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Discover Sign Language

A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!

How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.

Week One

Lesson 01 - Getting Started
Wednesday

What is sign language? Is it a real language? How did it develop? In this lesson, you'll discover what sign language is and who uses it. You'll also learn about the impact Deaf people have made on us as we embrace sign language. We'll discuss its use in America, and you'll begin learning this language as you learn to sign numbers 0 to 15.

Lesson 02 - Fingerspelling
Friday

Master your ABCs as you learn how to fingerspell the alphabet. You'll discover how double letters are made when they're inside a word and how they're signed when they fall at the beginning and end of words. You'll also learn tips on how to read fingerspelling.

Week Two

Lesson 03 - Introducing Yourself
Wednesday

How do you do? Today, you'll take the first steps toward having a conversation as you learn how to introduce yourself. In addition to learning the basic signs for this kind of interaction, you'll also gain some more strategies for learning and understanding new signs, including the four aspects that make up each sign. While you add these skills to your signing arsenal, you'll also learn more about the Deaf community, including what Deaf people expect to learn about you when you meet for the first time, and the role facial expression plays in sign language.

Lesson 04 - Getting to Know You
Friday

Next, you'll build on the introduction you learned in the last lesson and see how to keep the conversation going. You'll explore the different customs of conversation in the Deaf community, such as how to know when one person is finished talking and how to take turns. In addition, we'll continue to navigate through your introduction by adding more information about yourself. Finally, you'll gain some additional vocabulary as you learn the signs for colors and numbers 16 to 30.

Week Three

Lesson 05 - Continuing the Conversation
Wednesday

Today, you'll learn more signs to help you continue the conversation you started in the two previous lessons. You'll learn about the cherished custom Deaf people have of giving name signs so you'll understand what to call yourself, your city, and your state. You'll also gain more vocabulary about objects in your living environment. You'll learn to sign the types of dwellings people live in and modes of transportation. In addition, you'll add to your knowledge of numbers by mastering the signs for numbers 31 to 66. We'll end with a discussion about an important issue in the Deaf community: whether deafness is considered a disability.

Lesson 06 - Talking About Family
Friday

Signing becomes a family affair as you learn signs for family members. You'll understand how sign language categorizes the signs for each gender, and we'll discuss communication in families with a Deaf person. This includes lipreading and other communication strategies. We'll end by learning the signs for numbers 67 to 100.

Week Four

Lesson 07 - Extended Family and Beyond
Wednesday

In this lesson, you'll learn signs for extended family members. You'll also learn signs to describe how you're related to them. We'll put together longer sentences to practice using your new vocabulary. You'll be introduced to number systems beginning with age and telling how old family members are. We'll discuss Black signs ―the sign language of a subculture within Deaf culture.

Lesson 08 - A Sign for the Times
Friday

What time is it? Today, you'll discover how to tell time as well as sign the days of the week and other time periods such as minutes and hours. We'll discuss how spoken languages handle past, present, and future tenses, and then examine how sign language does this. Finally, we'll discover the impact the "Deaf President Now" movement had on the lives of Deaf people and our society.

Week Five

Lesson 09 - More Time on Your Hands
Wednesday

You're not done with time yet! In this lesson, you'll learn signs for additional time frames such as yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and we'll combine these with signs from other lessons. You'll learn signs for indoor and outdoor activities. Then, you'll learn signs for your opinion so you can tell us which activities you like and don't like. You'll also learn about CODAs—a group of hearing people unique to the Deaf community.

Lesson 10 - Feelings and Traits
Friday

Now it's time to learn the signs for feelings and personality traits, and you'll combine these signs with signs learned in previous lessons. You'll see how to communicate how you're doing, how to ask how others are doing, and how to describe different personal attributes. You'll also learn more about Deaf culture—this time, about physical contact and getting the attention of a Deaf person both nearby and across the room. Finally, you'll gain tips for practicing your signs.

Week Six

Lesson 11 - Clothing and Hairstyle
Wednesday

In the final lesson, you'll learn signs for clothing and hairstyles, such as jacket and long hair, and we'll combine these with signs from other lessons. You'll learn about classifiers and how to use them with the patterns such as stripes. Then you'll learn signs for descriptions such as mustache and beard. You'll also explore the last of our issues of Deaf culture: teaching hearing babies to sign.

Lesson 12 - Food and Animals
Friday

We conclude the course with a lesson that will equip you to wish a friend happy birthday, offer a birthday treat, and talk about your favorite animal. You'll start by learning to sign the months of the year and how to say, "Happy birthday!" You'll also learn signs for food and animals. We'll finish by exploring how English is translated into sign language, and you'll get an introduction to the role of the professional sign language interpreter. You'll even get some tips on using an interpreter with a Deaf person.

 
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  • Learn a new skill or enhance existing skills for professional development or personal enrichment.
  • New sessions starting monthly with lessons and assignments released weekly.
  • 2-4 hours a week in a convenient six-week format.
  • Interactive learning environment. Classroom built around discussion areas where you can engage with classmates and instructors.
  • Expert instructors develop, lead, and interact with students in each course.
  • Award of completion from your learning institution with passing score.
  • Gain the knowledge needed to move forward with your education.
  • Start anytime. Access Granted upon registration.
  • Courses are designed to be completed within 6-12 weeks.
  • Interactive multi-media instruction with integrated assessment, allowing you to work at your own pace.
  • Professional instructors support you throughout your learning experience.
  • Confirmation of successful course completion.
  • Build industry skills or earn continuing education credits in a variety of fields.
  • Start Anytime. Access to all course material and assessments from day one.
  • Many tutorials can be completed in just a few hours.
  • Quick independent study. Learn something new or expand your knowledge while working at your own pace.
  • Material developed by industry leaders and student support offered.
  • Certificate of completion awarded with passing score.

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