Tag Archives: american sign language

Student Forum on Signing and Spatial Cognition – Thursday, 9/5, 4:30 – 5:30

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Theater expert and hat maker extraordinaire Emma MacLean ’14 is running an awesome student forum:

Come check out the student forum on signing and spatial cognition. This forum with break down into two parts: discussion based work at Wesleyan and service learning at MacDonough Elementary School. The classroom work will focus on the effects of sign language and spatial grammar on the brain. This will span deaf individuals who have lived essentially without language and then are introduced to signing later in life to hearing children who use sign to help them learn English. The service learning component will involve an hour of work in either a kindergarten or first grade classroom at MacDonough. We will be signing with the students to reinforce their reading vocabulary. Previous experience with American Sign Language is a plus but not mandatory. Come stop by Allbritton 304 Thursday September 5th from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM to find out more about this class. If you can’t make it but are interested in learning more about this forum contact Emma MacLean ’14 (emaclean[at]wesleyan[dot]edu) or Miranda Orbach ’15 (morbach[at]wesleyan[dot]edu).

Date: Tomorrow, Thursday, September 5
Time: 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Place: Allbritton 304

Student Forum Interest Meeting: Issues in Deaf Education

Interested in American Sign Language or deaf culture? You know what to do. More from Sam Melvin ’13:

Are you interested in ASL and/or Deaf culture? Education? Working with kids with special needs? Language and cognitive development? Sign up for this student forum! Issues in Deaf Education is a full credit student forum focusing on psychology, school choice, pedagogy, and policy in the field of education for deaf students. Come to the (mandatory) information session for more details!

Date: Thursday, January 24
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Place: Usdan 108
Facebook: Link

Wesleyan Signs it Up


The New York Times published an article today about a dramatic increase (16%) in students taking American Sign Language.  After Spanish, French, and German, sign language ranks fourth in most popular languages on college campuses.  And of course, like any good NYT Education article, it mentions Wesleyan.  Specifically, Emily Brown ’12 speaks about  her experience and fascination with A.S.L.:

Many students take aesthetic pleasure in sign language. Emily Brown, a sign-language student at Wesleyan University, talks excitedly about watching deaf poetry on YouTube, and “rhyming” words like “stars” and “socks,” whose signs share a hand shape and motion.

“I imagine myself painting pictures in the air,” said Ms. Brown, a junior majoring in English, and serving as an A.S.L. teaching assistant. “It feels more poetic than other languages. It’s such a great way to express things you can’t quite express verbally.”

Four sign language courses are being taught at Wesleyan this year (by Visting Instructor Sheila Mullen).  There is the one-year beginner block similar to that available for Korean, Portugese, and Hindi as well as a second-year sequence featuring on current issues this semester and literacy skills next semester.  Check out the courses here.

[New York Times]