This Award of Achievement program will be discontinued effective March 2022. We’re no longer accepting applications, and have contacted students registered in this program. If you’re a student and have not heard from us by now, please contact us. We’ll be happy to talk with you about your education goals and ensure you can reach them.
The UBC Award of Achievement in American Sign Language (ASL) develops your fluency in the predominate sign language used by half a million North Americans.
Learn how to use your hands, face and body to hold conversations, from simple to complex, and to forge meaningful connections and relationships with the Deaf community. In every lesson, you’re introduced to Deaf culture, knowledge that will enhance your communication skills and deepen your appreciation for the language.
- Courses are offered part-time and in-class in the evening or on Saturday mornings at UBC Robson Square in downtown Vancouver.
- Costs between $1,770 and $1,870 including textbook and application fee.
- The entry level course, Beginner 1, is offered in every term and in Summer Intensives.
- Requires completion of a minimum of four courses.
- We accept applications continuously.
Please note if you successfully complete this UBC Award of Achievement, you’re eligible to take ASL Upper Intermediate offered once a year in September (provided there’s adequate enrolment). You complete the final unit of Signing Naturally in this course.
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This program provides you a foundation in ASL, and builds your confidence in initiating and holding conversations with other ASL speakers. You’re introduced to important values and practices of Deaf culture and you gain an understanding of the complexity and functionality of ASL.
Courses are conversational and signing only, with a focus on practical communication skills. Our instructors are all native signers, so English conversation is kept to a minimum. Lessons are student-centered, interactive and highly entertaining, with our instructors using gestures, visual aids, videos and humour to immerse you in ASL.
By the end of the program, you’ll be able to describe your family, surroundings, habits, hobbies and work. You’ll know how to give directions, use tenses and indicate sequences of events and verbal agreement, as well as how to fingerspell and how to express a number of important features of ASL grammar.
Who It’s For
This program is for those with very little or no previous experience in ASL who would like to gain fundamental language skills and be able to communicate at a functional level. If you have previous experience in ASL, please contact us to discuss if this program is right for you.
The UBC Award of Achievement in ASL is a part-time, in-class program. All students must start with Beginner 1 and successfully complete all levels, up to and including the intermediate level. You’ll have completed units 1-5 of Signing Naturally by the end of the program.
In-class courses are offered evenings and on Saturday mornings at UBC Robson Square in downtown Vancouver.
This program does not have any 100% online courses. Outside of class, however, you have access to our Moodle learning management system where our instructors have published online language learning resources such as video practice and valuable cultural and sign-related resources.
UBC Extended Learning strongly suggests that you have the following technology and knowledge in order to keep up with the program and complete projects and assignments online:
- Familiarity with basic internet applications (email and web browser)
- A recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari or other web browser
Your computer operating system must meet the following minimum specifications:
- PC: Windows XP SP2 Home/Pro
- Mac: Mac OS X 10.4
How You’re Assessed
You are assessed based on demonstrated signing abilities in class through weekly activities and assignments. Repetition of courses may be necessary to achieve the required competency before moving to the next level.
To be granted the UBC Award of Achievement in ASL, you must successfully complete the four required courses and have successfully learned units 1-5 of Signing Naturally. In addition, you must attend a minimum of 90% of scheduled classes and/or complete all readings and online learning activities with a minimum of 75% on all graded assignments.
The curriculum consists of a minimum of four courses. Each course consists of a total of eight or nine classes held once a week.
All students must purchase a copy of Signing Naturally. The curriculum progresses as follows:
|Course||Signing Naturally Unit||Format|
|Sign Language Beginner 1||1 & 2||In-class|
|Sign Language Beginner 2||3||In-class|
|Sign Language Lower Intermediate||4||In-class|
|Sign Language Intermediate||5||In-class|
Applying to Receive a UBC Award of Achievement
If you have previously taken Beginner 1 ASL with UBC Extended Learning, you may ask to have it applied retroactively to the UBC Award of Achievement. Note that only one course can be applied retroactively, as you’re assessed as you progress through the program.
All of our instructors are native signers and experienced adult educators, and are certified to teach the Signing Naturally curriculum.
Fees are paid course-by-course and total between $1,770 and $1,870 for the program, including the textbook and course materials. A one-time textbook fee will be applied to your Beginner 1 registration only. A $175 non-refundable registration fee is due upon acceptance into the program. Both the textbook and registration fees are included in the total fees for the program.
All fees are in Canadian dollars and are subject to change. Fees may be paid by Visa, MasterCard, cash, money order or certified cheque.
Cancellation and Withdrawal Policies
If you would like to withdraw from a course, please submit written notice at least three business days before the course begins to be eligible for a refund (less a $50 administration fee). An email is considered adequate written notification. No refund will be made for cancellations received later than three business days before the course begins.
UBC Extended Learning must sometimes cancel courses due to insufficient enrolment or other reasons. If this occurs, you will be contacted by email or by phone and we will provide you a full refund of the course fee.
The admissions process helps to ensure that the needs, intentions and expectations of participants are adequately matched to the program’s objectives and capabilities.
We continually accept applications for the program. To apply:
- Complete the online application form. You will be contacted by a program advisor to inform you if you have been accepted.
- Once you have been accepted into the certificate program, return to this page to pay the CAD$175 non-refundable application fee.
You’re encouraged to register early as classes can fill up quickly.