American Sign Language Summer Institutes (ASL)

Learn the language, live the culture

Learn how to sign with American Sign Language (ASL), the predominant language used in North America by half a million Deaf and hard of hearing people. ASL is a complete visual language with unique grammar and sentence structures, and is made up of handshapes, facial expressions, head and physical movements, and postures.

Learn from Deaf and DeafBlind instructors in a Deaf-centric, signing-only environment. Learn how to use your hands, body, facial expressions and movement to communicate. Understand the cultural and linguistic importance of this complete visual language. Appreciate Deaf culture, history and practices; connect with guests from the Deaf community; and learn about the lived experiences of Deaf and signing people.

Choose from three language levels

This year’s ASL Summer Institutes offer three language level options: Beginner 1, Beginner 2 and Beginner 3.

Immerse yourself for one, two or three weeks

Each week of an Institute condenses a 10-week course into five days. Jumpstart your learning in a one-week program, starting at the level that’s right for you. Add a second or third week to continue your learning and see noticeable improvements in your American Sign Language fluency. All levels and programs are offered at UBC Robson Square in downtown Vancouver, with classes on Monday to Friday afternoons and guest presentations on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Schedule & sessions


2024 dates



One-week programs – In-person at UBC Robson Square with twice weekly evening guest presentations

Beginner 1

July 8-12

Monday to Friday 
1–5pm PT

Tuesday & Thursday
(Guest presentations)
5:30–7:00pm PT


Beginner 2

July 15-19


Beginner 3

July 22-26


Register today

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