Penn State DuBois Sign Language Courses to Teach Individuals to ‘Listen With Their Eyes’

DuBois, Pa. — This fall, Penn State DuBois’ Continuing and Community Education program will offer a 10-week introductory American Sign Language course, as well a six-week intermediate class for those who would like to increase their sign language skills or have specific needs for their job.

Sign language interpreter Marla Jo Ball is the instructor for both classes, which are Act 48-approved as continuing education credits for educators who work with students with hearing loss, or those with autism who use sign language as their primary form of communication. Educators applying for Act 48 credits must attend all the class hours and complete any independent projects in order to receive credits.

The introductory class will meet from 5:30–7 p.m. on Tuesdays, beginning Oct. 1. This class teaches fingerspelling, conversational phrases and a variety of commonly used signs. The class also will include introducing students to deaf culture and a variety of websites for independent learning.

Class structure will include small group centers for practicing and improving skills. The goal of the class is to allow students to learn, recognize and reproduce more than 100 signs, while also gaining the ability to spell and read fingerspelling phonetically. At the end of the class, students will be expected to converse with others at a basic level.

Registration is $160, with discounts for current Penn State students and employees. Registration is available online. Contact Penn State DuBois Continuing and Community Education for details and discount codes.

The advanced class will meet from 5:30–7 p.m. on Thursdays, beginning Oct. 10. The course is open to those with basic knowledge of American Sign Language. As part of the class, students will be required to conduct an independent study project based on a specific topic related to American Sign Language. This project will require time outside of class, in addition to the nine hours of class time.

The goal of this class is to expand on students’ current knowledge of sign language and ultimately allow them to learn, recognize and reproduce more than 200 signs.

Registration for the advanced class is $100, and discounts are available for current Penn State students and employees. Registration is available through the Penn State DuBois website.


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