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Teaching of American Sign Language as a Foreign Language
Master of Arts (M.A.)
"If there are deaf people, there will be sign language..."
George W. Veditz President National Association of the Deaf 1904-1910
ASL is a naturally developing language of Deaf and many hard of hearing people in the United States, possessing a linguistic system with its own phonological, morphological, syntactic, and discourse structures that are distinct from English language. ASL users have developed a literary tradition in oratory, folklore, and performance art, all recorded either in print or in permanent media like film and video. The American Deaf community of persons, groups, and organizations provides the basis for cultural identity and group cohesion for about two million deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing individuals, who share a set of characteristics that bind them together, such as knowledge of ASL and traditions for social behavior.The Master of Arts Program in the Teaching of American Sign Language (ASL) as a Foreign Language offers students to:
*study, develop and disseminate theories, methods, materials, and pedagogues needed in the teaching of ASL as a second language,
* become certified teachers of ASL for elementary and secondary school aged students in New York State with reciprocity agreements with some other states, and
* enhance cross-cultural skills and understanding by increasing public awareness of the society, culture, diversity, talents, and aspirations of members of the Deaf community and to reduce negative attitudes, stigmatization, and misconceptions about the deaf by the general public.