Tammy Taylor-Short

Tammy Taylor Is a Deaf educator. She has taught and tutored American Sign Language for several years. She is very involved in the deaf community as a social organizer and advocate.  She studied American Sign Language and Deaf Studies at Mt. San Antonio Community College...

She studied American Sign Language and Deaf Studies at Mt. San Antonio Community College and Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. She also studied English, Art and Communication Studies.  She is very passionate about sharing her own language of communication and culture with children and adults alike. She has adapted a fun and creative way to incorporate both in her curriculum.

American Sign Language (ASL)



Ages 13+ - designed to provide High School Credit

Material needed: 

Signing Naturally Student Workbook, ISBN

978-1-58121-210-5 Units 1-6 with DVD by Smith, Mikos and Lentz. If you purchase a used copy, be sure it has the DVD in the back of the book. 

Prerequisite: Willingness to do outside work to become proficient in this beautiful language.


American Sign Language (ASL) is a highly visual structured language. It is the third most studied language in America. This course is for students who want to learn the basic structure of the American Sign Language and the cultural differences between American Deaf and hearing people. Emphasis will be placed on receptive and expressive skills in sign language without auditory cues. The course consists of basic ASL fingerspelling, beginning signs and ASL grammar, history of the language, regional differences, and various aspects of the culture of the Deaf community. Students are required to communicate with Deaf ASL teachers and their peers by gesturing, signing and in writing at all times in the classroom. Students are required to do ASL presentations in class/or on video and do daily review of signing at home using ASL videos provided by the ASL teachers. Students will be graded on their receptive and expressive abilities, as well as knowledge of Deaf culture. Class participation is essential for the development of beginner's signing proficiency. Students must be willing to sign in the classroom.


Homework assignments:

You are expected to do homework every week. At the very least, you will be memorizing vocabulary and grammatical rules as well as practicing what you have learned. You will also be required to do videos of yourself signing assignments. 


Course Description

Everyday communication is the centerpiece of every lesson. Topics revolve around sharing information about our environment and us. Grammar is introduced in context, with an emphasis on developing question and answering skills. You learn conversational strategies to help you maintain a conversation. Interaction activities are to allow you to rehearse what you’ve learned. An introduction to the basic skills in production and comprehension of American Sign Language (ASL). Includes the manual alphabet and numbers. Develops conversational ability, culturally appropriate behaviors and exposes students to ASL grammar. Course requires significant time outside of class.


 Course Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this course successfully will be able to:

Vocabulary Development*

1. Given a set of targeted vocabulary items drawn from Units 1 – 6 for level I, of Signing Naturally and videos, students will demonstrate comprehensive mastery of vocabulary items and high frequency words.*

*Principle: Content and Sequencing. 1). Frequency

Grammatical Features*

2. The student will demonstrate comprehensive mastery of target, content-specific commands, questions, and statements in ASL.

3. The student will be exposed to short dialogue in ASL as directed by the instructor.

4. The student will: demonstrate an awareness of ASL grammar, vocabulary, and phonology/ cherology. This is to practice fingerspelling.

5. The student will: present information using familiar words, phrases, and sentences to others.

Conversational Skills*

6. The student will demonstrate comprehension and conversation facilitating behaviors.

7. The student will demonstrate comprehension and production of regulating behaviors (i.e. attention getting techniques, turn taking signals, and others)

8. The student will demonstrate the ability to initiate, conduct and terminate a short content/ topic*-specific conversation.

9. The student will use the language both within and beyond the school setting through activities such as participating in cultural events and/or using technology to communicate.

10. The student will: engage in a variety of signed exchanges of learned material to socialize and to provide and obtain information.

*Task-Based Approach on the topic/themes.

Cultural Awareness*

11. The student will read/see information on Deaf Americans, ASL, and its history. The student is responsible for the cultural notes in the workbook, chapters 1–44 in For Hearing People Only, PowerPoints* on Google Drive shown in class and cultural information discussed in class.

12. The student will: demonstrate an understanding of the practices (what people do) and how they are related to the perspectives (how people perceive things) of the cultures studied.

13. The student will: demonstrate an understanding of the influence of one language and culture on another.

14. The student will: demonstrate an understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the student's own culture and the American Deaf culture.




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