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American Sign Language

American Sign Language (ASL) is a rich, complex language that uses signs made with the hands and other movements, including facial expressions and postures of the body. ASL is the predominant language used by an estimated 500,000 members of the Deaf Community in the United States and parts of Canada. This means, ASL is the third most used language in the United States. Like any spoken language, ASL is a language with its own unique rules of grammar and syntax. The linguistics of ASL are very different from English. As a visual language, the shape, placement, and movement of the hands, as well as facial expressions and body movements, all play important parts in conveying information.

According to the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Sign Language is America’s fastest growing language. MLA data reports, enrollment in ASL courses experienced an 803 % increase since 1998!

According to the ASL Teachers Association (ASLTA), there are approximately 500,000 ASL users in the USA and Canada. Most of them use ASL as their primary language and are members of a rich, vibrant linguistic minority community who share a common set of social beliefs, behaviors, art, literary traditions, history, and values.

Clemson University—with its colleagues at Harvard, Yale, and other premier institutions— is the only four-year public institution in South Carolina that recognizes and offers ASL as world language credit. At Clemson University, you are able to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in World Languages with a concentration in ASL. Or, you can also include ASL as your minor. Whether you are interested in a career as an interpreter, teacher, or in nursing, you can use your ASL skills in nearly any field!

The Clemson University ASL Program faculty have been recognized by the Deaf Community both statewide and nationally for its unique offerings and native-signer services. Clemson University is actively invited to participate in numerous statewide meetings because of its unique relationship with the Deaf Community.

ASL at Greenville

All general education 1000-4000 courses are offered on the Clemson campus with only ASL-English Educational Interpreting courses currently being offered on the Greenville campus.

ASL-English Educational Interpreting Certificate

The ASL-English Educational Interpreting program is a 16 credit hour undergraduate certificate program designed to prepare students as entry-level interpreters to work with students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in K-12 classrooms. Coursework focuses on interpreter processing skills, continued sign vocabulary development, the transfer of meaning between languages, as well as, a specialized focus on interpreting in the educational setting.  Entrance into the program requires demonstration of advanced ASL fluency.  Many Modern Languages ASL majors also take this program to become specialists in educational interpreting.

ASL Club

A key partner in the ASL Program at Clemson is the ASL Student Club. This student directed organization meets regularly and organizes events, guest lectures, socials and other colloquia bringing together the Deaf Community and Clemson ASL students! The ASL Student Club allows students to practice their ASL skills with native language users! Visit the American Sign Language Club of Clemson University on Facebook

ASL News

Photos from the 2017 joint South Carolina Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (SC RID) and South Carolina American Sign Language Teachers Association (SC ASLTA) conference.  Seven Clemson students attended the conference along with three faculty members.

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Professor Misener Dunn discusses ASL depiction with Clemson students attending the 2017 South Carolina Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf conference.

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Professor Mikey Barrett discusses teaching linguistics with attendees at the 2017 South Carolina American Sign Language Teachers Association conference.

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Dr. Miako Rankin from Gallaudet University details how to best incorporate blending Constructed Action and Constructed Dialogue with Clemson ASL-English Educational Interpreting students.

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Clemson ASL student Paige Jordan, showcases her knowledge of lexical variation in ASL with professional interpreters attending the 2017 South Carolina Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf annual conference.

From 26-30 September, 2016 the Clemson ASL Club will be celebrating Deaf Awareness Week with numerous activities and events throughout the week.

Previous News:

From 26-27 February, 2016, ASL-English Educational Interpreting students attended the annual South Carolina Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf annual conference.  This conference was conducted entirely in American Sign Language with keynote presentations by internationally known Dr. Debra Russell and Nigel Howard on co-interpreting methodologies.  Five current students also networked with several Clemson alumni and interpreters from across Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina at the conference.  Two Clemson alumni were elected to serve on the state Board of Directors for the next two year term.  The ASL-English Educational Interpreting program is designed to teach modern language majors how to interpret between ASL and English in K-12 classrooms for students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

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