Take your first steps into picking up one of America’s most popular languages to learn: American Sign Langauge (ASL). If you are new to ASL, begin with the fundamentals and progress to our advanced courses to express authentic and meaningful conversations in ASL with people you encounter. If you choose to register for an ASL course other than ASL 1, you will be prompted to take the ASL Placement Screening to ensure your success in that course. 

Through our progressive online curriculum, you are able to take your class at your own pace with structured deadlines. While our online courses are available year-round, you may take in-person courses in the summer through our SRP (Summer Residency Program). See more information below. 

Want to use what you have learned in a fun and interactive way? Check out our engaging and interacvtive feature called, VIBE (Virtual Immersion, Best Experince) which is exclusively available to all students when you register for one off our courses (see fee structure below).

We offer 3-credit courses which can transfer to most universities (check with your respective University’s academic advisor).


American Sign Language (ASL) Online Courses



This course is your first step into American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Culture. Begin your journey by making your first connections with the Deaf community through cultural etiquette – how to get someone’s attention, backchanneling, and spaces that are Deaf friendly. Introduce yourself to Deaf people with great conversation starters like family, employment, school, and special milestones. To do that, you’ll learn the foundation of handedness, fingerspelling, and the importance of facial expressions to show emotion and grammar. ASL’s typical OSV (object-subject-verb) structure will help students understand why ASL is a bonafide language and learn the history of how it was discovered. We wrap up the course by assisting students to understand the equity issues in education and employment and how learning their language can equal the playing field.

  • 8 weeks or 15 weeks 
  • Asynchronous (self-paced course within timeframe)*
  • 6 Scheduled Virtual Language Sessions with Instructor or Teaching Assistants



Now that you know how you introduce yourself with some basic conversation, get ready for your next adventure in this level of ASL – making a deeper connection in the Deaf community. Learn about the sacredness of Deaf spaces like clubs, camps, and sports teams that provide social outlets for the Deaf community as well as some social etiquette while you are there. Use new vocabulary to describe physical residences and surrounding communities including how to give directions. Going to an appointment or gathering for a holiday? Learn how to use a calendar to schedule events that happen just one time or with frequency. Take your conversations further by having the vocabulary to share your opinions, interests, and hobbies for even better connections. We will also be introducing the importance of semantics (the meaning of words) to allow you to choose signs that are conceptually accurate and produce sentence structures that make sense in ASL. Finally, you’ll learn one of Deaf culture’s most cherished pieces of folklore – the planet EYETH.

  • 8 weeks or 15 weeks
  • Asynchronous (self-paced course within timeframe)*
  • 6 Scheduled Virtual Language Sesisons with Instructor or Teaching Assistants



Let’s dive even deeper in ASL and Deaf culture! The Deaf community is just as diverse as any other culture and community.   Learn about the unique culture and language that is shared with Deaf ethnic groups and the DeafBlind community as well as the gains that these communities have made for the greater community. How do you get someone’s attention in a Deaf space? What is backchanneling and how do we use that in conversations with Deaf people? All of those questions will be answered in these cultural lessons. Want to host a gathering at your house? You will need to express various kinds of food, the various kinds of people you would invite, and how to describe the inside and outside of your house. To do that, you’ll need to get creative with your handshapes to not only say what something is, but how it looks and feels. Ever seen a “Deaf friendly” house? You’ll learn the unique architectural structure of what most Deaf people prefer in the design of their homes.

  • First 8-week only (Session A)
  • Asynchronous (self-paced course within timeframe)*
  • 6 Scheduled Virtual Language Sessions with Instructor or Teaching Assistants


ASL 4 

Let’s get to “work” by learning how to express concepts about careers, employment, finance, and consumerism. You’ll learn how Deaf people have greater access to employment and other services with innovative technology such as the relay service industry.  Want to talk about getting healthy? This course will also help you express concepts like wellness, nutrition, common illnesses, and navigating emergencies. Healthy enough to take a trip? Better check the weather. Learn about weather systems, natural disasters, and how the Deaf community gets access to emergency notification and government relief services such as FEMA. Then, take that trip! Learn how to follow maps and directions on a road trip or take an adventure to popular destinations all over the world and how navigating airports and lodging will help your trip go smoothly. Better yet, book your trip through a Deaf owned travel business and watch Deaf travel vloggers to highlight how Deaf people can bridge communication barriers in other countries with their unique communication abilities.

  • Second 8-week only (Session B)
  • Asynchronous (self-paced course within timeframe)*
  • 6 Scheduled Virtual Language Sessions with Instructor or Teaching Assistants



Ready to take it to the next level? Then it’s time to transition to longer stories or what we call “narratives”. Before delving deep into building narratives, you will first understand the history of the development of ASL, efforts to deprive ASL from the Deaf community, and notable Deaf historical figures who were pioneers in preserving ASL and the courageous story of the Deaf community. We will cover both American and Canadian Deaf history and how the culture developed a strong tradition of storytelling and ASL literature. Speaking of storytelling, ready to learn how to tell a good narrative? You will learn the building blocks of a good narrative by developing the opening and closing phrases, concept descriptions, and temporal aspects (with a heavy emphasis on intensifiers and mouth morphemes). Learn to incorporate adverbs and modifying verbs to tell who did what to whom. Bring the story to life with depiction and character development. Put it all together and you’ve got yourself a story!

  • First 8-week only (Session A)
  • Synchronous (virtual course with scheduled class times)*
  • 6 Scheduled Virtual Language Sessions



Welcome to ASL VI – our highest level of ASL language instruction using TWA.This is where you learn about the uniqueness of the Deaf culture and why they are considered a “collective community”. The language foundation you’ve built will help tackle some specialized topics that are prevalent in the Deaf community. You’ll take your narratives up another notch to add cinematic features which brings in another dimension to how a story is told.  Apply this strategy to explore the human body and medical procedures. Express sports concepts with those same features and add some specialized numbering systems for sport statistics (learn about famous historical Deaf athletes along the way!). Take those same cinematic features and apply them to animals, their habitats and the terrain surrounding them. Finally, you will learn about access sporting events and performances through universal design to support individuals with various sensory differences.

  • Second 8-week only (Session B)
  • Synchronous (virtual course with scheduled class times)*
  • 6 Scheduled Virtual Language Sessions


*The asynchronous learning allows students to learn on your own schedule, within a certain timeframe. The synchronous learning allows students to take course vitrually from a distance at certain day and time with instructors and classmates. All ASL courses will have live virtual langauge sessions with class instructor or teaching assistant for real-time feedback and development. 


Summer Residency Program (SRP)

Our Summer Residency Program (SRP) offers a place where participants from all over the nation and the world share a common goal of wanting to accelerate their learning of American Sign Language (ASL). This academic program happens at Gallaudet University campus in person, the only university designed specifically for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in the world. ASL courses offered in two-week sessions throughout the summer allow participants like you to increase their language competency without the distractions of their day-to-day lives with the option to stay in our campus dorms.



Course Fees

 ASL 1 (Asynchronous with six scheduled language sessions)

3 credits


 ASL 2 (Asynchronous with six scheduled langauge sessions)

 3 credits


 ASL 3 (Asynchronous with six scheduled language sessions)

3 credits


 ASL 4 (Asynchronous with six scheduled language sessions)

3 credits


 ASL 5 (Synchronous with six scheduled language sessions)

3 credits


 ASL 6 (Synchronous witth six scheduled language sessions)

3 credits


Application Fee (nonrefundable)   $40 per session
Virtual Immersion, Best Experince (VIBE) Activty Fee (optional)   $50 per 8-week session OR $100 per 15-week session
Payment Procedures and Types

Full payment is required to complete your registration. Payment may be made by credit card (VISA and MasterCard), money order, or check. Purchase orders are also accepted. The payment plan can be arranged through the student portal. However, the remaining amount must be paid in full before the registration deadline in order to be enrolled in the course of your selection.


Application Fee (Per Session)

The $40 Application Fee is non-refundable and it is per session. 


Vitrual Immersion, Best Experience Activity Fee (Per Session)

This is an activity fee to support Virtual Immersion. Best Experience (VIBE) weekly events hosted via Zoom with a variety of ASL immersion activities. This fee is optional and per session.


Course Material Fees

ASL Connect uses True-Way ASL (TWA) digital textbook.  The TWA digtial texbook for ASL 1-4 course is $45 dollars and TWA digital textbook for ASL 5 and 6 is $60.  The digital textbook link will be available to purchase on first day of the class. 


Overview Course Schedule for 2023-2024

FALL 2023



SRP 2024


15-week Session 

August 28 – December 22

15-week Session 

January 16 – May 3


2-Week (Session A)

June 3 – June 14

8-week (Session A)

August 28 – October 20

8-week (Session A)

January 16 – March 8


May 27 – July 19

  2-Week (Session B)

June 17 – June 28

  8-week (Session B)

October 30 – December 22

  8-week (Session B)

March 18 – May 10 



2-Week (Session C)

July 1 – July 12




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Academia Questions

The contents of both the 8-week and the 15-week course are the same. The 15-week course is a typical semester-long course whereas the 8-week course is more condensed and moves at a faster pace. You could complete two courses in a semester. For instance, if you are taking an 8-week course for American Sign Language (ASL) I, you could take ASL II in the next session of 8-week.
8-week Session 15-week Session
  • Fast paced
  • Compressed course
  • Highly motivated students
  • Good for those who want to crunch!
  • Schedule is more intense, same content in half the time
  • Allow 6 hours a week for viewing videos and reading contents, plus 8-9 hours of practicing signs and doing assignments.
  • Slow paced
  • Stretched/prolonged course
  • Students who need more flexibility with schedule
  • More time with studying
  • Allow 3 hours a week for viewing videos and reading contents, plus 4-5 hours of practicing signs and doing assignments
*only available for ASL I-II*
ASL Connect is intended to be a central resource for learning American Sign Language (ASL) and about Deaf Studies online, with all content created by Deaf ASL-fluent scholars. We offer ways to learn some basic ASL online to get you started, and then we offer highly engaging and interactive ASL and Deaf Studies courses online.

Financial Questions

Students registering for courses through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area do so through their home institution and pay that institution’s tuition fees. All classes held online will be conducted in American Sign Language unless otherwise specified in the course description.

Financial Aid does not extend to cover non-degree credits, and ASL Connect provides non-degree credit courses (SLA). Other forms of assistance, such as Americorps awards, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Veteran Benefits, tuition reimbursement, and similar options, are commonly accepted.

When relying on alternative aid sources like Americorps, Vet Benefits, VR, or employer-sponsored tuition, it is essential to submit the necessary documentation to finalize your application. Additionally, you should include instructions regarding how our office should invoice the authorizing entity. If there are any payments coming from VR, employers, or other organizations/departments, you can request an invoice by contacting us.

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