Studying American Sign Language at UChicago

We offer two years of ASL courses at UChicago. ASL is one of the fastest-growing languages in the United States and is indigenous to the Deaf community. ASL is a visual language with its own grammatical structure, facial and body movement, hand-shape, movement, and location. ASL is a rich language and linguistic world, and we study its pronunciation through morphology, phonology, and syntax.

ASL courses will include study of Deaf culture, language, and history. Students will develop an understanding about Deaf languages and histories through ASL film, literature on language rights, and science. We will learn about Deaf communities and how to begin to appreciate Deaf experiences through both theory and immersion.

Courses Offered

American Sign Language I, II, III – ASLG 10100-10200-10300.
American Sign Language is the language of the Deaf in the United States and much of Canada. It is a full-fledged autonomous language, unrelated to English or other spoken languages. This introductory course teaches students basic vocabulary and grammatical structure, as well as aspects of Deaf culture.
Autumn, Winter, Spring

Intermediate American Sign Language I, II, III – ASLG 10400-10500-10600.
This course continues to increase knowledge about grammatical structure, receptive and expressive skills, conversational skills, basic linguistic convergence, and knowledge of idioms.
Autumn, Winter, Spring

ASL Lit & Storytelling – ASLG 20050.
his course develops advanced American Sign Language skills through the study of ASL Literature and Storytelling. Using several different genres of video-based ASL texts, we will study native signers use of stories in the Deaf American community. We will work towards comprehending, discussing, analyzing, and producing ASL stories. A high-intermediate to advanced knowledge of ASL is required.

Cultural Events

Get involved in the ASL community on campus. Our ASL program hosts ASL film nights and ASL coffee hours. Subscribe to the ASL events mailing list here by selecting “asl_events” from the list or by contacting David Reinhart (

ASL Immersion: Foreign Language Acquisition Grant

For more information