Monday, February 12, 2007

Qualifications of ASL teacher

In this vlog...I discuss the qualifications of ASL teacher. 1) ASLPI(4+), 2) Masters Degree or higher, 3) Involvement in the local Deaf/ASL community, 4) Involvement in local and national ASLTA organizations and 5) ASLTA certification (I FORGOT TO MENTION THIS)

For more information the websites to link


Jared Evans said...

You don't need to submit your links to DeafRead every time you post something new. We automatically pick it up from your blog for review by our editors.

gnarlydorkette said...

I concured-- to establish a standard of qualifications for ASL teachers will also set a standard for ASL students-- therefore make it possible for them to transfer between two different teachers and don't have to lag behind.
So many ASL teachers have a problem with grade-inflation-- I am teaching ASL 2 so I do require students' transcripts as their proof that they have passed ASL1-- and I will say, out of 25 students there is 21 that got a grade of "A" from ASL1... yet of those 21 students, only 6 are still "A-Student". Maybe I am strict, but maybe so many of them get an easy grade just because some people don't know how to TEACH ASL or grade the students properly to a standard.

With ASLTA stepping in, we can enforce the standard (there are SO many unmentionable public schools hired UNQUALIFIED people just because they are desperate for somebody to fill out the position of ASL teacher. Truly a tragedy! When they graduate from public schools and enroll in colleges, I WILL GET THOSE STUDENTS who got used to the easy standard.
By having a standard, ASL teachers can be unburdened by having students who were taught the 'wrong' way or accustomed to the easy standard.

ASL classes are hot now, and there are simply not enough people to fillout the positions so unfortunately despearte measures had to be taken by those schools.
I only have a BA, I don't have ASLTA certification, but I used ASL since birth, and I follow the curriculum of fellow ASl teachers who are members of ASLTA and have MA or in process of getting a PH.D. It could depend on who your colleagues are to deem your qualificaiton if you open up your options/teaching methods to the experienced teachers who are well-trained.

We only need to spread awareness and to be more firm on the fact that ASL (and every other subject) teachers DO NEED TO BE qualified as well-- otherwise, the students are wasting their bucks and education under a lousy teacher when s/he can benefit from an experienced and trained teacher.

Toby Welch said...

You are welcome! :-)

Thank you for sharing with us! I agree with you. Yes, if it is fact 80% hearing people teach ASL in US, it is concerns. I know it is impossible to kick them out and let Deaf people take over but the problem is can we find another 80% Deaf people to cover it? Hard to say. We need to encourage Deaf people to teach ASL if they have master's degree. If not, then take bachelor or master's degree.

Lamar University in Beaumont started ASL studies fall 2006. It is slowing to establish ASL degree in colleges/universities.

I will involve ASLTA in Texas. We really need more Deaf people to involve ASLTA.

Thank you, David, for sharing with us about ASLTA and your concern!


Gunderson Family said...


I am glad you are bringing up relevant issues about ASL! You are right, ASLTA needs to raise their recognition and enforce the criterias and qualifications nationwide.

Textbooks and videotapes of ASL are outdated! I have this "itch" to even publish new ASL books, materials, videotapes and put together ideas of "hands-up" activities.

Through my ASL teaching experience, I've learned to be much more creative than just using the materials that are avaialable now because I don't find myself satisfied with the work involved in the materials. I am incorporating use of smart board as a teaching tool and it has been a rewarding experience as I continue to build on more ideas.

We need new, updated ASL teaching curriculum and materials! Absoultely, what we have now is not enough.

Glad I found your website! I will continue to come back! Meanwhile, I shall see you at ASLTA conference in Tampa! :)

Arlene Gunderson (Garcia)
McDaneil (Western Maryland College)
Alumni, 2004

Anonymous said...

David - appreciate the thought you've shared, indeed anyone will attribute higher expectations to great outcomes, however this begs questions in regard to the sign lang classes taught on the community level... because I wholeheartedly believe that some "grassroots" folks are qualified to teach, despite the little or no college education.

For example, how do we make the ASLTA play a significant role on the community level without putting the Deaf community's economy in jeopardy? I say economy because the teaching job is one of Deaf people's job opportunities.

The truth is I don't know enough about the ASLTA to make any relations and I look forward to getting a response to this.

Joshua Staley

Anonymous said...

Hi David!

It was always so GREAT to watch your vlog!

I would like to ask you what is the standard ASLTA qualification for the ASL Instructors to teach Deaf Culture Studies/ Deaf History?

Hope you do not mind to explain.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the info with us. I noticed that you stated that two ASL instructors have the same qualifications - one hearing and one deaf. Again, you stated that you would pick deaf person to teach ASL rather than let the hearing person teaching ASL. That's pretty obviously discrimination.

Tom Krohn said...


Why don't you gather job announcement of ASL teacher from public schools or college to check the minimum qualification? I assume that there aren't many states that give teacher certification in ASL. If there is one, which state? Just wonder.

Anonymous said...

Most state ASLTA organizations are focusing on getting endorsement for teaching K-12. While others teach at colleges and Universities do not benefit from state association's training program. This is a concern and most people do not look at ASLTA as a scholarly based organization because there are not many topics printed on their web site. If ASLTA wants to become respected then they need to become a professional organization like the other language organizations. ASLTA's newsletter is a joke and many of my colleagues have expressed the same concern. ASLTA’s recommendation for hiring qualified teachers is a good boilerplate; however, the enforcement part is questionable. What would be an excellent addition is to have American Sign Language Linguistic organization and promote scholarly like themes which will only invite people who are qualified. American Sign Language is a general course for meeting language requirements for graduation and we need to make it more in depth with analysis such as why ASL uses SVO and SOV as an example while English uses this and that. Comparative language analysis can help students understand ASL because ASL has been labeled as foreign language and it is not. ASL uses English words and used by majority of Deaf Americans. We need to rise above instead of what we have now.


OldPioneer said...

Bah, humbug on status of degrees! Being ASL naive, CODA, a person with ASL skill in small populated town, AAS/BA/MA/Ph.D. hearing or Deaf teacher are a benefit to anyone who wants to learn sign language. With or without degrees, teaching ASL to America would be essential, especially ESL and cholear implant vs ASL. I've noticed and I hope you, too, that America begins absorbing ASL besides English. Deaf doesn't need to compete with hearing for teaching ASL job. Hearings are highly populated and Deaf population is a minority but more Deaf with higher degrees will make well-known among highly hearing population. It will take some time. Dennis, go for Ph.D. if you are interested but not compete with hearing for the job. Hearings are useful to keep ASL existing, too.

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