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RULE §114.36American Sign Language, Level III (One Credit), Adopted 2014

(a) General requirements. Level III can be offered in middle or high school. At the high school level, students shall be awarded one credit for successful completion of this course. American Sign Language (ASL) Levels I and II are prerequisites for this course.

(b) Introduction.

  (1) The study of world languages is an essential part of education. In the 21st century language classroom, students gain an understanding of two basic aspects of human existence: the nature of communication and the complexity of culture. Students become aware of multiple perspectives and means of expression, which lead to an appreciation of difference and diversity. Further benefits of foreign language study include stronger cognitive development, increased creativity, and divergent thinking. Students who effectively communicate in more than one language, with an appropriate understanding of cultural context, are globally literate and possess the attributes of successful participants in the world community.

  (2) Communication is the overarching goal of world language instruction. Students should be provided ample opportunities to engage receptively and expressively in conversations, to present information expressively to an audience, and to comprehend cultural and linguistic aspects of the language. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) identifies three modes of communication: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational.

    (A) In the interpersonal mode of communication, students engage in direct signed communication with others without voice. Examples of this "two-way" communication include but are not limited to signing face to face or in a group discussion. Interpersonal communication includes receptive and expressive skills.

    (B) In interpretive (receptive) mode of communication, students demonstrate understanding of receptively viewed communication within appropriate cultural contexts. Examples of this type of "one-way" receptive comprehension include but are not limited to ASL video weblogs (or vlogs), other signed presentations, and signed DVD conversations.

    (C) In presentational (expressive) mode of communication, students present information in expressive form without voice to an audience of receptive listeners with whom there is no immediate expressive interaction. Examples of this "one-to-many" mode of communication include but are not limited to an expressively signed presentation to a group or recorded in some way where there is no receptive listener present to respond.

  (3) The use of age-level appropriate and culturally authentic resources is imperative to support the teaching of the essential knowledge and skills for languages other than English (LOTE). The use of culturally authentic resources in world language study enables students to make connections with other content areas, to compare the language and culture studied with their own, and to participate in local and global communities.

  (4) ASL difficulty has been determined by standards of the Foreign Service Institute and Defense Language Institute as a Level IV out of four (Level IV being the most difficult). The American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA) states the challenge to ASL is primarily in the modality of learning. This conclusion is based on the complex grammar system and significant structural and cultural differences in the language. Students are generally seated in a semi-circle to facilitate visual communication, notes cannot be taken without looking away from the primary source of information, and instruction occurs in the target language where learning is done spatially and words are not processed sequentially. The linear nature of spoken language cannot be used in ASL and the simultaneous expression of complex units is used. The level of difficulty of ASL should be noted.

  (5) While other languages possess a spoken and/or written element, ASL incorporates manual components with no verbal and/or written form. ASL is a fully developed natural language that is used by members of the North American Deaf Community. The language is distinct from gestures seen in spoken languages in that signs used in ASL are controlled by the structures of its linguistic system, independent of English. ASL encompasses all of the features that make a language a unique, rule-governed communication system. ASL includes handshapes, movements, and other grammatical features needed to form signs and sentences, and parts combine to make wholes. It is not a simplified language and contains structures and processes that English does not. The premise of Deaf culture is rooted in the language itself and cannot be separated.

  (6) ASL is a signed language where the modes of communication involve different skills than written and/or spoken languages. ASL is not a formal written language; glossing is the term used to describe a chosen written system of symbols devised to transcribe signs and nonmanual signals to an English equivalent. Since ASL information is received visually and not in an auditory manner, communication skills in ASL are defined as follows:

    (A) interpretive listening and reading targets are called interpretive receptive;

    (B) one-to-one interpersonal targets are called receptive and expressive; and

    (C) one-to-many presentational speaking is expressed through signs and the target is presentational expressive.

  (7) Using age-appropriate activities, students in ASL Level III expand their ability to perform novice tasks and develop their ability to perform the tasks of the intermediate language learner. The intermediate language learner, when dealing with everyday topics, should understand ASL phrases receptively and respond expressively with learned material; sign learned words, concepts, phrases, and sentences; apply acquired knowledge of Deaf cultural norms to the development of communication skills; and apply knowledge of the components of ASL to increase accuracy of expression. Students use expressive and receptive skills for comprehension.

  (8) ASL Level III proficiency levels, as defined by ACTFL and ASLTA, are as follows: interpersonal receptive, intermediate mid; interpersonal expressive, advanced low; interpretive receptive, intermediate low; and presentational expressive, advanced low.

  (9) Students who have fully or partially acquired the skills required at each proficiency level through home or other immersion experiences are known as heritage speakers. Heritage speakers may be allowed to accelerate based on their ability to demonstrate a proficiency in the Texas essential knowledge and skills at the prescribed proficiency level and communicate across all modes of communication. According to ASLTA's National K-16 ASL Standards, "heritage language learning is an emerging issue in ASL instruction. The formal instruction of ASL to deaf is a very recent phenomenon, as is the availability of ASL instruction in K-12 settings for hearing children of deaf parents. Heritage language learning is an important and developing interest in the field of ASL teaching and learning."

  (10) Statements containing the word "including" reference content that must be mastered, while those containing the phrase "such as" are intended as possible illustrative examples.

(c) Knowledge and skills.

  (1) Communication. The student communicates in ASL using expressive and receptive communication skills without voice. The student is expected to:

    (A) engage in a variety of ASL exchanges of learned material to socialize and to provide and obtain information at an intermediate proficiency level;

    (B) demonstrate an understanding of ASL such as stories, commands, and instructions when dealing with familiar and less familiar topics;

    (C) convey information in ASL using concepts, classifiers, phrases, and sentences to others without voice at the intermediate proficiency level;

    (D) demonstrate appropriate usage of ASL phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics at the intermediate proficiency level; and

    (E) create and express ASL literature, including handshape stories, that follows traditional cultural features.

  (2) Cultures. The student gains knowledge and understanding of American Deaf culture. The student is expected to:

    (A) apply ASL to recognize and use Deaf cultural norms to demonstrate an understanding of the perspectives of American Deaf culture;

    (B) apply ASL to show evidence of appreciation of ASL literature created by the Deaf and how it applies to the perspectives of American Deaf culture;

    (C) apply ASL to show evidence of appreciation of the contributions to arts and sciences by the Deaf and how they are applied to the perspectives of American Deaf culture; and

    (D) demonstrate an in-depth understanding of Deaf history and how it applies to the perspectives of American Deaf culture.

  (3) Connections. The student uses ASL to make connections with other subject areas and to acquire information. The student is expected to:


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