreter for deaf or hearing-impaired individuals, so being able to converse in sign language could be a resume booster. Basic knowledge of sign language will also go a long way in showing customers that you care for their needs.

This course will help you converse with the deaf and hearing impaired. You can bridge gaps between yourself and this population as well as open the door to meeting new people. You'll also explore lip reading and baby signs which can help you when working with even more people. It may even give you an opportunity to get involved with volunteer organizations.

Learning a new language can keep your brain healthy and agile. You'll create new connections among neurons which can improve your memory and problem-solving skills as you age. You can also set an example for your children who will be inspired by watching you learn to reach out to a new group of individuals.