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Teaching of American Sign Language (ASL) as a Foreign Language
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Teaching of American Sign Language (ASL) as a Foreign Language
In the Department of Health and Behavior Studies

Degree Requirements > Master of Arts

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Master of Arts

The Master of Arts program in the Teaching of ASL consists of a minimum of 45 points distributed in the following manner: 13 points of coursework on professional foundations, 30 points of coursework and practica experiences in the area of ASL and Deaf studies, and 2 points of electives. Students not proficient in ASL will be expected to take additional coursework to develop the necessary level of proficiency expected.

 The students will enroll in two semesters of student teaching and practicum experience associated with coursework. Students will participate in introductory field observations and student teaching for five days weekly with 400 hours of practicum experiences, divisible into two semesters, with about 100 hours of observation and 100 hours of student teaching each semester. Before student teaching, students need to take a sign competency assessment test and attain an advanced rating.

 In addition, the students would need to identify pertinent issues of ASL teaching and/or deaf studies, embark on a review of literature, formulate research questions and hypotheses, conduct data collection and analysis, and prepare an M.A. Project. As for the final master’s research paper, it will be completed during the final student teaching placement. The topics will be decided upon jointly by the student and the program coordinators, with input from the master cooperating teacher, and should arise out of some classroom concern. Students who successfully complete the master’s program and meet all of the requirements for state certification will be recommended to the New York State Education Department for certification as a Teacher of American Sign Language. They will also be able to obtain a national certificate from the American Sign Language Teachers Association.



Anthropological Foundations (3)

  • ITSF 4010--Cultural and Social Bases of Education, or
  • ITSF 4011--Social Context of Education, or
  • A&HH 4070--History of Education in the United States

Learning Processes

  • HUDK 4029--Theories of Human Cognition and Learning (3)

 Learner Characteristics

  • HUDK 4023--Developmental Psychology: Adolescence (3)


  • C&T 4005--Principles of Teaching and Learning (2)

 Curriculum Design

  • C&T 4052--Designing Curriculum and Instruction (2)


Deaf Community and Culture

  • HBSE 4070, I and II--Psychosocial and Cultural Aspects of Persons Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing  (4)
  • HBSE 4075--Deaf and American Sign Language Arts and Literature  (2)
  • HBSE 4078--Second Language Acquisition of American Sign Language  (2)

Language and Communication

  • HBSE 4079--Language Development and Habilitation: The Foundations (2)
  • A&HL 4087--Introduction to Second Language Acquisition (3)
  • HBSE 4074--Linguistics of American Sign Language  (3)

 Curriculum and Instruction

  • HBSE 4076--Methods and Materials in Teaching American Sign Language  (3)
  • HBSE 4077--Teachers-as-Researchers  (2)


  • HBSE 4307--Assessment in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies  (3)


Student Observation and Teaching

  • HBSE 4711-01--Student Observation and Teaching, I  (3)
  • HBSE 4711-02--Student Observation and Teaching, II  (3)


  • Any one two-credit or two one-credit courses outside of the program. (2)

TOTAL CREDITS           45