Sign Language courses teach individuals to 'listen with their eyes'

November 27, 2019

DUBOIS, Pa. — In the coming New Year Penn State DuBois Continuing and Community Education will offer both a 10-week introductory sign language course, as well a 6-week intermediate class for those who would like to increase their sign language skills or have specific needs for their job.

Marla Jo Ball is the instructor for both classes being held in DuBois. The classes also are both Act 48 approved for continuing education credits, for educators who work with hearing impaired students or those with autism who use sign language as their primary form of communication. Students applying for Act 48 credits must attend all the class hours and complete any independent projects in order to receive credits.

Introductory class

The introductory class will meet from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays, from Jan. 30 through April 9, 2020, in Room 209 of the DEF Building at Penn State DuBois. No class will be held on March 5, due to Spring Break. This class teaches finger spelling, conversational phrases and a variety of commonly used signs. The class will also include introducing students to the deaf culture and a variety of web sites for independent learning.

Students will be introduced to the concept of “What does it look like?” as an approach to learning this language in comparison to learning a spoken language and how words sound. 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. Contact Penn State DuBois Continuing and Community Education for details and discount codes.

Advanced class

The more advanced class will meet Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. from Feb. 11 to March 24, 2020, in Room 209 of the DEF Building at Penn State DuBois. No class will be held on March 3, the week of Spring Break. It 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.

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

Registration

Registration for this class is $100 and similar discounts to the introductory class exist for this class as well. For more information, contact Penn State DuBois Continuing and Community Education at 814-375-4715 or smc200@psu.edu. Students wishing to register for either class can do so at this link

Last Updated November 27, 2019