Now, more than ever, people are learning ASL, a foreign language elective in California high schools and universities. Public and private sector organizations, in their efforts to conform with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), now wish to train bilingual employees. This means that at worksites which employ or serve Deaf people, designated staff must know ASL.
Who takes ASL classes?
- Attorneys and legal assistants
- Career interpreters
- Family and friends of deaf people
- Interested parties
- Nurses, physicians, and other health professionals
- People who have supervisory responsibilities
- Public service employees
- Recreation directors
- Small business owners
It’s easy to start
At Berkeley City College, we make it easy for you to learn. Classes and language lessons are organized around activities which simulate everyday situations. You will be happily surprised with your ability to communicate after a very short time. As part of your classes, you:
- Fully experience a new culture.
- Apply what you learn to everyday situations.
- Meet and interact with members of the deaf community.
- Participate in community events.
Berkeley City College’s American Sign Language faculty are qualified professionals. Most learned ASL as their first language and are employed as instructors or interpreters. You will use the language from your very first day in class.
American Sign Language Programs
Berkeley City College’s ASL Program enables students to acquire the communicative competence in ASL and the cultural sensitivity needed to interact successfully with members of the American Deaf community. American Sign Language (ASL) is the fourth most used language in the United States. It is the major language that the American Deaf population uses.
Students who will benefit from this program include the following: those who wish to expand their language skills and cultural knowledge to enhance other majors (e.g., interpreting, education, social work, and psychology); those who need to fulfill a university foreign language requirement; parents of deaf children; and deafened adults. Students will develop skills which will also make them more marketable to potential employers who encounter the Deaf.
Program Learning Outcomes
Students who complete the program will be
- Demonstrate expressive competence in ASL.
- Demonstrate receptive competence in ASL.
- Demonstrate awareness of and respect for the language, history and culture of Deaf people, including their values, beliefs, and customs.
- Demonstrate appropriate cultural behavior at events where a majority of attendees are 56 Deaf people and ASL native signers, e.g. school, club, organization, etc.
Knowledge of ASL provides new skill-building opportunities for any organization’s staff. No matter what your occupation, you may be eligible for bilingual pay if you use American Sign Language at your workplace. Professional opportunities exist for:
- Bilingual Staff
- Instructional Aides
- Supervisory Personnel
American Sign Language Associate in Arts
Degree and Certificate Programs Berkeley City College’s American Sign Language Program offers either the degree or certificate option
- American Sign Language I (ASL 50) 4 Units
- American Sign Language II (ASL 51) 4 Units
- American Sign Language III (ASL 52) 4 Units
- American Sign Language IV (ASL 53) 4 Units
- History and Culture of Deaf People in America I (ASL 55A) 3 Units
- History and Culture of Deaf People In America II (ASL 55B) 3 Units
- Structure of American Sign Language (ASL 57) 3 Units
- American Sign Language Classifiers II (ASL 200B) 2 Units
- Fingerspelling and Numbers II (ASL 202B) 1 Units
- Occupational Work Experience in ASL (ASL 464A) 2 Units
Total units for Certificate of Achievement 30. Total units for the Associate in Arts Degree 60. (For the associate degree, you must complete another 30 units of general education requirements for a total of 60 units.)
You may finish your Associate in Arts Degree or a Certificate in American Sign Language in two years.
Core general education classes for the Associate Degree meet all University of California and California State University transfer requirements. ASL classes are transferable as part of General Education transfer requirements.
They also meet foreign language transfer requirements for high school students. See a counselor for details.
Class times fit your schedule
Our morning, afternoon, and evening classes fit your busy schedule. Most ASL classes are held at Berkeley City College’s 2050 Center St. campus in downtown Berkeley.
Where to get more information
Stop by Berkeley City College to register or see a counselor. We’re at 2050 Center St. between Shattuck & Milvia in downtown Berkeley. Call (510) 356-2666 to reach the American Sign Language office. Access the college’s World Wide Web address at: www.berkeleycitycollege.edu or at www.peralta.edu or call (510) 981-2800.
How to reach Berkeley City College
- By car take I-80 to University Ave. exit, drive east on University to Shattuck Ave. Right turn on Shattuck and Center Sts. Parking is available on the street or in various garages.
- By BART to the Downtown Berkeley station. Exit the station through the escalator. Berkeley City College is one-half block west of the Center St./Shattuck Ave. exit.
- By bus take AC transit. Call (510) 839-2882 for the route nearest you or connect to www.actransit.org.
Berkeley City College
2050 Center St.
between Shattuck Ave. & Milvia St.
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 841-7333 (FAX)
Note: Berkeley City College’s ASL courses teach the language and culture only; they are not meant to prepare for the interpreter’s certification.